Editor’s Note: This letter was sent anonymously. It was fact checked by The Alligator’s copy desk.
"The University of Florida is a Top 7 Public University."
Students, professors, administrators and alumni boast about UF’s rising status endlessly, and it is a badge of honor for the university. However, UF has become so focused on celebrating its title that it seemingly lowered its standards, especially for campus leaders.
Last month, UF President Kent Fuchs wrote, “as UF moves up in the rankings, I wonder if we are at risk of losing the values, attributes and culture that are important to who we are.”
It looks like this might be the case.
In yet another recent controversy, the ACCENT Speakers Bureau is using $50,000 of student activity fees to pay Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle to speak on campus. It may not be much money for the president’s son and his girlfriend, but it is almost 10 times the $5,600 Student Body President Michael Murphy’s father already donated to the Trump campaign. How could this have been approved?
UF administrators justification is that the event’s purpose is for the exchange of ideas and that giving student funds to political campaign leaders isn’t illegal.
The administration calls for students to be civil and “demonstrate the highest ideals of our university and set an example for our guests and for the nation,” while student programs are underfunded, student safety is disregarded and student voices are ignored. Fuchs’ fear has already come true.
As UF’s ranking elevates, what will endure? Maybe we should look to the university’s leaders for the answer: Their actions seem to give a clear explanation.