UF students and Gainesville City Commissioners discuss minority issues on campus

GAINESVILLE, Fla (WCJB) - Some University of Florida students and Gainesville City commissioners met on Wednesday night to bring attention to the "lack of transparency" about minority issues on campus.

They dubbed the meeting "The Intervention" --- but no university officials came to hear their concerns.

Most Gainesville City Commissioners were in attendance though, and they attempted to collaborate on how to get students' voices heard.

"You're going to go out, and you're going to represent what the University of Florida represents," Commissioner Charles Goston said. "And if it's something good, you're going to attract other people to come. Latinos, and African Americans and hispanics. And if you have a bad experience, are you going to invite somebody to experience it with you? That's what they need to know."

Last weekend construction started on the Institute of Black Culture and the Institute of Hispanic and Latino Cultures.

The group "No La Ibcita" was created in response to UF's original plans to combine the two -- which they successfully stopped.

Now the university has started a project team to work on the reconstruction and said they are "addressing concerns internally"--- but students said they are being left out of the process.

"One of my fears is what will the two spaces actually look like," said former La Casita Ambassador Richard Lainez. "Will the history remain in there. The legacy from the past be remembered to work on the future and will there be transparency for students, along with alumni and even old advocacy members to be in it."

The group also discussed other racial issues on campus.

Commissioner Goston offered advice to students to contact the UF adminstration directly, seek representation, and keep pushing for transparency.