Respect and Safety on Campus

Oct. 8, 2018

Dear UT Community,

Like many national issues over the past few years, the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh has drawn strong reactions across the country and within our community, as we saw last week. We are writing to remind you that The University of Texas, and our campus, are dedicated to the rights of students to share their views freely and advocate for their beliefs.

If you choose to protest, demonstrate or speak your mind — in support or in opposition of an issue — you have every right to do so. However, you must do so safely. You must also recognize that others on campus have those same rights and responsibilities, even if you consider their opinions offensive and objectionable.

Free speech of UT community members is fully protected on campus. Violence and threats are not; they violate university policy and state law. You are able to discuss, argue and condemn those views you disagree with, but unwelcome physical contact with those who espouse them or the destruction of property is never acceptable. And if you have been physically threatened, you should call 9-1-1 immediately, and UTPD will respond.

In addition, our values as a university stem directly from the way we treat one another. Maintaining a healthy learning environment doesn’t mean we should always agree, but it does mean we should show respect, restraint and empathy and to follow all state and local laws. We ask you to keep this in mind this week and throughout your time at the university.

Please remember that the university has a wide range of Division of Student Affairs offices that can help answer any questions and address your concerns about these and other issues.

Longhorns are defined by the many viewpoints and perspectives we bring together. Everyone has a right to speak. Everyone has a right to be safe and to be treated with dignity. Please follow these principles and support us as we work daily to keep you safe.


Soncia Reagins-Lilly

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

David Carter

Chief of Police

& Assistant Vice President for Campus Security