University of Florida president Kent Fuchs on Saturday notified students, faculty, parents and employees that white supremacist activist Richard Spencer, one of the protest leaders in Saturday's events in Charlottesville, Va., may be coming to speak in Gainesville on Sept. 12.
Fuchs said in his email that the university has been contacted by the National Policy Institute about reserving space on campus for an event that will feature Spencer as a speaker.
He noted that the organization is not affiliated with UF or any student groups, but that, under university regulations, "non-university groups, organizations and persons may rent space on campus, provided they cover rental expenses and security costs like all other third-party renters."
Referencing the violence in Charlottesvillle, Fuchs said Spencer's presence on campus would be "deeply disturbing" but that, by law, the school could not discriminate against the National Policy Institute in considering its request. On its website, the group describes itself as "an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity and future of people of European descent in the United States and around the world."
In his email, sent out at 4:55 p.m. Saturday, Fuchs added: "I encourage our campus community to send a message of unity by not engaging with this group and giving them more media attention for their message of intolerance and hate."