Despite not being invited by the University of Florida, National Policy Institute’s President Richard Spencer is scheduled to speak on October 19 on campus.
Although UF leadership has denounced Spencer’s white supremacist rhetoric, the University, as a state entity, must allow the free expression of all viewpoints.
The NPI has rented space for an event, now scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 3201 Hull Road, on the UF campus in Gainesville.
The NPI had previously requested a date of Sept. 12 to speak on campus, which UF denied based on specific security threats. Rescheduling the event has provided additional time to make security arrangements.
The University is charging the allowable costs of $10,564 to rent the facility and for security within the venue. Additional security costs cannot be passed on to NPI.
Since safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus is the University’s top priority, UF will end up paying at least $500,000 to enhance security on campus and in the city of Gainesville. This includes costs from the University of Florida Police Department, Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies who are providing first responders.
In an effort to keep the campus apprised of important information, UF has launched an informative web page, freespeech.ufl.edu
An advisory with information on how media may obtain credentials for the event will be shared early next week. A link for media information will also be located on the free speech website.
Media contact: Janine Sikes, firstname.lastname@example.org, 352-846-3903.