Editor's note: UTSA President Taylor Eighmy sent this email to UTSA faculty, staff and students today.
(Oct. 4, 2018) -- Dear Roadrunners,
The current national political dialogue was evident on our campus today in the form of a student protest on the Paseo.
Though the protest at times was tense, it reflected our adherence to the Constitutional right to free speech. As evidenced by the passion and emotion in the crowd, that adherence can sometime be challenging.
As I stated in my September 10 message regarding free speech, universities are uniquely positioned—and obligated—to be places where ideas are shared, even when those ideas are difficult, unpopular or offensive. All student organizations and individual students have a right to express their opinions on campus as long as they comply with our peaceful public assembly policies.
That said, I understand that during today’s protest there were some students who felt unsafe, unsupported or traumatized—particularly those who are survivors of sexual assault. Please remember that assistance is available to students who may need additional support.
During today’s protest—as well one that occurred in the Sombrilla last Wednesday—posters were damaged, and there was an alleged assault. The Office of Student Affairs is working with our UTSA Police to reach out to students involved, investigate the matters and determine appropriate sanctions.
Looking forward, as an educational community, we must continually work on learning how to disagree while still treating one another with respect and dignity. All members of our community, regardless of their politics or ideology, deserve to be heard. Today’s protest was a teachable moment and an opportunity to practice balancing civic engagement with civility.
At a university of UTSA’s caliber, it is expected that our diverse student body will have strong convictions that inspire occasional protests. It is our job to be exemplary in the way we foster free speech and civic engagement when these events occur, and I have complete faith that together we will fulfill UTSA’s core values at the very highest standards.
All UTSA faculty, staff and students are invited to attend open forums featuring finalist candidates for the dean of the UTSA College of Sciences.Various Locations, Main Campus
UTSA is an early voting site for the statewide General Election.H-E-B Student Union Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), Main Campus
More than 75 local, state and national graduate and professional schools will showcase their programs at the Main Campus. It's free and open to the public. Interested attendees are encouraged to register for the event in advance.Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus
UTSA Associate Professor of Anthropology Jill Fleuriet will moderate a neutral dialogue on what is and what is not protected as free speech, what constitutes hate speech and a university's role in supporting free speech on their respective campus.Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
Hosted by the UTSA Office of Information Technology Student Innovation Coalition, Tech Talk is a forum for students to share thoughts about technology on campus with IT professionals and learn about products and services available to help them succeed.Student Union Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
UTSA Libraries will host Claudia García-Louis, assistant professor, at the Downtown Library for her presentation AfroLatinxs: Navigating Blackness and Latinidad in the Age of Trump, as part of the popular Pizza and Research series.Buena Vista Street Building Downtown Library (BVB 2.314), Downtown Campus
UTSA faculty, staff and students are invited to hear preliminary findings from the UTSA Campus Master Plan Discovery Survey and to offer students, faculty and staff another opportunity to provide input and ask questions about the initiative.Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326), Downtown Campus
UTSA faculty, staff and students are invited to hear preliminary findings from the UTSA Campus Master Plan Discovery Survey. The faculty and staff forum is from 11am-noon in the Harris Room and the forum for students is from noon-1pm in the Travis Room.H-E-B Student Union (HSU 2.212 and HSU 2.202), Main Campus