Students protest with dildos strapped to backpacks on August 24th

Van Nguyen

To voice their disapproval of the campus carry laws that went into effect Aug. 1, anti-campus carry movement Cocks Not Glocks has organized a protest for the first day of class in which participants will carry dildos around campus.

Campus carry has been a topic of controversy on campus since its introduction, with some students and faculty members opposing the new laws. Before Aug. 1, those with a license to carry were only allowed to conceal carry outside of University buildings. The new law allows them to carry in most University buildings, with some exceptions.

Gun Free UT, an anti-campus carry organization comprised of faculty, staff, students and members of the UT community, will hold a protest on the first day of classes on the West Mall from 12 to 2 p.m. Cocks Not Glocks is hosting a pre-rally Tuesday at 5 p.m. on the West Mall and will be marching to the Capitol at 2 p.m. after the Gun Free UT protest. The protest is open to anyone opposed to the campus carry laws.

UT rules state that no one is allowed to “distribute or display on the campus any writing or visual image, or engage in any public performance, that is obscene.” Dildos fall under the description of “obscene,” according to Texas Penal Code.

Dean of Student policies state that students, faculty members and staff have rights to “freedoms of speech, expression, and assembly.” This extends to political protests on campus, according to J.B. Bird, director of media outreach for UT.

“Students have a right to express themselves,” Bird said. “This protest appears to be protected political speech.”

Cocks Not Glocks was created by UT alumna Jessica Jin last fall after she learned students were not allowed to carry dildos in classrooms.

There are currently over 10,000 people who have RSVP’d on the Facebook event page.

Ana López, Austin representative for Cocks Not Glocks and vice president of Students Against Campus Carry, said the purpose of the protest is to fight “absurdity with absurdity.”

“The Legislature keeps pushing for the normalization of deadly weapons, but props like dildos are still totally taboo regardless of how harmless they really are,” López, a Plan II sophomore, said. “Campus carry is not going to go away, and consequences may only get worse. As long as there will be concealed handguns in backpacks there will be openly carried dildos right next to them.”

Dreamers, a local adult novelty store, has been giving away dildos to UT students at both Austin locations. They have been around for over 30 years and said they have involved themselves in local politics whenever possible. In 2008, Dreamers helped overturn a ban on sex toy sales in Texas.

“We just felt like it was a good [cause] to jump on board,” Shannon Molina, Dreamers social media manager, said. “We’ve been handing [dildos] out since this … blew up
last [year].”

Dreamers will have a table set up at Spider House on Monday at 3 p.m. to hand out dildos for those who can’t make the
rally Tuesday.

University Democrats will be handing out dildos on Aug. 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cocks Not Glocks rally.

“UDems decided to get involved because keeping guns off campus is a really important issue to us, and we thought Cocks not Glocks was a great way to bring attention to the issue,” University Democrats President Ashley Alcantara, a Plan II and government senior, said. “One of the biggest problems we run into all the time is how to get students informed and interested, and this is a truly innovative way for doing that."