University pays TikTok star $60K, conservative groups reportedly denied funding

The University of Florida paid TikTok personality Josh Richards $60,000 for an on-campus event.

Conservative groups argue that they received minimal funding from the semester budget.

The University of Florida (UF) paid TikTok personality Josh Richards $60,000 for an on-campus event. They refused, however, to allocate funding to conservative groups, The New Guard reported

The funding was allocated from Student Activity and Service Fees. Young America’s Foundation (YAF) claims that the UF College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom chapters were denied funding from the student government.

Most UF student organizations received $500 dollars for the Summer B and Fall semesters, according to the Student Organization Base Funding report. Additional funding is provided through the operational budget and the travel budget.

YAF received $179.38 in travel funds. Young Democratic Socialists of America received $1,600 from the travel budget, and $1,710 from the operational budget.

[RELATED: Funding for Mike Pence speech denied at Stanford University]

UF YAF chairman Caitlyn McCoy, who is also a Campus Reform correspondent, told Campus Reform that the chapter is disappointed about the disbursement of funds from the Student Government and hopes the situation will be resolved soon. 

“If UF is denying student organizations funding based on political ideology, not only does this go against their Freedom of Expression Statement but also the First Amendment of the Constitution,” she said.

statement released on Instagram by UF College Republicans stated that “regardless of your political or ideological affiliation, student organizations represent a vital entity of culture and community to the students of UF which is being actively ignored by our government that claims to represent the voices of students.” 

The Gainesville campus’ Freedom of Expression Statement states that to achieve their goal of “independent inquiry and vigorous academic deliberation, UF will not stifle the dissemination of any idea, even if some members of our community find it wrong-headed, offensive or hateful.” 

[RELATED:Trustees reject student government’s attempt to deny funding to pro-life organizations]

Richards spoke on Sept. 8 as part of the student government’s ACCENT Speakers Bureau, which claims to host “influential and thought-provoking speakers.” 

Campus Reform contacted Josh Richards, UF president, UF medical relations, UF College Republicans, UF YDSA, Accent Speakers Bureau, and UF student government for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.