Kent Fuchs Must Resign
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In the nearly 3 years since Kent Fuchs began working as UF president, we have seen nooses in classrooms, hate messages written on dry erase boards, a lone Nazi in Turlington, the IBC and La Casita decimated, the sign for the African-American and Jewish studies department destroyed, white supremacist flyers passed out on campus, and most recently, Richard Spencer, a white nationalist came to campus. All under Fuchs' watch. All with his tacit approval.
After each of these events, instead of stepping up to protect marginalized students, Fuchs has allowed the hate to continue while sending out email after email about love and diversity. This is NO accident.
When Richard Spencer started his speech, he thanked Kent Fuchs for being extremely hospitable and bringing in an alarming amount of law enforcement. Spencer is right. Kent Fuchs did everything in his power to help Spencer give a hate-filled speech without trouble. Thankfully, students didn't let that happen.
Here are some ways that Fuchs helped Spencer:
- In the days leading up to protest, Kent Fuchs actively ignored students demanding a conversation. He hid behind locked doors and police officers as students stood outside his office. He sent out many emails talking about more love and more diversity and filmed a nice video about it in the Plaza. But that was all for optics. While he worked on PR, he also allowed neo-nazis to infiltrate campus and encouraged law enforcement to stand on top of buildings with sniper rifles. Never have I felt more unsafe on campus then over the past few days where I felt the watchful eyes of cops who kill unarmed people every year, post anti-semitic jokes, and assault people. This campus has felt like an occupied war zone.
- The prohibited items list included water bottles, bandanas, food, and bicycles. In over 80˚ weather, not allowing students to hydrate is irresponsible and negligent. Additionally, banning bandanas has actively put student organizers at risk. Neo-Nazis are already posting images from the protest and attempting to identify students at the rally who were unable to cover their faces due to the bandana ban. Additionally, the ban on bicycles was only put in place to stop students from getting to the protest.
- When Richard Spencer found out about a student-led protest to collect all of the tickets and then not show up, UF relinquished control of ticket distribution to Richard Spencer so that Spencer had sole control over who was allowed into the protest.
- Fuchs refused to compensate UF’s OPS workers who feared for their safety while Richard Spencer spoke. Instead, UF workers could use their vacation days to stay home.
Kent Fuchs has taken every single chance he can to include black and brown students in UF brochures while ignoring their cries for equality. Kent Fuchs is on the wrong side of history and MUST step down as president at UF.
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