"The Brief: UT Students Wage Sex Toy Protest on First Day of Class" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
The Big Conversation
Students and activists at the University of Texas at Austin voiced their displeasure with the campus carry law that went into effect earlier this month across the state by strapping sex toys to their backpacks and grabbing suggestively themed T-shirts.
As the San Antonio Express-News’ Kelsey Bradshaw put it, “It was an interesting first day of class, to say the least.”
A protest organizer told the Austin American-Statesman that if the demonstration seemed over the top, that was the intent. Ana López said the demonstration was created to flout obscenity laws while protesting legalizing handguns on campus.
The protests, though, seemed to be getting little serious pushback. University administrators were quick to describe the protest as protected political speech. And a student concealed carry group also supported the protesters’ free speech rights, touting a “gun/dildo alliance.”
Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.
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Quote to Note
"Let's put a dildo in the hands of every pissed-off college student who hasn't been heard in this safety conversation. Strap it on, feel the discomfort, feel the weird looks. Wear it loud, wear it proud, and don't take them off until people take their guns home."
— UT alumna and Cocks Not Glocks founder Jessica Jin, talking to the San Antonio Express-News on the protest that took place at the University of Texas at Austin where students strapped multicolored dildos to to their backpacks to express their frustration over campus carry.
News From Home
• The Texas Tribune wants to see what your college campus looks like now that campus carry is legal in Texas. Are there any visible changes? Or is it business as usual?
• The full program for the 2016 Texas Tribune Festival, featuring conversations about the future of health care, the sharing economy, Zika, abortion, standardized testing, higher ed funding, border security and, of course, Donald Trump, is now available. To view the Festival schedule & purchase tickets, visit texastribune.org/festival.
Trib Events for the Calendar
• A Conversation with state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and state Reps. Terry Canales and Bobby Guerra on Aug. 26 at UT-Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg
• San Antonio & the Legislature: The Election and Beyond on Sept. 14 at University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus
• The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin
• TribFeast: A Dinner To Support Nonprofit Journalism on Sept. 24 at the University of Texas at Austin's Etter-Harbin Alumni Center
• A Conversation with state Reps. Four Price and John Smithee on Oct. 4 at Amarillo College in Amarillo
• A Conversation with state Reps. Andrew Murr and Jason Isaac on Nov. 14 at Schreiner University in Kerrville