The University of Florida (UF) has announced the temporary suspension of three student groups following alleged violations of university-wide pandemic policies.
In an official statement published on its website, UF claimed that Turning Point USA, Young Americans for Freedom, and the Network of Enlightened Women all planned a gathering to be held at Norman Field but failed to register and coordinate them with the university.
Moreover, many attendees did not follow social distancing practices and were seen not wearing face masks. The school asserted that it is in possession of photographic evidence and other documentation justifying its decision.
There are text messages and pictures revealing that certain group members knew that they had to pre-register the event and observe standard safety protocols as per campus rules but still did not comply.
Political Targeting Alleged
Some members of the student groups accused the university of targeting them because of their political beliefs.
“It just feels like they have been watching us closely ever since the beginning hoping that they can find something to get us on,” said UF TPUSA Chapter Secretary Abby Streetman.
But UF has denied the allegations, stating that it has “not taken, and would not take, action against a student or registered student group based on the viewpoint they represent or the content of their speech.”
The school explained that these organizations received consequences that are “consistent with our normal procedures.” These restrictions will “temporarily halt activities pending further review of allegations” but the university will share information during a meeting with Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution where each group will be given a chance to respond.
“UF continues to support our students in independent inquiry and vigorous academic deliberation and will continue to support this mission while also working to ensure our campus community members remain safe in these endeavors,” the statement read.