Students push to impeach student body pres over Trump Jr. speech
The University of Florida Student Government chamber erupted Tuesday as some students demanded the resignation of their student body president for inviting President Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump, Jr., to speak on campus.
Student Body President Michael Murphy’s emails revealed that he had coordinated the speaker event with a Trump 2020 campaign official. The event took place on the evening of Oct. 5 and was met with great opposition, including disruptive protests, as Campus Reform reported at the time.
The speaker was brought to campus by an arm of student government called The ACCENT Speakers Bureau. The group describes itself as “the nation’s largest student-run speakers bureau,” and boasts that it “been bringing prominent, influential, and controversial individuals to inspire, engage, and enlighten the University of Florida community for more than 50 years.”
During the Tuesday meeting, student senator Ben Lima announced a resolution to impeach Student Body President Michael Murphy. Students from all over the political spectrum then spoke in support of and against the actions of Murphy.
Campus Reform reached out to Lima but was not able to receive comment in time for publication.
An image obtained by Campus Reform shows an example of posters that were placed around campus by a group called No Nazis UF, calling for the resignation of both the University of Florida President Kent Fuchs and Student Body President Michael Murphy.
“It came to my attention that there is a partisan-hit against SG President Michael Murphy for upholding the First Amendment and promoting intellectual diversity at UF,” Former Accent Speakers Bureau staffer and UF senior Jared Rossi told Campus Reform. Rossi says he also tried to remind the chamber that ACCENT prides itself in bringing speakers from both sides of the aisle.
UF student Kyle Poe, compared the controversy over Trump Jr. to a similar situation in 2008 when Noam Chomsky was slated to speak on campus. Student Government pulled its support from the event and Chomsky did not come.
“It took a lot of courage to invite such a controversial speaker," Poe said. He made it clear that he does not support all beliefs of either Donald Trump Jr. or Noam Chomsky but that he was still excited to see them both. He noted that he was present at the Trump Jr. event and that it was not a campaign event.
University of Florida junior Jasmin Du Bois stood before the chamber and detailed other ways the $50,000 to bring Trump Jr. to campus could have been spent, saying “50,000 would buy 7,142 boxes of tampons...36 count tampons…in total 257,012 tampons...Every female on this campus would be covered in case of a hygienic emergency eight times over” She also said that $50,000 could purchase 1,219 flu vaccines, 56 student healthcare plans, or 9,969 meals for children in Alachua County.
Student Senator Zachary Amrose spoke about a revision he plans to introduce that would make it mandatory for any ACCENT speaker with speaking expenses over a couple of thousand dollars to be voted on and passed through the Senate.
University of Florida College Republicans says it is disappointed in the calls to impeach the Student Body President without legitimate cause. “We feel that efforts to impeach Michael Murphy come not in good faith, but in the spirit of retribution for his conservative beliefs. Gators should ask our fellow student leaders to rule without personal bias, and stray away from petty disagreements over partisan politics,” the group told Campus Reform.
University of Florida College Democrats declined to comment on the topic of the impeachment of Michael Murphy.
Campus Reform reached out to Student Body President Michael Murphy but did not receive a comment in time for publication.
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