Campus Reform | UTexas students storm move-in event to demand 'Cops off Campus'

UTexas students storm move-in event to demand 'Cops off Campus'

Student groups assembled to demand that cops be removed from campus during student welcome event.

On August 24, a coalition of left-wing student groups stormed a move-in event at the University of Texas at Austin’ meant to welcome new students to campus, demanding "Cops off Campus."

The protest took place during the “Gone to Texas” event, celebrating thousands of new students moving into their dorms. The group chanted as the school’s band performed, including during its performance of controversial UT alma mater “Eyes of Texas.” 

The group unveiled a large banner with the words, “Students & Workers Demand Cops Off Campus” plastered on the front.

The protest was the effort of multiple groups at the University including Cops Off Campus, UT Direct Action, and Underpaid at UT. 

UT student Logan Rogers told the Austin Statesman that the groups targeted this particular event with the purpose of reaching a large audience, recruiting new students to their cause, and informing new students of the past and present issues the University deals with.

Campus Reform attempted to reach out to the organizations involved with the protest but could not acquire a comment before the publication of this article.

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The group chanted slogans from the UT Tower such as, “Cops off Campus” and “No Justice No Peace”.

The university’s alma mater has become a point of contention on campus over the past year.

The song’s complicated origin stems from its debut in a 1903 minstrel show by performers allegedly in blackface. 

During last summer’s wave of racial protests, many students across the country made demands to their campuses to improve their racial climate. During this time, many students at UT took issue with the song’s origin and demanded that it be replaced.

The university responded by putting together a committee to examine the origins of the song and determine the next best steps. Although the committee determined the song was “not overtly racist,” the outrage on campus did not dissipate.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Texas, but has not received comment.

This May, many student tour guides refused to work due to disagreements with the administration over a plaque with “The Eyes of Texas” lyrics hanging in the Admissions Welcome Center. The guides suggested the university replace the plaque with a university symbol perceived as more inclusive to all students.

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Recently, a group of nearly 180 faculty members signed a pledge to boycott all future graduations and student events unless it was confirmed the song would not be played.

The song has caused a culture war fight at the University of Texas between the students and faculty against the alumni.

Many alumni have derided attempts to replace the alma mater as another example of “cancel culture” and have promised to rescind donations if the University were to replace the alma mater.

Despite the push by student activists, the school’s administration has reaffirmed that the alma mater will not be replaced.