This is now the second annual United at the Rock – which is really an effort to let the campus and all of Rocky Top know they stand for peace and unity – not hate.
Students spontaneously pulled this event together within a week last year after violent and racist messages began popping up on the campus rock.
This celebratory event is now an annual event hoping to show what it truly means to be a Vol – carrying their theme: Remember, celebrate, serve.
““Last year we had a similar event that kind of happened really spontaneously in response to the TWP coming to campus – they are a white nationalist group – and so we just kind of came together to really show what it means to be a volunteer and understand that yes free speech is great but not hate speech. That’s not what we stand for and so we wanted to show the community what it truly means to be a Vol,” says Maddie Stephens, Student Services Director of the Student Government Assciation.
The handprints on the rock symbolize our own fingerprints and the mark we leave on society but when we put them together we can create change.