Please join me in thanking President Fuchs for deciding today to deny Richard Spencer’s request to speak on campus. Spencer is a white supremacist who was involved in the violent demonstrations last weekend in Charlottesville, VA. I know that many of you contacted us, and the president, to express your concerns about the potential for such an event to lead to violence in Gainesville. UFF-UF and the UF Chapter of Graduate Assistants United strongly urged the president to cancel the event. The text of our letter to President Fuchs can be found here.
We recognize that the president was forced to weigh important considerations of free speech with concerns for the safety of the university community. UFF is committed to protecting both. Our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) contains very strong language protecting academic freedom. It also enjoins the university to protect faculty against discrimination and to ensure at all times a safe working environment. We commend the president for upholding our CBA and protecting our campus from this incitement to violence.
Steve Kirn, Chapter President