Florida pauses plan to disband pro-Palestinian student groups
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 3/4/22-Sen. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, chair of the reapportionment committee explains the the congressional redistricting bill, prior to the Senate passing it, Friday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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Two universities obtained legal opinions raising concerns about ‘potential personal liability for university actors’ tasked with disbanding the groups.

A plan to prohibit a pro-Palestinian student group from state university campuses in Florida has been temporarily shelved while officials reassess the proposal.

State University System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues said Thursday that campus groups at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida thought to be chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine are actually “not chartered or under the headship” of the national organization, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

Rodrigues, working with Gov. Ron DeSantis, had targeted student groups, saying that their affiliation with the group aligned them with Hamas attacks on Israel. But both universities have since obtained legal opinions raising concerns about “potential personal liability for university actors” who were tasked with disbanding the groups, Rodrigues said.

Now, Rodrigues said he is seeking outside legal advice and working with the universities to elicit statements from the student groups in an effort to affirm that the groups “reject violence,” “reject that they are part of the Hamas movement,” and pledge “that they will follow the law.”

Leaders for the student groups did not immediately respond to requests for comment, the newspaper reported.

“Our campuses have avoided the violence and the antisemitism that is occurring on campuses all across this nation,” Rodrigues told the university system Board of Governors. “In Florida, we will not tolerate violent activity, antisemitic activity or failure to observe the law.”

Groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression had denounced the original plan, citing concerns over free speech.

Rodrigues said he will provide an update about the issue to the Board of Governors at a later date.

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Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


2 comments

  • My Take

    November 17, 2023 at 3:40 pm

    Stooge Rodrigues needs to issue a statement to affirm that he “rejects DeSSantis’s thuggery,” “rejects that he is part of the fascist movement to repress university freedoms,” and pledge “that he will follow the law.”
    It will be a lie of course.

  • My Take

    November 21, 2023 at 10:43 am

    He even looks like a parroting party hack, doesn’t he? Make the suit a bit poorer quality and ill-fitting and it could be Bulgaria 1957. Commissar of State Tractor Tire Proďuction.

Comments are closed.


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