University of Florida suspends MULTIPLE conservative groups in one fell swoop

The University of Florida suspended at least three conservative clubs on campus, Campus Reform has learned.

The school’s Turning Point USA, Young Americans for Freedom, and the Network for Enlightened Women received suspensions after they violated the university's COVID-19 regulations.

The University of Florida has suspended at least three conservative student organizations. 

According to documents obtained exclusively by Campus Reform, University of Florida Dean of Students Heather White told the school’s Turning Point USA chapter that it had violated the school’s COVID-19 policies. Campus Reform confirmed that the school’s Young Americans for Freedom and Network for Enlightened Women received similar letters.

The email alleged that students had hosted an unsanctioned event on Norman Field, during which students “were observed not complying with” the school’s regulations by “failing to wear appropriate face coverings and/or maintain appropriate physical distance.”

The university “immediately placed on interim suspension from the University of Florida, pending resolution of the allegations.” Under the suspension, the club will lose “all privileges and access to all campus resources and services, for a period of time, including, but not limited to, the use of University space, participation in University programs, activities, events and services, and registration of gatherings and events.”

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Lawmakers — including Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) — immediately expressed concern.

According to University of Florida undergraduate student and TPUSA chapter Secretary Abigail Streetman, who is also a Campus Reform Correspondent, the group hosted a “Conservative Coalition Cookout” along with the school’s Young Americans for Freedom, College Republicans, and Network for Enlightened Women clubs. 

Streetman said she told students that masks were required during the event.

“After the event, we were alerted by the university that the clubs involved had been placed on indefinite suspension for not abiding by the physical distancing and mask protocol,” Streetman told Campus Reform. “We also were given the reason that because we didn’t file the appropriate paperwork to meet on a public university field, that we broke the university’s Use of Space policy.”

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Streetman pointed out that “the state of Florida does not have a mask mandate in place,” and that “there is also broad legislative protection for the first amendment and peaceably gathering, especially on public property.”

“The event in question took place outside in a big open field with people wearing masks. Given such circumstances, the university’s decision to suspend all of the clubs seems extreme,” she explained. “Regardless of whether the University of Florida did this for political reasons, they managed to suspend all registered student conservative clubs in one motion.”

“Their extreme action has affected not only the clubs in question, but the thousands of students on campus who now have nowhere to go to feel heard and connect with like-minded peers in this incredibly divided time,” added Streetman.

UF spokesman Hessy Fernandez told Campus Reform, “the investigation is still in process, therefore we cannot comment. However, the student organizations were placed on interim suspension...This measure was issued to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the university community.” 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft