Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse’s visit to the University of Florida was met with student protests.
Mr. Sasse is the only finalist to become the 13th president at the school after current president Kent Fuchs announced he was stepping down in January. Mr. Sasse was re-elected to the Senate in 2020, but plans to end his term four years early if ultimately appointed by the UF Board of Trustees.
His views on same-sex marriage have sparked outrage among University of Florida students who have publicly told him he is not welcome on campus. In 2015, Ms Sasse said the Supreme Court had overstepped its constitutional rights by ruling in favor of same-sex marriage Obergefell v Hodgesarguing that “marriage brings a wife and a husband together so that their children have a mom and a dad.”
Footage circulating on social media shows hundreds of students at UF protesting Mr. Sasse’s visit on Monday and chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Ben Sasse has to go!” The Washington Post mentionted. Another video, shared by UF Graduate Assistants United, showed Mr. Sasse being escorted into a police vehicle and leaving campus facilities as a student says “we don’t want you here.”
“This is what a coward looks like. This will be your life every day if you accept a position here. @BenSasse,” the account tweeted.
UF’s independent student news agency The Alligator reported that Mr Sasse left an early Q and A after being questioned by at least 300 protesters on stage who accused him of being racist and homophobic.
Mr. Sasse said in that interview that he was looking forward to joining UF as president because “it’s an opportunity to retire from politics.” He was first elected to the Senate in 2014 and when his term ended in 2020, he was re-elected.
After Mr. Sasse announced his plans to step down to potentially assume the role of president at UF, Donald Trump, who once endorsed Sasse, said the university would “regret” the decision.
“Excellent news for the United States Senate and our country itself. Liddle’ Ben Sasse, the lightweight senator from the great State of Nebraska, will resign,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “The University of Florida will soon regret its decision to hire him as its President.”
Sasse was one of seven Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Capitol uprising.
“President Trump lied that he ‘won the election in a landslide,'” Sasse said in a statement after his 2021 decision. “He lied about widespread voter fraud, spreading conspiracy theories despite losing 60 consecutive court challenges, many of his losses were delivered under great judges whom he appointed.’
Mr. Sasse is a graduate of Harvard and Yale and was once president of Midland University, a small institution in Nebraska.
The independent He was contacted for comment.