UF President denies request for Richard Spencer to speak on campus

University of Florida president W. Kent Fuchs

In denying the request, Fuchs said he finds Spencer's racist rhetoric "repugnant and counter to everything the university and this nation stands for".

Local and state authorities are already preparing for the firestorm of protests that will likely ensue, assuming Spencer's talk goes forward.

"I want to make sure everyone is safe", Scott said Tuesday, according to the Tampa newspaper. "Any extremist group - I don't care, nationalist, whatever they're called - it's unacceptable", he said.

W. Kent Fuchs, the president of the university, said the school had evaluated safety and risks following the attack in central Virginia on Saturday at a white nationalist rally meant to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. The university was also ordered to pay almost $30,000 in legal fees. Stay tuned for more on this coming soon! "That said, the University of Florida remains unwaveringly dedicated to free speech and the spirit of public discourse". "We will share informations and support any actions taken to not allow this event to take place", the page says.

Before UF made its decision, more than 2,200 people had signed up on Facebook to attend a counterprotest dubbed "No Nazis at UF".

In his letter, Fuchs explains that per university regulations, non-university groups are allowed to rent space on campus, assuming that they cover all expenses, including security costs.

That all changed after the violent events this weekend in Charlottesville, which resulted in one counterprotester being killed by a white nationalist who rammed his vehicle into a crowd.

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Clarification: A previous version of this story referred to Richard Spencer a white rights activist. One protester against white nationalism, Heather Heyer, 32, was killed by a Dodge Charger driven by James Fields Jr. of Ohio.

Though Spencer has an intellectual kinship with some violent white nationalist groups, he has not personally advocated violence to achieve his goals, which could label him a threat and exclude him from speaking both at U. of C. and other universities. "They're a hate group and there is not an alternative fact way of describing it", he continued.

First Amendment lawyer Tom Julin of Miami said UF could face a tough day in court.

Even so, an email sent by UF President Ken Fuchs over the weekend, the UF may still have to rent the space, so they are working with the FDLE and Federal Bureau of Investigation on security plans.

Simon's statement also claimed the university was unaware of any MSU student group or individual tied to the think tank.

The National Policy Institute's request for an appearance on the Gainesville campus on September 12 was not sponsored by student groups or any other organizations "affiliated with the university", Fuchs said in a statement posted in the immediate aftermath of the deadly violence in Charlottesville.

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