In the aftermath of the drunken arrest of UF’s incoming Student Body President Smith Meyers, some students plan on calling for his resignation today in a Turlington Plaza protest.
Anthony Rojas, a 21-year-old UF political science junior, organized the protest, which is at 12:30 p.m., and started an additional online petition at change.org calling for Meyers’ resignation.
He said he wanted to create the petition, to be given to Dean of Students Jen Day Shaw, to allow students who can’t attend the protest to have an outlet to voice their concerns. He said he also wanted to show UF’s administration the students don’t want Meyers in ofﬁce.
The petition has more than 253 signatures as of press time. The protest comes a day after the Key West Police Department released a police body camera video showing the events leading up to the arrest of the incoming Student Body president.
Rojas said he believes more people will show up to the protest now that there is visual evidence of Meyers’ arrest.
“The main point here is that now, everyone has direct visual evidence of how irresponsible his behavior and actions were,” he said. “The narrative can’t be spun.”
The footage, requested by the Alligator following Meyers’ arrest, appears to show Meyers punching a witness before running away.
It also features witnesses speaking with police ofﬁcers, accusing the 22-year-old of attempting to steal scooters and drive one on a roadway before opening the door of a car and demanding its driver get out.
It also shows police ofﬁcers speaking with Meyers, questioning him about what he was doing and eventually arresting him for what one ofﬁcer called “some bull----.”
UF spokesperson Janine Sikes said university administration is aware of the video and petition, but that is the extent the administration will comment on it.
“We don’t talk about student conduct matters,” she said.
In the video, when police confront Meyers about the allegations, he claims a witness was “overreacting,” and that he was tired and wanted to go home.
“Like literally, I’m trying to go to sleep right now,” Meyers tells an ofﬁcer in the video. When the ofﬁcer asked Meyers where he goes to school, Meyers said UF. “It’s always UF,” the ofﬁcer said. “For a (practically) Ivy League school, it’s ... yeah.”
When asked why the police was receiving reports that he was trying to steal scooters and knocking down motorcycles, including what one ofﬁcer identiﬁed as a $40,000 Harley Davidson motorcycle, Meyers said, “It’s not my fault.”
Meyers could not be reached for comment.
Contact Paige Fry at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @paigexfry