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Tampa students rally for diversity at USF, launch petition effort

By Victoria Hinckley

 Tampa students rally for diversity. | Fight Back! News/staff

Tampa, FL- On Tuesday March 19, about 15 students met at the Marshall Student Center at the University of South Florida to rally in defense of diversity on their campus.

This protest was organized by Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society SDS), an active force on the campus around protecting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Student protesters shouted, “DEI is welcome here” and that the university president Rhea Law, is “no good.”

The rally focused on targeting the USF administration officials who have the power to protect diversity. This sentiment was echoed in speeches given by students. Carlyn Turnage, a member of Tampa Bay SDS asserted that “USF is not doing their job” by allowing students and their education to be under attack at the state level.

Due to this inaction from administration, Tampa Bay SDS announced a next step in their “Defend Diversity” campaign, which will be a petition signed by students, faculty and student-led organizations to show USF that students do not want to see diversity done away with on their campus.

Likewise, students voiced their concern with USF administration, in particular Rhea Law, siding with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his policies. Across Florida, public universities face their DEI programs being defunded due to House Bill 999/ Senate Bill 266 which started to take effect earlier this past January. Students at this protest demanded transparency from administration regarding this bill and how it will impact students and education. Students stated they will continue to stand up for diversity at USF.

#TampaFL #FL #StudentMovement #DEI #SDS