Fight breaks out between Tate Plaza speaker and UGA alum | Campus News | #students | #parents

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to better reflect the nature of this situation.

A fight occurred between a speaker and a spectator at the University of Georgia’s Tate Plaza on Nov. 7, UGA spokesperson Greg Trevor said in an email to The Red & Black.

According to Trevor, police officers arrested the spectator for allegedly physically assaulting the speaker, although it was later revealed the speaker had used racial slurs toward the alum. 

UGA has temporarily barred both individuals from campus while investigation continues due to the “violent nature of the confrontation and the use of racial slurs,” Trevor said. The University of Georgia Police Department and the UGA Equal Opportunity Office are continuing their investigation of the incident. 

“Neither individual is currently affiliated with the University of Georgia, although the spectator is an alumnus,” Trevor said. 

Video footage obtained by The Red & Black shows the spectator hitting the speaker with a book during a verbal confrontation. An individual standing near the speaker held a sign listing qualities that made someone a “fake Christian” who needs to repent, including gossiping, smoking marijuana and supporting “the LGBTQ.”

A fight broke out between two UGA visitors at the Tate Plaza on Nov. 7, 2022. (Photo/Nathalee Simoneau)

“The Tate Plaza is one of three areas on campus that can be reserved for expressive activity by individuals unaffiliated with the university, consistent with Georgia law, the First Amendment, and UGA’s Freedom of Expression Policy,” Trevor said.

This incident is not the first case of conflict involving speakers on UGA’s campus. Two street evangelism groups held signs that disparaged women and members of the LGBTQ+ community at Tate Plaza during demonstrations on Nov. 3, 2021.

Last year, crowds of UGA students gathered to protest the groups, who began using homophobic slurs to address members of the crowd.

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