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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term during an inauguration ceremony outside the Old Capitol on Jan. 3, 2023, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term during an inauguration ceremony outside the Old Capitol on Jan. 3, 2023, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Some UF students are condemning a state bill that limits Florida’s colleges and universities from spending money on diversity, equity and inclusion programs. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law May 15. It denies public colleges from offering courses that “distort significant historical events,” teach “identity politics” or are “based on theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression or privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, or economic inequities.” 

The Black Student Union and Black Student Leaders at UF released a joint statement May 20 denouncing DeSantis signing the bill.

The organizations expressed heavy concerns over the bill’s power to silence minority voices.

“This bill works to erase the accomplishments that people of color have worked toward for centuries while harming the efforts and protections set in place to make students of color feel represented on their college campuses in the state of Florida,” the UF BSU wrote.

With this year marking 55 years of the organization at UF, there is an overwhelming concern regarding the idea of freedom and expression, according to the UF BSU.

The organization urgently requested prohibiting the bill from interfering with cultural efforts.

The statement from BSU also encouraged students to contact university administration to express their concerns about the bill’s impact.

BSU will continue to commit itself to cultivating a community, according to its statement. 

Contradictions between the DEI bill and the K-12 AAPI education bill have raised concerns over where the government’s interest lies.

“The contradictory approaches to DEI and the passage of the K-12 AAPI education bill speaks to the control that white supremacy has over the Model Minority Myth, “ said Joaquin Rafaele Marcelino, a student government senator and founder of the Pan-Asian Caucus.

While the K-12 AAPI educational bill will uplift Asian American communities, it doesn't take away from the detriment of the DEI bill nor our support for other groups impacted, they said.

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Contact Nicole at nbeltran@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @nicolebeltg.

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Nicole Beltran

Nicole Beltran is a second-year journalism and economics major. This is her first semester as the race and equity reporter. She has previously worked as a translator and editor for El Caimán. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, trying new foods and drawing.


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