I’m writing to share some information regarding the new Texas law on
Protected Expression on Campus and how it affects us here at UTSA. This information is especially timely given the free speech activities that took place on campus earlier this week, and the likelihood of other outside groups engaging in demonstrations on our campus in the weeks and months to come.
We have created a new
FAQs page on our
Expressive Activities website to provide answers to common questions regarding free speech activities at UTSA under the parameters of the new law. These FAQs will expand over time and will eventually reflect revisions to our campus policies, procedures and codes of conduct to align with the law. The revisions are currently under development in collaboration with students, faculty and staff stakeholder groups, and we will share them once approved by the UT System Board of Regents later this spring.
According to the new law, outside groups are not required to give advance notice of planned expressive activities on our campus. The ideas and opinions shared by protest groups may be difficult to hear, and we want you to think through your personal strategies for interactions. You may wish to consider practicing your own free speech and thoughtful and respectful expression of your views, creating physical space between you and the group, being aware of your reaction, leaving the area or reaching out for help by contacting us at the Dean of Students Office at
firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, if you encounter any threatening behavior on campus, be an active bystander and report it by using the
LiveSafe App, communicating with the
Behavioral Intervention Team or contacting
When expressive activities take place on our campus, they challenge us to balance public safety with the right to freedom of expression. Our UTSA Police are integral to protecting all participants in expressive activities. We know that some of you may be interested in more dialogue regarding the actions and responses of our police officers when interactions become confrontational. Chief Gerald Lewis is very interested in talking with members of the Roadrunner community on this topic and has set up
two informal drop-in conversation sessions for later this week:
Thursday, February 20 and Friday, February 21, 10-11 a.m. each day in the Student Affairs Conference Room, SU 02.02.18. If you are unable to make one of these sessions but have feedback you’d like to share, please contact Chief Lewis at
Thank you for your understanding and willingness to work through these changes together as we adjust to the impact of this new law on our campus.
Senior Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students