Florida student protests lose momentum as Sasse is voted university president

About 40 protesters gathered on the University of Florida’s campus Nov. 1 as the UF Board of Trustees interviewed and voted on Senator Ben Sasse.

At an Oct. 10 protest, nearly 300 protesters were present.

About 40 protesters gathered outside Emerson Hall at the University of Florida (UF) the morning of Nov. 1 as the Board of Trustees interviewed Senator Ben Sasse. Following the interview, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to install the Nebraska Senator as the university’s 13th president.

Campus Reform obtained exclusive footage of the protest.

Protesters chanted “Get Sasse out of our swamp,” “Our university is no place for the GOP,” and “We deserve better” into megaphones.

The protest was the second of two against Sasse organized by UF’s chapter of Young Democratic Socialists of America.

[RELATED: Board of Trustees unanimously votes to affirm Ben Sasse for university president]

Campus Reform previously reported on the first protest against Sasse on Oct. 10.  Nearly 300 protesters shut down a public forum with Sasse at Emerson Hall on campus.  Students flooded the building Sasse was in, forcing officials to end the Q&A session early.  

Student protests dwindled in size as Sasse’s confirmation process progressed.  

Following the Oct. 10 protest, UF President Kent Fuchs stated in a campus-wide email that the university would implement an indoor protest ban ahead of the Board of Trustees vote. 

“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. 

On Nov. 1, Sasse’s final interview with the UF Board of Trustees started at 10 a.m. and concluded at 2 p.m. 

[RELATED: UF implements indoor protest ban ahead of Sasse vote]

Protesters gathered around the building at 9:30 a.m., but dispersed at around 12 p.m. 

At the Nov. 1 protest, security measures at Emerson Hall had increased. 

Barricades were placed in the campus courtyard and along the building, blocking protesters from entering Emerson Hall. Members of UF Police Department (UFPD) stood around the building, ensuring no protesters set foot inside. 

Protesters did not let the barricades stop them, however, and opted for chanting on the sidewalk in front of the building.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Florida, President Kent Fuchs, UFPD, and UF’s Young Democratic Socialists of America for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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