Under Ben Sasse, U of Florida sets blueprint on how to deal with antisemitic protesters

In a show of leadership rare for today’s leaders of the nation’s institutions of higher learning, University of Florida President Ben Sasse laid down the law for pro-Hamas protesters.

Sasse, a former Republican U.S. senator for Nebraska, penned a righteous oped for the Wall Street Journal that should serve as a blueprint for other university presidents who have had their campuses overrun by keffiyeh-clad terrorist supporters, braying anti-Semitic slogans, menacing Jewish students, and disrupting the education of others while being fawned over by the media.

“Higher education isn’t daycare,” he wrote in his column titled “The Adults Are Still in Charge at the University of Florida” which was published on Friday.

“Higher education has for years faced a slow-burning crisis of public trust. Mob rule at some of America’s most prestigious universities in recent weeks has thrown gasoline on the fire. Pro-Hamas agitators have fought police, barricaded themselves in university buildings, shut down classes, forced commencement cancellations, and physically impeded Jewish students from attending lectures,” Sasse wrote, adding, “Parents are rightly furious at the asinine entitlement of these activists and the embarrassing timidity of many college administrators.”

“Actions have consequences. At the University of Florida, we have repeatedly, patiently explained two things to protesters: We will always defend your rights to free speech and free assembly—but if you cross the line on clearly prohibited activities, you will be thrown off campus and suspended,” Sasse stated, putting Hamas groupies in Gatorland on notice.

“In Gainesville, that means a three-year prohibition from campus. That’s serious. We said it. We meant it. We enforced it. We wish we didn’t have to, but the students weighed the costs, made their decisions, and will own the consequences as adults. We’re a university, not a daycare. We don’t coddle emotions, we wrestle with ideas,” he said, putting the spiteful mutants on notice that the toddlers won’t be running the nursery at UF.

“The insurrectionists who storm administration buildings, the antisemites who punch Jews, and the entitled activists who seek attention aren’t persuading anyone. Nor are they appealing to anyone’s better angels. Their tactics are naked threats to the mission of higher education,” Sasse added.

As the campus insurrections have already discovered, much to their dismay, the state of Florida is an entirely different animal than the blue states up north.

Sasse discussed his WSJ column – which is drawing much attention from the adults in the country – during a Sunday appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper.

(Video: CNN)

“We believe in the right to free speech. We believe in the right to free assembly, and you can try to persuade people,” he told Tapper. “But what you see happening on so many campuses across the country is instead of drawing the line in speech and action, a lot of universities bizarrely give the most attention and most voice to the smallest, angriest group, and it’s just not what we’re going to do here.”

Chris Donaldson


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