UF denies Richard Spencer’s request to speak on campus

Not so fast, Nazi boy

University president Kent Fuchs has confirmed that Richard Spencer will not speak at the University of Florida.

An email was sent out last Saturday, announcing that Spencer would tentatively rent out a university venue on September 12th.

Fuchs denounced Spencer’s rhetoric; however, he referenced university regulation 2.004, stating that “non-university groups, organizations and persons may rent space on campus, provided they cover rental expenses and security costs like all other third-party renters.”

In light of Charlottesville and after assessing the safety risks, Fuchs has officially denied the National Party Institute’s request as of today.

The statement in full:

Dear Campus Community:

Amid serious concerns for safety, we have decided to deny the National Policy Institute’s request to rent event space at the University of Florida.

This decision was made after assessing potential risks with campus, community, state and federal law enforcement officials following violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va., and continued calls online and in social media for similar violence in Gainesville such as those decreeing: “The Next Battlefield is in Florida.”

I find the racist rhetoric of Richard Spencer and white nationalism repugnant and counter to everything the university and this nation stands for.

That said, the University of Florida remains unwaveringly dedicated to free speech and the spirit of public discourse. However, the First Amendment does not require a public institution to risk imminent violence to students and others.

The likelihood of violence and potential injury – not the words or ideas – has caused us to take this action.

Warm Regards,

W. Kent Fuchs

President, University of Florida

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