For more than 50 years, ACCENT, the Student Government speakers bureau at the University of Florida, has selected and invited speakers to campus, and the University welcomes those speakers as its guest. Those speakers are paid with student activity fees, which are separate from tuition. This year, the invitation has been extended to Donald Trump, Jr., and Kimberly Guilfoyle and as with their predecessors, we will welcome them to campus.
The University, in its statement on freedom of expression, has committed itself to ensuring that a wide variety of viewpoints are heard on campus as well as to protecting the First Amendment rights of all those in attendance. The University believes it is an essential component of its academic mission to foster an environment where divergent ideas, opinions and philosophies, new and old, can be rigorously discussed and critically evaluated.
To maintain this environment, the University strives to ensure that individuals are treated with respect. At the same time, the University recognizes the right of members of its community to analytically and respectfully challenge ideas so long as such challenges are conducted in a civil manner that does not stifle the open expression of the opposing ideas. Thus, such challenges must not interfere with speakers’ ability to speak or with their audience’s ability to hear the speakers.
We recognize that events sometimes attract visitors who are not part of the UF community and who may not share its commitment to respectful debate and fearless academic inquiry. We are confident that all members of the university community will demonstrate the highest ideals of our university and set an example for our guests and for the nation.