Robert Gehl writes that at the University of Central Florida, they’re all about “diversity.”
Unless it’s political diversity – and especially if it’s pro-Trump.
The student government confirmed Grayson Lanza to the position of “Diversity Chair” – prompting conservative students to object that his approval amounts to a slap in their faces – particularly Lanza’s social media rantings.
“And let today be a lesson to all; Trump supporters are not welcome on our campus,” Grayson declared in a Facebook post on October 31, referencing a pro-Trump rally held at UCF.
The student newspaper Knight News reports that statements like this are not unusual for Ganza – and not just on Facebook.
Daniel Hanna, a student who voted for President Donald Trump last November, recounted to Knight News his experience with Lanza at a pro-Trump rally outside the Student Union last September.
“When we started debating politics, I eventually said you know the great thing about this country is we can both differ regarding political views but we can openly discuss it,” Hanna said. “Then I offered him a handshake. He said I’m not shaking your hand, I do not tolerate you and you are not welcome here.”
Hanna said that Lanza is the last person who should be promoting diversity at the University of Central Florida.
“He should not be head of diversity. I do not care if someone equally as liberal as him takes the position. As long as it’s not someone who has been actively aggressive towards people who disagree with him,” Hanna said. “That is the antithesis of diversity. You can talk about diversity of skin color, religion, and sexuality all you want. But diversity of thought is a real thing too, and if you ’re just disregarding people who disagree with you, and you just want them off campus, what’s the point.”
Lanza was approved for the position of Diversity and Outreach Coordinator by the SGA Senate in a 19-6-0 vote, even though just weeks earlier the same body had denied the appointment of Karis Lockhart for the SGA Governmental Affairs position, which Lockhart believes was directly related to her former role as Chairwoman of the College Republicans at UCF.
“The Senate body clearly didn’t care about qualifications, they only cared about the ‘R’ behind my name. They do not want diversity, they just want one thought process—liberal leaning policies only,” Lockhart told Campus Reform. “The student Senate didn’t approve me because of my affiliation with the Republican Party and their lack of ability to look past party politics and look at a qualified candidate ready to serve the students of UCF.”