University of Florida students held a protest outside the Emerson Alumni Hall on Tuesday, after Republican Senator from Nebraska, Ben Sasse, was unanimously selected as the university’s new President by the board of trustees.
The student protesters were seen wearing masks of Sasse’s face to protect their identities after the University of Florida issued a ban on indoor protests.
“We decided to make this mask for a few reasons. The main one is to help protect people’s identities, UF has openly threatened all the students who came here today. And we want people to feel safe to do so and not to feel at risk,” explained a protest organiser
“So these masks kind of are an option if anyone wants to cover their face. And it also has your rights so if this is your first protest, or they’re not used to coming out to protests, where there has openly been a threat against them for participating in their right to free speech,” she added.
Protesters criticize Sasse, for his lack of experience and criticism of same-sex marriage. Students fear he will bring partisan politics into the university.
“Ben Sasse is not going to come to the university and do, you know, one big thing or a bunch of big things at once. I think what’s more scary is that over time our culture and the foundational protections we’ve built up for our marginalized community here at UF are going to slowly get eroded over time until you know ten years from now it’s going to be completely unrecognizable from the protections we have today,” explained a student protester.