‘Our Safety Is At Risk’: Florida Students Melt Down After DeSantis Appoints Conservatives To College Board

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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Liberal students interviewed by the Daily Beast on Tuesday are unhappy with Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appointing conservatives to the school’s board.

DeSantis announced his plan to appoint activist Chris Rufo, Dr. Mark Bauerlein, Dr. Matthew Spalding, Dr. Charles Kesler, lawyer Debra Jenks and educator Jason “Eddie” Speir to the board of New College of Florida, the Daily Caller previously reported.

“It is our hope that New College of Florida will become Florida’s classical college, more along the lines of a Hillsdale of the South,” James Uthmeier, Chief of Staff for DeSantis said. (RELATED: ‘The Corporate Kingdom Has Come To An End’: Florida Legislature To Strip Disney Of Self-Governing Status)

Sam Sharf, a transgender student who is a biological male, told the Daily Beast that when news broke of DeSantis’ plans, “I got really sad and then just, like, laid down.”

“It made me really sad,” said Sharf, who is a 22-year-old sophomore at the college. “But then I began contemplating how, like, we as a student body… reject this and try and do our best to fight back and defend our space.”

“Our safety is at risk,” Sharf continued. “And we’re very concerned about the potential consequences of our school—our small school—becoming a battleground for the greater conservative culture war, which can mean violence and people who show up here to intimidate us and start violence.”

Some students, such as 21-year-old Jack Sobel, said they did not feel safe at the school under its new leadership.

“People should never be reacting to a news story about a personnel change in their school with asking if they are safe at the school,” he said.

Blair Sapp, an alum of New College who now works at the progressive group America Votes, said the appointments were motivated by hate.

“I shifted from initially just saying, like, ‘Oh, this guy’s a bigot and has an agenda,’ to ‘Oh, no, this is actually a more concerted effort,” Sapp said.