Only a few students showed up to anti-cop protest

The protest was an apparent flop, as only a handful of students showed up on campus with signs advocating for more diversity resources to boost 'Black enrollment.'

In a video obtained by Campus Reform, one student can be seen speaking as about 8 other held signs that read 'Support Black Faculty, Increase Black Enrollment,' and 'Increase black enrollment NOW.'

Protest at the University of South Florida (USF) was an apparent flop, as only a handful of students showed up on campus with signs advocating for more diversity resources to boost “Black enrollment.”

Students were seen on Aug. 31 lingering at Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, located outside of the Phyllis P. Marshall Student Center, to demand that the university increase the number of Black students enrolled at the campus, a video obtained by Campus Reform reveals. 

In the video, one student can be seen speaking as the others, about 8 in total, held signs that read “Support Black Faculty, Increase Black Enrollment,” and “Increase black enrollment NOW.”

The protest also dabbled in off-handed issues and called on the university to reallocate funding to support “education” and diversity. The slogans read “Money for Education NOT Police” and “Money for Education NOT Discrimination.” 

The event appeared to be organized by the USF Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chapter, which was tabling behind the protesters. 

[RELATED: Supreme Court sets date for UNC, Harvard affirmative action cases]

Matthew Montes, president of Turning Point USA at USF, shared that while he supports the group’s freedom to protest, the call to defund the police is misguided.

“Tampa, in general… has one of the higher crime rates and USF [police department] is really one of the only things keeping us from like seeing what we see [happening] out in the rest of the city from being on campus,” Montes told Campus Reform

“We should put more resources towards them, not necessarily take away from education, but like not strip them of every ounce of funding that they have,” he continued.

In Tampa, there is a reported 1 in 179 chance of being a victim of a violent crime, according to Neighborhood Scout. The city calculates a 5.57% crime rate, which is above the national average of 4%. 

Ahmed Mlhi, president of Young Americans for Liberty at USF, told Campus Reform that the protest was reflective of how “a lot of the younger generation feels right now,” and put the blame on what students learn in the classroom.

“They say that they want this sort of equality, but it’s not based on merit,” he explained. “It’s just forced egalitarianism.”

Montez shared this sentiment, as well, and made the argument that USF is “already a very diverse campus.”

“It’s a very internationally centric population of students,” he claimed, “so I feel like what they’re saying doesn’t necessarily have any merit.”

[RELATED: University will ‘guarantee admission’ to students based on race]

The student population at USF is broken down demographically as “48% White, 19.9% Hispanic or Latino, 8.73% Black or African American, 7.01% Asian.” In Hillsborough County, White people make up 47.9% of the population while Black people tally 15.5%.

Wednesday’s protest comes on the heels of a larger student-led effort during the spring semester to increase Black enrollment on campus, and push for more diverse hires.

The spring protest, led by SDS, was held in January and demanded that the university “defund USF’s police department” as well as “follow through with their promise to increase black enrollment.”

Campus Reform contacted SDS and USF for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow @Alexaschwerha1 on Twitter.