Hundreds show up for protest of UF Presidential Nominee

Protesters expressed their concerns about the process as well as Ben Sasse’s views
There were large protests at the University of Florida Monday as a Nebraska Senator interviewed for the job of a college president.
Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 7:15 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - While UF Presidential Nominee, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, was meeting with faculty inside Emerson Alumni Hall, hundreds of people gathered outside to protest against the nomination.

Protesters were not only concerned about Sasse’s views, but also the process that led to his nomination. Students and organizations were told the university would release a list of candidates.

When they got that list, there was only one name on it.

Protesters initially gathered outside, but pushed their way inside hoping their voices would be heard in the interview room. Eventually, they took over the room and halted the proceedings.

Their concern is that under Sasse, UF’s diverse population will not receive proper representation.

“You look at what UF’s guidelines were in their Presidential search and they violated multiple of them,” said the Chair of UF’s Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter, Aaron Ali-McClory. “And worse than that the person they came up with is not representative of UF’s community that includes LGBTQ+ folks, folks who have had pregnancies and these are all groups that senator Sasse has stood against.”

While concerns about the process were prominent, the more important issue seemed to be Sasse’s views. They made clear they don’t think he properly represents the University of Florida. Protesters also do not want their school to become a political playground.

“This is a man who opposes equal rights for LGBTQ+ people, who celebrated the overturning of Roe v Wade,” said the Co-President of UF Graduate Assistants United, Rachel Hartnett. “And this is a man who is frankly not qualified for the position that they’re giving him and the only reason that we can see is that it was a political decision by Governor DeSantis.”

Both UF’s Board of Trustees and Board of Governors have to give final approval on the selection of Sasse, which is expected to happen next month.

This is a developing story and updates will continue to be provided on TV20 and at our website, WCJB.com.

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