Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue
Friends meet on the Ped Walk

Inclusive Excellence

You belong on Rocky Top.

As a Volunteer, you are encouraged to act, to use your voice, and to bear the torch. We put actions behind our words and ensure that everyone feels like they belong. From the moment you step onto campus, we want you to know that your story and your experience matter, and you belong here.

We make it a priority to create programs and spaces that allow students from all backgrounds to feel welcome and included on Rocky Top. We regularly host events that bring different voices and people of different backgrounds to listen and learn from each other. Events such as Rocky Topics allow for students to engage in dialogue around timely topics such as Women’s History Month, natural hair and beauty, and celebrating community and individuality. Engaging students in meaningful and proactive conversations help us all grow and learn.

Two students laugh on a bench outside the Student Union

Two students in conversation using sign language

Easily transition into college life.

Offices such as Multicultural Student Life, the Pride Center, and Student Disability Services offer incoming students membership into their peer mentoring programs. The goal of these programs is to orient students to campus and get them familiar with the resources available. These mentoring relationships allow students to connect with students of similar interests and backgrounds.

“The Peer Mentoring Program has made me feel like I belong at UT by allowing me to make friends and build a support system of people who understand me.”

peer mentor

We provide educational opportunities for students, as well as faculty and staff.

The Division of Student Life also hosts a variety of events and learning opportunities for students, faculty, and staff. One of the longest-running events, the Black Issues Conference, is offered every February and focuses on topics that impact the Black community at UT, in Knoxville, and nationwide. Safe Zone is an educational workshop series for students, faculty, and staff that discusses the intersections of gender, sexuality, and other social identities, and shares LGBTQ+ resources available on UT’s campus.

Students pose for a photo during the Martin Luther King, Jr. parade in Knoxville

Students having a conversation in the Student Union plaza

We value the civil exchange of ideas.

In alignment with the State of Tennessee’s Campus Free Speech Protection Act, the UT Board of Trustees Policy Affirming Principles of Free Speech for Students and Faculty, and the Chancellor’s Strategic Vision, we work to ensure a climate welcoming of diverse viewpoints. We are committed to hosting events and supporting initiatives that encourage dialogue, civic engagement, and understanding of free expression. Learn more about our commitment to viewpoint diversity.