University of Florida

The University of Florida and representatives of white nationalist leader Richard Spencer are nearing an agreement that would allow Spencer to speak on campus, a lawyer representing Spencer and his backers said in an email Tuesday.


The University of Florida signaled that white nationalist Richard Spencer will be allowed to rent space on campus — but at a new date yet to be determined.

The move, announced Friday, came as the university faced a First Amendment lawsuit over a controversial event originally planned for Sept. 12.

The University of Tampa on Aug. 29 fired a visiting professor who tweeted that Texas was experiencing “instant karma” from the destruction of Hurricane Harvey because the state voted for Republicans.

“I don't believe in instant karma but this kinda feels like it for Texas,” Kenneth Storey, an assistant professor of sociology, tweeted. “Hopefully this will help them realize the GOP doesn't care about them.”

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The University of Florida is cancelling a rally scheduled for September led by white nationalist Richard Spencer. But one of Spencer's supporters may be willing to take that up in court.

UF President Kent Fuchs released a statement Wednesday calling Spencer's rhetoric racist and repugnant. In that statement, Fuchs says the university decided to cancel the event due to safety concerns for the students on campus.

But Cameron Padgett, who helped organize the event, is threatening the university with a lawsuit to allow Spencer to speak.

The University of Florida is denying white nationalist Richard Spencer’s request to appear on the Gainesville campus next month, citing the deadly violence at a similar rally last week in Virginia.

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