News & Politics

UCF Diversity Chair Who Told Trump Supporters They Were 'Not Welcome' Resigns

(Image via Wikipedia)

Conservative and libertarian students don’t get to feel welcome on most college campuses. In more than a couple of cases, they have actually said as much.

At the University of Central Florida, one of the students saying so was named the Diversity Chair for the student government association by a winning candidate who said he wanted to represent all students, regardless of silly things like political ideology.

Now, according to Campus Reform, that diversity chair is out.

The Diversity Chair for the University of Central Florida’s student government has resigned amid controversy over his past statements that Trump supporters are “not welcome” on campus.

Grayson Lanza was appointed to the position of Diversity and Outreach Coordinator on June 22, and conservative students argued that he is unfit for the position based on Facebook posts and hostile comments allegedly made in person to a classmate last October.

“I will be searching for someone who will actively represent all students.”

UCF student Daniel Hanna told Campus Reform that he and several friends “were having a good time waving Trump flags and such” at a pro-Trump rally on UCF’s “free speech lawn” when Lanza and several other students began taunting them with phrases such as “racist” and “sexist.”

Describing the behavior as “very aggressive,” Hanna recalled that Lanza “said multiple times that we were not welcome on campus and that he does not tolerate us.”

Lanza has since resigned, which Student Body President Nick Larkins and Vice President Cristina Barretto announced on their campaign Facebook page.

Of course, Lanza is only guilty of articulating what far too many students and staff on American campuses are already thinking. Further, plenty make the same idea clear through their own actions.

Larkins said in his Facebook announcement that he stands by Lanza, but that Lanza opted to resign. In other words, Lanza had become an albatross around Larkins’ neck.

I get that most students tend to lean progressive in their politics, which makes the right-of-center student a bit of an abnormality. However, that doesn’t mean those students should be explicitly made to feel unwelcome. The reality is that if every liberal-majority school sought to discourage conservative students from attending, there wouldn’t be too many places for those students to go, now would there?

Then again, these folks might see that as a feature, not a bug. After all, then they can call the right a bunch of uneducated hicks and have it be at least partially correct.

The thing is, since most of these schools receive at least some funding from tax dollars, everyone who is accepted at the school has a right to attend regardless of ideology. If we didn’t keep out communists during the height of the Red Scare, there’s no reason for anyone to exclude conservatives.

Lanza’s resignation was appropriate, and I get that Larkins probably had to say he stood by his cabinet member for political reasons, but he shouldn’t have to. This should never have been an issue.