KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The University of Tennessee says a white supremacist group that’s made plans to speak on campus will not be allowed to use the McClung Museum as their venue for safety reasons.
Instead, the group will be reassigned to Buehler Hall with security restrictions. Chancellor Beverly Davenport said in a note posted to the university’s website that the location will “provide the safest and most secure environment and minimize disruption to other activities on campus.”
Davenport says the group was not invited and is not welcome. Free speech dictates that the group be allowed to speak on campus regardless. The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 17.
Students and others are gathering on campus Friday afternoon for a rally called “United At the Rock Against Racism,” sponsored by the UT Campus Ministers Council, Student Government Association, and Faculty Senate.
Other events planned include a panel discussion sponsored by the SGA on the upcoming white nationalist event, hate speech, and how it affects the campus. It will be held Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in room 101 of Strong Hall.
On Thursday, Lecia Brooks, outreach director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, will give a presentation on white nationalist groups, their tactics and how to stand against hate. It will be at 5:30 p.m. at Alumni Memorial Building’s Cox Auditorium.