UF implements indoor protest ban ahead of Sasse vote

University of Florida will enforce a ban on indoor protests ahead of today's Board of Trustee meeting with Ben Sasse.

The Board of Trustees is expected to vote on Sasse's candidacy for university president following the meeting.

Protesters who obstruct today's Board of Trustees meeting to discuss Sen. Ben Sasse’s (NE-R) candidacy for president could face disciplinary action, according to University of Florida (UF) President Kent Fuchs.

“The university will resume enforcement of a regulation on the books for at least two decades, prohibiting protests inside campus buildings,” Fuchs wrote in an email to the UF community. 

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“Students who violate the regulation may be subject to discipline under the Student Conduct Code,” he confirmed. 

The announcement comes after students protested Sasse during a Q&A forum last month after he was named the sole finalist in the search for the Gainesville school’s next President.

Nearly 300 protesters reportedly flooded the building as the event took place. Fuchs described the incident in his letter, claiming that “a large group of protestors entered the building, chanting loudly, banging their fists on windows, walls and furniture and making it difficult for audience members to hear Dr. Sasse’s responses.”

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Fuchs cited the importance of First Amendment rights to free speech as the reason behind banning protests inside campus buildings. 

“I want to be clear that the university holds sacred the right to free speech, and I strongly encourage you to exercise it,” Fuchs wrote. “It is a blessing that distinguishes our great country from many others around the world, and as many from those other countries will tell you, we must protect it vigorously.”

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Florida and Fuchs for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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