On February 9, Florida State University’s 75th Student Senate condemned Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposed attempts to crack down on indoctrination in Florida’s public institutions of higher learning.
The resolution was sponsored by Senators Megan Bettley and Rania Chehaitli. It also had fourteen co-sponsors at the time of its passage.
The resolution accuses the governor of promoting “ethnocentrism” by attempting to impose a “limit on diverse education and acknowledgment of the struggles of global and national minorities throughout history.”
The Student Senate took particular issue with the governor’s belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements are “political filters.”
“The reference to DEI statements as ‘political filters’ ignores and vilifies the importance on university campuses that have a history of excluding minorities,” the resolution reads.
The Student Senate also condemned DeSantis’ proposal to allow post-tenure reviews of university faculty at any time, saying this will “grant an unchecked power to university authority.”
The resolution went so far as to claim that the governor’s suggested reforms are “a threat to minorities on Florida campuses.”
Florida State has been at the forefront of the debate regarding the pervasive influence of “woke” ideology in higher education. In early February, conservative activist Christopher Rufo wrote a piece alleging that “left-wing DEI bureaucracy has captured Florida State University and installed radical politics as the governing value.”
And as the Collegian first reported, the university quietly changed eligibility for the Leslie N. Wilson-Delores Auzenne Assistantship to include all graduate students — rather than exclusively minorities — after Professor Mark J. Perry of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) filed a civil rights complaint against Florida State.
Perry asserted that the university was engaging in “race-based discrimination in violation of Title VI’s prohibition of discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.”
The Student Senate’s resolution appears to be the latest attempt to resist the governor’s effort to reshape higher education in Florida.
After the resolution was passed, Jack Folwell, a student senator and co-sponsor, praised its content on Instagram.
“I am deeply honored to have co-sponsored this piece of legislation with some of my fantastic colleagues in the Senate,” Folwell said in reply to the Student Senate’s post outlining the resolution. “The fight is not yet done, but it has certainly begun.”