UNT Students Stage ‘Sanctuary Campus’ Walk Out

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DENTON -- Students at the University of North Texas staged a walk-out Thursday, but it wasn't just an excuse to get out of class.

"We are serious about our demands to make this campus a sanctuary campus," said David Lopez, one of the event's organizers. "It is essentially so ICE and Border Patrol cannot come into campus grounds to deport undocumented students."

We've seen protests like this around the country since the election.

"After this election, many of us have felt threatened by the president-elect's rhetoric," Lopez told a crowded UNT Library Mall over a megaphone.

UNT officials didn't comment on the group's demands, but did allow them to gather on campus, and march from there to Denton Square, with a police escort.

"We're happy that they have decided to kind of take this initiative upon themselves, have a peaceful rally," said UNT Spokesperson Margarita Venegas. "And talk about an issue that's very important, to not only them, but the community at large."

But not everyone in that community was so glad to see the protest.

"They're upset with our administration that's coming, but Obama is deporting people in mass numbers," said Mike Stewart, who stood outside his business with a Trump/Pence sign as the students passed by. "The activism is important, but I really wish people were more educated, and not simply acting based on groupthink."

Meanwhile, Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted: "Texas will not tolerate sanctuary campuses or cities.  I will cut funding for any state campus if it establishes sanctuary status."

Time will tell if UNT will take that risk, but for now, these North Texas Eagles are letting their voices be heard loud and clear.