Protesters banned from the University of Florida’s confirmation vote for Ben Sasse on Friday. (Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Reuters)
A University of Florida student was banned from this week’s University Student Senate’s (USStv) Student Action event “For Our Diverse Future,” held Tuesday night at the Gator Plaza on the University of Florida campus, because of the organizers’ lack of diversity.
As many who were there will attest, USStv was a lively and well-attended affair, with many of the USStv organizers, including its co-founder and chairwoman, UfF SDS President and vice president for student affairs, Sarah Anderson, addressing the crowd in a number of rounds.
But this was not just an ordinary, student-led event. This was a chance for a few thousand students to learn more about efforts to combat racism and campus intolerance, from the students who organize USStv to the local campus and national community groups who seek to do the very same. Also present was President of the University of Florida (UF) Student Senate Ben Sasse, who invited Senator Anderson to speak as he had his freshman year in college.
Anderson, for whom I have great respect and regard, was on the platform with Ben, and both were eager to engage in the dialogue. After Anderson’s speech, Sasse, in response to questions about an upcoming event on campus to commemorate the anniversary of the death of George Zimmerman, suggested a group of students and campus groups attend. Several groups were mentioned as potential participants, but USStv’s diversity committee had made a decision, based on the organizers’ decision not to include any black or minority students, that the event would not include any black or minority students. When I asked if the decision to exclude black or minority students was race-based, I was told that, for various reasons, there was no choice but to make it so.
After a few