The University of Florida will pay $50,000 for Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is a senior adviser for President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, to speak on campus next week.
The duo will speak in the University Auditorium on Oct. 10 at 7 p.m., according to a Facebook page for the event.
Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle will give a keynote presentation that concludes with a 15-minute question and answer session, according to ACCENT Speakers Bureau, the student organization that’s hosting the event.
After receiving immense pushback online, the University of Florida defended ACCENT’s choice in choosing Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle to speak.
“The University, in its statement on freedom of expression, has committed itself to ensuring that a wide variety of viewpoints are heard on campus as well as to protecting the First Amendment rights of all those in attendance,” UF said in a statement Wednesday. “The University believes it is an essential component of its academic mission to foster an environment where divergent ideas, opinions and philosophies, new and old, can be rigorously discussed and critically evaluated.”
ACCENT is run by UF’s student government and pays speakers using students’ activity fees, which are $19.06 per credit hour. The organization says Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle, who are dating, will be the first speakers of the fall semester.
UF students will be allotted one ticket per person. If any tickets remain on the day of the talk, the general public may get free tickets from the University Auditorium box office after 5 p.m., ACCENT says. (Students can find more details on how to claim their ticket here.)
Gainesville isn’t the first university-stop this year for Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle. They joined Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk at Penn State University in April for a talk that drew a crowd of roughly 700, according to PennState Comm Media.
Video from the event showed a variety of topics were discussed — ranging from President Trump’s presidency to the potential struggle for conservatives on college campuses, as well as a bashing of the Mueller report, Green New Deal and countless chants of ‘USA, USA, USA.'
The vast majority of those in attendance in April were supporters, with only a half dozen protestors being vocal during the talk. Those protestors and hecklers were then escorted out by police, according to the Centre Daily Times, with no arrests.
The $50,000 price tag for Trump Jr., who is the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, is relatively modest in comparison to recent speakers hosted by ACCENT. Kevin O’Leary, a former panelist of the ABC show “Shark Tank,” was paid $95,000 to speak at the university, while Pitbull took home $130,000 last October in a talk.
The immediate reaction on social media to ACCENT’s announcement of Trump Jr. and Guilfoyleon on Tuesday was near-completely negative.
“This is an embarrassment to UF,” wrote Kaylin Bailey, a student.
Dozens of others shared the same sentiment.