Protester Amnesty Fails At UT Austin As Faculty Votes

(HorizonPost.com) – A resolution from the University of Texas-Austin Faculty Council to call for amnesty for the Pro-Hamas campus protesters failed to pass by three votes in a meeting last Tuesday morning.

However, by Wednesday, the Faculty Council hammered out a revised resolution which did pass.

The approved resolution criticized the university for its response to the protests, including its decision to deploy law enforcement before the demonstration even began.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Professor James Slotta suggested the school’s response was not “consistent” with the university’s commitment to the “free and open discussion of ideas.”

Slotta also suggested that school officials violated the university’s obligation “to promote lively and fearless” debate by “preemptively” canceling the demonstration. He claimed the school’s response would have a “chilling effect” on freedom of speech moving forward.

Meanwhile, in a University of Texas Board of Regents meeting on Wednesday, Chairman Kevin Eltife praised the Texas Department of Public Safety’s response to the campus protests and said the decision to deploy law enforcement at UT campuses was made by the UT System Chancellor and the board of regents.

Eltife said the board was “proud of how this has been handled” and suggested that those who question the decision should “only look at Columbia and UCLA.”

In late April, over 500 faculty from the University of Texas signed a letter of no-confidence against UT-Austin President Jay Hartzell for allowing law enforcement to break up the pro-Hamas protests on campus.

The faculty also cited Hartzell’s April 2 decision to terminate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion staffers, claiming that their termination made the school unsafe and unwelcoming “for the diverse community of students and scholars.”

While 500 faculty may sound like a lot, in reality, with over 3,200 faculty members at the University of Texas, only 16 percent of the faculty signed the letter of no confidence against the president.

Another 160 faculty signed a letter condemning the school for violating the First Amendment rights of UT students by allowing the police to break up the protests.

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