I want to provide information about an event that is scheduled for May 28 at 6 p.m. at Alumni Memorial Building entitled, “White Nationalism: Fact or Fiction.” The organizer of this event has anti-Semitic and racist viewpoints. He is not being sponsored or hosted by any university-affiliated organization; he is renting space on our campus. The UT Police Department is aware of the event and engaged in efforts to secure campus.
I want to be clear: white nationalism is contrary to our values as a university—racism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry should have no place on Rocky Top. We care about our staff, faculty, and students. We aspire to create an environment free of hate, prejudice, and bigotry. No one renting space on our campus will stop us from pursuing that aspiration.
As a cabinet, we want to provide supervisors latitude for allowing employees to practice self-care that evening. Alumni Memorial Building will remain closed all day May 28. UTPD will close Hesler Biology and Nielsen Physics at 2 p.m. Employees of these buildings may leave at this time. Essential research personnel who need access to Hesler and Nielsen after 2 p.m. may contact UTPD for access at 865-974-3114.
Middle Drive and Circle Drive will close at 4 p.m., and Staff Lot 9 will close to incoming traffic at 4 p.m. Staff who park in these areas may leave at 4 p.m. or park in the White Avenue garage at any time Tuesday without being ticketed.
To our students enrolled in mini-term, we will be providing you with additional information about resources to support you.
Hateful rhetoric will not stop us from our work to provide anti-bias education, a review of our policies, and support for all Vols. We will continue to provide updates on that progress.