The UF Student Body is preparing for Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle’s Gainesville arrival.
The University Auditorium box office is out of tickets. About 840 tickets were distributed by 2 p.m., said Henry Fair, ACCENT Speakers Bureau chairman. Ticket distribution for Thursday’s speaking event was scheduled to run from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday at the University Auditorium box office.
Juan Suarez, a 25-year-old UF urban planning master’s student, picked up a ticket for the free event. Suarez is looking forward to hearing what the speakers say about the president’s 2020 campaign, he said.
“We’ve [Republicans] been kind of thrown off to the side a lot, and you can feel that a lot, for example, here on campus,” he said. “I think that events like this kind of demonstrate that level of support that we have on campus.”
While many ticket holders will likely end up watching the speech Thursday night, some said they have other plans for their ticket stubs.
Arielle Hernandez, a 19-year-old UF architecture sophomore, has a ticket but isn’t planning on attending the event, she said. Hernandez wants one less seat to be filled.
“I just wouldn’t feel safe in that environment,” she said.
Now that all tickets have been distributed, students are looking for alternative ways to attend the speech. Daniel Shin, a 20-year-old computer engineering sophomore, said he wants to buy one from another student because he was in class Tuesday when they were handed out.
Shin would spend $10 to buy a ticket from another student, although the tickets were meant to be free. Although he identifies as Republican, he said he doesn’t have opinions on Trump Jr.
He’s not surprised all the tickets were distributed, he said. Shin heard that students from “the other party,” were claiming tickets. But, he doesn’t mind this tactic.
“It’s the same concept with football tickets,” Shin said. “Honestly, it’s capitalism. I support capitalism, I guess.”
Across the street from ticket pickup, the #CHOMPTRUMP protest organizers hosted a press conference attended by about 20 students.
The biggest student organizations on campus — Jewish Student Union, Black Student Union, Hispanic Student Association, Asian American Student Association, Pride Student Union, Inter-Residence Hall Association, Women’s Student Association, Islam on Campus and Volunteers for International Student Affairs — announced they are relaunching the Together UF campaign, which began when white nationalist Richard Spencer spoke at UF in 2017.
Israa Ilyas, a 21-year-old industrial engineering senior and president of Islam on Campus, attended the press conference in solidarity with her Muslim community
In March, Islam On Campus held a vigil for the victims of the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand. Although students outside of her community attended to show support, Ilyas said those same students have become numb to increased oppressive dialogue in the United States and are silent in response to Trump Jr. coming to speak.
“Instead of standing there with a candle with a bunch of people, it’s not gonna do anything. Those lives have been lost,” she said. “Continuing to give these people a platform is what causes these tragedies.”