Socialist students occupy administration building to protest DeSantis-backed bill

A socialist student group occupied the building that houses Florida State University administrators, demanding that FSU's president denounce a DeSantis-backed bill that would eliminate DEI programs.

Protesters with FSU's chapter of Students for a Democratic Society gathered outside of President Richard McCullough's office and met with the provost, who they say denied their request to comment on HB 999.

A socialist student group occupied the James D. Westcott Memorial Building at Florida State University (FSU) on Mar. 23, demanding that President Richard McCullough stand against the education reforms pushed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The student protesters specifically took issue with HB 999, which would prohibit universities from funding any programs espousing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) or critical race theory (CRT). 

The leftist student organization, FSU’s chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), announced the protest on a Mar. 21 Instagram post. 

FSU [a]dmin cannot remain silent–HB999 is actively threatening to destroy diversity programs/curriculum, multicultural student groups, and faculty tenure,” the announcement states. The announcement continues with a call to the student body: “Join us as we march to the President’s office and demand he take a stand against DeSantis!” 

[RELATED: Stanford puts DEI dean on leave, makes students take ‘mandatory educational programming’]

The students began the protest near FSU’s Landis Fountain and marched to the Westcott building where administrators had locked all but one entrance ahead of the protest, according to a CBS affiliate. 

As one FSU administrator re-entered the building after an attempt to calm the protesters, a student caught the door, enabling them to gather outside of McCullough’s office. FightBack!, an activist newspaper, reported that four students met with Provost James Clark to discuss SDS’ demands: “first, protect and expand diversity programs and multicultural studies; second, increase Black enrollment and faculty; third, protect trans students and athletes; and fourth, oppose all attacks on public education.”

Clark, according to an Instagram post shared after the protest, told them that FSU is “working every day to help students during this time.”

He refused the protesters’ request to comment on HB 999. 

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Florida State University students rally to support DEI]  

“FSU Admin, we demand you commit to protecting diversity programs and multicultural groups,” the post reads. “We demand you defy DeSantis and publicly denounce HB999!” 

In an Instagram story obtained by Campus Reform, the students thank everyone who occupied the building with them. 

A previous compilation shows FSU SDS’ history of protests against DeSantis. 

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment and will update this article accordingly. 

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