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FSU student group to protest Thrasher presidency

Published Nov. 3, 2014

A Florida State student group will spend Monday protesting Republican state Sen. John Thrasher's appointment to university's top job.

FSU's Board of Trustees tapped Thrasher to lead the university in September.

But the student group, known as the FSU Progress Coalition, is demanding the state Board of Governors reject Thrasher's appointment when it meets Wednesday in Boca Raton. The students say a Thrasher appointment presidency would put FSU in the hands of corporate interests and the billionaire libertarian Koch brothers.

"John Thrasher is three-time Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Legislator of the Year who has been cited twice for ethics violations, lied to students and faculty about his Koch funding, and supported legislation that defunds education in the state of Florida and supports the school-to-prison pipeline," the group wrote in a press release Monday. "He has no academic background and a legacy of supporting structural racism, homophobia and anti-environmental policies that point directly to his political ties with corporate industry as a whole and Koch in particular."

Thrasher has denied having ties to the Koch brothers, saying he wouldn't recognize Charles and David Koch if they walked into a room.

Students, faculty, alumni and community members are planning to gather on campus at 2:30 p.m. and march to the Old Capitol to "push back against the corporatization of education at FSU and in the nation as a whole."

The event is part of a larger "day of action" taking place at nearly 30 universities across the country, the organizers said.

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