UT Austin Statement About Event by Outside Group

AUSTIN, Texas — The university is aware of media reports about an outside group’s intention to stage a group performance of a mass shooting on the UT Austin campus this weekend. Our Board of Regents' rules designate our campus as a space reserved for the business, research and educational purposes of UT Austin. Within the university community, the campus is a place for the vigorous exchange of diverse viewpoints, which is an essential part of the educational experience. The property or buildings owned or controlled by UT Austin are not, however, open to outside groups for assembly, speech, or other activities, including theatrical performances, as are the public streets, sidewalks, and parks. Only the university itself, faculty, staff and student groups may engage in such activities on campus. This applies equally to an outside protest group, an outside theater troupe, or any outside group wishing to use the facilities or grounds of the university.

Many groups seek to use the university’s facilities each year and they are all treated equally and are turned away. For example, we have not allowed the Westboro Baptist Church to protest on campus and have not allowed labor groups to protest on campus. We have told outside sporting groups that they may not use our sporting facilities.

When outside individuals come on campus and violate our rules regarding use of our grounds and facilities, they are asked to leave. If they do not, it becomes a criminal trespass matter. We suggest that any outside organizations planning such events on campus relocate them to other space where they would be allowed.

Our Dean of Students Office is attempting to contact the leaders of this group to make sure they are aware of our Board of Regents’ rules and procedures.

Media may attribute this statement to UT Austin spokesperson J.B. Bird.