Group calls for UF student body president to resign

Published: Nov. 5, 2019 at 11:30 PM EST
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An email transcript has been released showing an exchange between University of Florida student body president Michael Murphy and Caroline Wren, who works for the Trump Victory fundraising committee, in which they discuss the plan to bring Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle to campus for the speaking engagement last month.

To some, this reaffirmed the notion that the event, which was paid for using student activities fees, was more of a campaign stop rather than a simple speaking engagement.

“To know that it came directly from the national fundraiser director, that made me so angry to know that student fees from my fellow Gators were being utilized for political gain," said UF alumna Mariana Castro. "It was a personal favor from Murphy to the Trump committee, and, you know, that is morally wrong. Anyone can see that, alums, students, people should be outraged.”

Murphy was not present at Tuesday night’s UF student government meeting, which was packed with students on both sides of this issue.

Some demanded that Murphy resign from his position as student body president.

“There is no reason that any student body president anywhere should be doing political favors for the national financial consultant of a president’s 2020 reelection committee," said one student. "Students, when it comes to how their student fee money is spent, should have answers. Last time I checked, I didn’t agree to donate to Donald Trump’s political campaign."

Others defended Murphy's actions, claiming that the event with Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle was in no way a campaign stop or fundraising event and complied with both university and government rules.

“Regardless of how unpopular this speaker is, ACCENT’s recent financing of this event was totally in-line with their mission statement of fostering intellectual diversity on campus by bringing sometimes controversial speakers," said another student. "I urge the body not to yield to the demands of this hate-fueled mob, and to instead uphold the principles of intellectual diversity that the university was founded on."

One student said there will be a petition posted online to impeach Murphy from his position as student body president.

TV20 reached out to Wren, who said the email to Murphy was sent in a "personal capacity," and that she “mistakenly forgot to remove her Trump Victory signature” from that email.