The Rock at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville has been the public canvas for everyone at UT for many years.
Last night, during a time of remembrance for the lives lost during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, The Rock was painted with yet another message of hate. Hate speech written on The Rock directed towards the Jewish community has become a pattern dating back to the previous school year.
UT Chancellor Donde Plowman sent out a mass email to students this morning addressing the hate speech:
“We condemn that hate aimed toward members of our Jewish community, and we understand that words are not enough,” Plowman said. “Vol is a verb. Being a Volunteer means taking action. We are seeking Volunteers to join us in uniting around how we respond to hate on the Rock.”
Plowman will be meeting with members of the UT Jewish community today. Afterward, she will expand their discussion to the rest of the UT students.
She concluded with a statement about building the Volunteer community:
“We will not let hate stop our drive to create a community that ensures the people behind our stories matter and belong,” Plowman said.
Many UT students have taken to Twitter to share their perspectives of the continued hate displayed on The Rock. They mention wanting UT to take action and put an end to the targeted hate on this campus.
— Jaime Marquis (@jaime_marquis) September 12, 2019
Edited by Maddie Torres and Ainsley Kelso
Featured image by Vanessa Rodriguez