The University of South Florida (USF) has provisionally suspended Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) for allegedly violating the college’s health and safety protocols by hosting in-person events both on and off-campus.
The events pertain to an October 5 demonstration by SDS against the fee hike by the university, and few other protests.
The society will not be allowed to host any events or promote its activities until the formal hearing process, in which the suspension will be evaluated, takes place.
In case of violation of the suspension, the society could be permanently debarred from the university, said USF Dean of Students Danielle McDonald to USF’s student newspaper The Oracle.
She added that the students who participated in the events could refer to the Student Code of Conduct.
“We try to treat all student organizations the same, right?” McDonald said. “So, if you relate this to a social fraternity or sorority or anybody else who is compromising the health and safety of our community, we could hold the student organization and the officers accountable and anyone else who may have participated in it.”
Demonstration Planned Despite Suspension
Despite the development, however, the students’ body is still going ahead with a planned demonstration on Wednesday, demanding a slew of measures like community control of the police, economic relief for the unemployed, and health care for all, among others.
“We are still having the event because … post election is super important. It’s important that we keep the movement going after the election, no matter who wins,” SDS officer Taylor Cook said to The Oracle.
Calling the university’s action an “act of political oppression,” Cook said the demonstrations were necessary to stop the university from effecting “harmful budget cuts” that will affect “our education that we pay for and laying off the workers of the university during a pandemic.”