FL universities keep paying for woke students services as college costs add up
A Campus Reform analysis of student budgets found that Florida universities are spending tens of thousands of dollars on LGBTQ+ and DEI initiatives.
The University of Miami estimates the 2022-2023 academic year will cost undergraduate students a total $78,640.
A Campus Reform analysis found that North Carolina universities allocate substantial funds toward student services costs. Often, this money is spent on LGBTQ+ and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
An analysis of Florida universities also supports this finding.
At Florida State University, the student government prioritized DEI initiatives by budgeting thousands of dollars to fund intersectionality agencies. The budget passed unanimously last November.
The Black Student Union received $38,960. PRIDE received $34,660. Additionally, $27,810 was set aside for the Hispanic/Latinx Student Union. These three organizations received the most student government funding of all campus agencies.
The PRIDE student union received $6,750 for "Clothing and Awards."
FSU regularly provides different DEI programs.
FSU’s Department of Student Government and Advocacy regularly hosts “Allies and Safe Zones” information sessions, and the Office of Representation, Inclusion, & Student Equity hosted a Lavender Graduation to celebrate LGBTQ+ students last spring.
Additionally, the President's Council on Diversity & Inclusion awards mini-grants of up to $1,000 to "projects that further the diversity goals of the University."
According to data from How Colleges Spend Money, FSU spent $1,625 per student on student services costs in 2020.
The 2021-2022 University of Central Florida Activity & Student Fee Budget allotted $35,000 for LGBTQ+ programming and $10,300 for LGBTQ+ services.
$150,000 was allotted for Multicultural Student Center programming.
“Each student at the University of Central Florida pays a per-credit-hour fee called the Activity & Service Fee (A&SF) that funds SG and SG-affiliated Agencies & Departments," UCF Student Government dictates.
The UCF Student Government promoted numerous DEI events. One example included providing incentives to students who complete “awareness training and workshops.”
The training included Safe Zone Training (LGBTQ+ Services), Bystander Intervention Training (Green Dot), and Diversity Training (Office of Diversity and Inclusion).
Additionally, the AntiRacist Leadership Project “empower[ed]” students to “undertake their own social justice projects and research.”
UCF Student Government also hosted a ceremony last October to recognize student leaders and organizations who worked towards a “diverse, inclusive institution.”
In 2020, UCF spent $1,158 per student on Student Services costs.
In-state tuition, fees, room, and board amount to $17,452 at UCF for in-state students.
In 2020, the University of Miami (UM) spent $3,361 per student on student services costs.
The UM Student Government’s 2021-22 accomplishments included changing the constitution to include gender-neutral language and passing a recommendation for the Office of the President to “release a statement for Black Awareness Month for years to come.”
The latter presentation prompted students to “use your privilege to speak up.” According to the presentation, harassment includes “Intimidating looks and staring (and) Comments about appearance.”
The Student Government also submitted a "formal petition to declare Juneteenth a university-wide holiday” to allow time for “contemplation.”
The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs hosted a Senior Mwambo ceremony to honor black graduates.
Last year, UM opened new campus housing "for LGBTQIA+ students," Campus Reform reported.
Additionally, the Office of the President awarded mini-grants that "explicitly addresses issues related to anti-Black racism and racial justice" for the 2022-2023 year. The grants ranged from $500 to $5,000.
UM estimates the 2022-2023 academic year will cost undergraduate students a total $78,640.
In 2020, the University of Tampa spent $3,128 per student on student services costs. The private university places an emphasis on DEI initiatives, as well.
UTampa Pride hosts an annual drag show for students. Other annual events include De-stereotype Me Day and The Coming Out Chronicles.
The Office of the Registrar allows students to submit a change of gender form.
Last April, UT’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion recommended more resources be allocated towards DEI initiatives.
“Put simply, we suggest prioritizing DEI efforts as an important criterion in resource allocation," the report read.
A 2021 report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) found that increased spending on student services is correlated with higher costs for students and minimal to no improvement in four-year graduation rates.
Undergraduates at UT can expect to spend $45,878 for the upcoming academic year.
Campus Reform contacted every organization and school mentioned in this article and will update accordingly.