U.Va. alters policy for outside groups speaking on campus

WASHINGTON — Almost a year after white nationalists held a tiki torch march on the grounds of University of Virginia, U.Va. is now requiring people unaffiliated with the school who want to speak on campus to reserve space in advance.

In addition, the new policy limits the protests to nine areas on campus where groups of up to 50 people can gather for a maximum of two hours.

“The University of Virginia is committed to the constitutional principle of free speech and to the safety and security of every member of this community,” university president Teresa Sullivan said in a statement.

On the evening of August 11, 2017, white nationalists carrying burning tiki torches, and chanting racial slurs, and “you will not replace us,” marched through campus.

The following day, thousands gathered in downtown Charlottesville for the “Unite the Right” rally.

The rally was organized by two U.Va. alumni, Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler.

The new policy specifies alumni must use the new advanced reservation system.

Groups speaking publicly or distributing literature are also “prohibited from carrying weapons, including guns, knives, or instruments for cutting, stabbing, or bludgeoning.”

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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