AltRight.com co-editor Richard Spencer might speak at the University of Florida in September.
UF President Kent Fuchs released a statement saying that the National Policy Institute, which is led by Spencer, has reached out to reserve space for a speaking event that would feature Spencer, who is a white nationalist and "alt-right" activist.
President Fuchs' Statement on Potential Speaker on Campus (08.12.17)https://t.co/6vJo5HJJ9F— FLORIDA (@UF) August 12, 2017
Fuchs said the organization is not affiliated with the university, and no student groups or other groups affiliated with the university are sponsoring the speech.
The event is not finalized and it is still under discussion, Fuchs said.
University regulation allows non-university groups, organizations and persons to rent space on campus, and must cover rental expenses and security costs.
Fuchs said the university's administration, staff and campus police are forming a security plan of the event is finalized. The university is working with other organizations that have had similar events on their campus.
"For many in our community, including myself, this speaker’s presence would be deeply disturbing," Fuchs said in an official statement. "What we’ve watched happen in Charlottesville, VA. in the last 24 hours, is deplorable. I again denounce all statements and symbols of hate. The University of Florida is a community of learners, educators and scholars. We encourage open and honest dialogue, and we strive to build an inclusive environment where hate is not welcome."
Fuchs said that while Spencer's views do not align with the university, the university has to follow and uphold the First Amendment.
Saturday marked a violent day for Charlottesville after one person died and 19 were injured following a white nationalist rally.
We came in peace. It was the government and antifa that used force against peaceful, lawful demonstrators. https://t.co/6oDkncSFna— Richard ☝🏻Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) August 12, 2017
Spencer had previously led a rally in May, protesting plans to remove a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"Though we have a responsibility as a public university, we also have a vital duty to our students, faculty and staff to uphold our educational mission," Fuchs said.
The event would be held Sept. 12 if it is finalized by the university.
A protest has already been planned for the prospective date Spencer would be on campus. https://t.co/HG9VbfiJHX— Romy Ellenbogen (@romyellenbogen) August 12, 2017
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