UCF’s new ‘Diversity Chair’: Trump supporters are not welcome on campus

UCF Honors College website

University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Student Government Association (SGA) just appointed a diversity chair who believes that “Trump supporters are not welcome on our campus.”

The newly appointed Diversity Chair, Grayson Lanza, is a known progressive who has a history of making those with differing opinions feel unwelcomed.

Knightly News

Daniel Hanna, a UCF student who voted for Donald Trump, told the Knight News about a run-in he had with Lanza during a Trump rally last year.

“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… 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 recalled.

According to Florida Today, Lanza held a protest sign at the Trump victory rally in December which read, “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.”

Lanza’s confirmation to Diversity Chair comes on the heels of the same SGA turning down Karis Lockhart, the former UCF College Republican Chairwoman, for the position of Governmental Affairs Director. Lockhart believes she was turned down because of her conservative values and affiliation with the Republican party.

“I never thought my background with College Republicans would be a negative in this process. My experience of leading a group of 100+ students on UCF’s campus, my network in the real world of government, my understanding of UCF protocols, and the relationships I’ve built with administration apparently meant nothing to them because all they saw was ‘Republican’ and voted no,” Lockhart told Red Alert Politics.

Karis Lockhart’s Facebook profile

The position of Governmental Affairs Director requires the UCF student to assist SGA lobbyists at the Florida legislature, as well as plan UCF’s Day at the Capitol event, host governmental affairs workshops on campus, and coordinate voter registration drives. Lockhart has an extensive network in the red-leaning state government which would hypothetically serve the UCF student body well.

During Lockhart’s confirmation hearing, student senators asked very few questions about her experience or statutory understanding but openly discussed the “vibe” she was giving off.

Right out of the gate, student senator Sierra Scott asked Lockhart, “Seeing as you were chair of the College Republicans previously, are you willing to disaffiliate from your party while serving in this position?”

Lockhart explained to the senators that her role as Governmental Affairs Director would be to serve all students and that her personal politics would be set aside because there are students with multiple viewpoints on campus. That answer wasn’t good enough, however, as they continued to ask her about sanctuary campuses and eventually voted her down – 5 vote for and 13 votes against. At this point, the position is unfilled.

“We always think about liberal bias on campus as coming from professors and administration, but I never expected it to come from fellow members of the student body. I’ve watched the hearing several times and while there were additional points I could have made, it was clear that the majority of the senate simply didn’t want a conservative serving with them in Student Government” Lockhart told Red Alert Politics.

“They want everyone to agree with them and not question their viewpoints. So much for diversity.” 

Despite the SGA’s call for non-partisan (or politically non-involved) officers, they confirmed the outspoken and far-left Lanza as Diversity Chair with a vote of 19 for and 6 against.

“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.”

 


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