University of Florida Denies White Nationalists’ Event Request - Higher Education

Higher Education News and Jobs

University of Florida Denies White Nationalists’ Event Request


by Diverse Staff

University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs said Wednesday that he weighed the First Amendment rights of White nationalists against the risk to the safety of his students in denying a request by the group to rent space on campus for an event on September 12. Texas A&M, on Monday, had denied permission for a similar rally on its campus on September 11.

University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs

The decisions were made in the aftermath of a deadly confrontation over the weekend between a group that included White nationalists and neo-Nazis and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. The protestors are opposed to plans to remove a statue of the Confederacy’s top general, Robert E. Lee, from the park that bore his name before recently being renamed Emancipation Park.

Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and dozens injured when a car, allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio, rammed into a group of counter-protesters. In addition, two Virginia State Police pilots were killed in a helicopter crash as they monitored the demonstrations.

Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute, said his organization had been in coordinating an event with the university in Gainesville, Florida. Spencer, who had attended the protests in Charlottesville, said in a text message to the Associated Press that “such a brazen attack on free speech from a public university is infuriating.”

On the other hand, Fuchs said in a statement Wednesday: “I find the racist rhetoric of Richard Spencer and white nationalism repugnant and counter to everything the university and this nation stands for.”

Spencer’s group recently won a judgment against Auburn University after it rescinded permission for an event in April. A federal judge ruled that the talk would proceed as planned and also ordered the university to pay nearly $30,000 in legal fees.

  Real-Life Heros

Janine Sikes, a UF spokeswoman, said this is the first time that officials can recall the university denying such a request due to fears of violence or hate speech.

“I can’t say for the last 100 years, but we’re not aware of ever doing this in recent history.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

Accessibility Is Hallmark of Vargas Presidency Kendall Basham, who graduated in May 2017 from Southeast Missouri State University, always had been an admirer of the university president, Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto. To surprise Basham on her birthday, Dylan Kennedy, a senior and vice president of So...
UCLA Course to Examine Race Through Lens of Black Horror Films, Literature Tananarive Due is bringing a highly anticipated Get Out-inspired course to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) this semester. Tananarive Due The “The Sunken Place: Racism, Survival and Black Horror Aesthetic” course is based on di...
Innovative Strategies for HBCUs Proposed at CBC Conference WASHINGTON — A range of solutions and strategies — from the adoption of new business models to one-on-one mentoring from African Americans who’ve attained C-Suite positions — emerged Thursday at the inaugural HBCU “braintrust” of the Congressional Bl...
Brigham Young University Ends Ban on Caffeinated Soda Sales SALT LAKE CITY — Mormon church-owned Brigham Young University ended a six-decade ban Thursday on the sale of caffeinated soft drinks on campus, surprising students by posting a picture of a can of Coca-Cola on Twitter and just two words: “It’s happen...
Semantic Tags: