Richard Spencer to sue UF for the right to speak on campus
Fuchs: ‘We are prepared to vigorously defend our decision. The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority’
Despite UF President Kent Fuchs’s statement condemning the National Policy Institute, Richard Spencer is still trying to speak on university property.
Spencer was set to speak on September 12; however, because of violent threats, his speaking engagement was cancelled.
In an email, Fuchs told the student body that the National Policy Institute will be taking legal action in order to allow Spencer to speak on UF’s campus. The news of Spencer’s tentative arrival has raised concerns, and the University of Florida police department will be working with various agencies to prioritize the safety of UF’s constituents.
The statement is as follows:
Dear Gator community:
Due to the threat of violence, the University of Florida denied two weeks ago a request by the National Policy Institute to rent space for a Sept. 12 event for white nationalist Richard Spencer.
We were informed late this afternoon that representatives of the organization have retained legal counsel and plan to pursue efforts to hold this event as originally requested.
No formal complaint has been filed at this time. We are prepared to vigorously defend our decision. The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority.
Our university police department has been working closely with local, state and federal agencies over the last few weeks and will continue to do so.
We understand some media organizations have been told there is a contract between the university and the National Policy Institute for the event. No contract was ever executed.
We are committed to keeping you updated as we receive new information. In addition, UF’s information line at 1-866-UF-FACTS (833-2287) may also be a resource.
W. Kent Fuchs
University of Florida