The Student Government Association at the University of Tennessee is working to educate students about hate.

It comes after a white nationalist group booked space to speak on campus.

SGA hosted a panel Tuesday night to lead the conversation about the controversial topics, like free speech and racism.

"We need more events like this one," UT Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Dr. John Zomchick said.

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"Having these conversations contributed to me personally," SGA Vice President Michael Curtis said.

The conversation went back and forth.

"These are issues that are deep-seeded concern to all of our campus community," Zomchick said.

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A panel of administrators, staff and students discussed free speech and the role it plays in light of hate-filled messages surrounding UT's campus recently.

Dozens of students discussed the depths of racism and free speech as part of SGA's panel, including Curtis.

"I believe many students feel that we are on the verge of having, actually, that we have a community that is cohesive, and that's not the perspective of a lot of students," Curtis said. "A lot of students are actually scared to be on this campus."

That's why SGA stepped in to give students and staff a forum to talk it out and hear all sides.

"I've been a consistent and strong voice for allowing the Traditionalist Workers Party to come to campus," Zomchick said. "I believe that we cannot, we dare not, discriminate according to the content of someone's beliefs."

He said even though he personally believes the white nationalist groups beliefs are "evil," he thinks they should come.

"That was one of the perspectives I really thought about deeply," Curtis said.

After hearing Zomchick's opinion, Curtis decided to look at the group's presence as positively as he can.

"Although I personally don't want this group to come to campus, having this group come to campus is really contributing to the critical thinking, the thought process, the empowerment that students will obtain," Curtis said.

An optimistic attitude both hope the rest of the campus can have in deep-seeded issues.

UT is hosting an event Thursday to learn more about white nationalist groups. That event will be held in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center.