Professors postpone Thursday exams and classes before Richard Spencer talk
Professors are making their own accommodations for Thursday, as UF and Alachua County heighten security and law enforcement
Today, UF professors made their own calls for their classes on Thursday. Early this morning, a professor who prefers to remain anonymous decided to move his exam. He said, "This is just between us because it is unofficial."
Dr. Peterson, an Organic Chemistry Professor, told her students that she'd be recording her lecture on Thursday just in case anyone felt the need to stay home for their safety. She stated, "If I have to give a lecture to 4 students and make a video recording, so be it."
The Tab asked several students how they felt about the changes.
One student told The Tab, "I think most people are happy because there's a microbiology exam this Thursday. It doesn't really affect me though."
Yania Aguero, a class of 2019 biology major, said, “It eased my mind knowing a video lecture would be done, but given the chaos about Thursday, classes being canceled would have been the best idea to ease everyone’s minds completely.”
Alex Castellanos, a third-year chemistry major, agreed, saying, “I think it’s very thoughtful of her to consider how her students feel because that, in turn, affects how well they learn whatever it is that will be covered in class.”
Stella Fedele, a class of 2019 biology major, told The Tab, “Organic chemistry is my only class on Thursday and I will be taking the opportunity to watch the online lecture. I have no desire to put myself in a potentially dangerous situation and will become angry and upset if I were to encounter any protesters supporting white supremacy. In addition, not coming onto campus at all Thursday is a personal way to protest Mr. Spencer's presence here.”
Currently, Spencer is slated to speak from 2:30pm-4:30pm at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Governor Rick Scott declared a State of Emergency, anticipating the potential danger of Spencer's speech and UF heightened its security protocol for the whole week.
Governor Scott issued the order to cooperate with, Alachua County Sheriff, Sadie Darnell's requests. The order gives Sheriff Darnell quicker access to resources, the power to impose a curfew if necessary, and lets state, county, and municipal law enforcement work together easily.
Last Wednesday, Assistant Vice President of Public and Environmental Safety Chief Linda J. Stump-Kurnick sent an email about closures. UF administration decided to close the Cultural Plaza parking lot and Garage to keep students safe. The lots behind the Hilton Hotel and Conference center are also denying access to commuters. The only facilities with official cancellations and closures are Fifield Hall, the Entomology building, the Microbiology building, and the IFAS complex of buildings south of Hull Road. Along with these changes several buildings will restrict access to students with Gator 1 cards. This includes all residence halls, Newell Hall, the Reitz Union, etc. For more information, click here.
President Fuchs is warning students not to get involved in any protests. The No Nazis at UF Coalition had a press conference Monday morning expressing their frustration about not being able to protest. On their event page for the protest, the group stated that protesters expected to show up on Thursday are being "denied access to the venue, water, backpacks, bicycles, buses, and parking.”
If you're a UF student, stay safe and keep your Gator 1 card with you this week. If you need a new one, they're sold on floor 1 of the UF Welcome Center.
This is a developing story.