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The University of Florida at Gainesville has banned its students, staff members, faculty, staff, and retirees from wearing a Donald Trump shirt.
The university’s website announced that it was suspending the practice since the “appearing of any message of any political bias on campus.”
The University of Florida at Gainesville, the nation’s oldest state university, did not explain the purpose for the ban, nor offered any specifics regarding the message the ban would attempt to ban.
According to a university press release, the policy is aimed at fostering better conversations that are “inclusive of all viewpoints and free of any form of discrimination.”
The university issued the announcement in May following an anti-Trump statement, which surfaced that day on Twitter. The tweets, written by students and faculty members, urged their students to boycott events sponsored by the business mogul. The messages were in opposition to the invitation of the Republican presidential nominee to speak on campus.
“We invite you to attend Donald Trump’s upcoming speech at #Gainesville University.”
READ: Donald Trump: Why I’m not coming to speak at Gainesville, Florida’s #GainesvilleU
Trump was invited to deliver remarks at the University in early June. In a statement released at the time, Trump denounced “the intolerant actions and rhetoric that have plagued our country for far too long,” and called on his supporters to show up for the speech.
READ: Donald Trump says U of F has a ‘massive problem’ with intolerance at Trump rally
Since Trump’s speech, several professors and students have tweeted and expressed their opposition to the decision. “I am not going to stand for this. I cannot sit and listen to this. And it is not acceptable that a school that calls itself a leader in American higher education (and the University of Florida) is turning its back on its students. So I’m staying away. As for you, let’s all be happy that we have Trump now, though I’m not sure that is a healthy thing. I’m probably not going to go,” Michael Brinkema wrote on Twitter.
The university’s ban has sparked a backlash both online and in the streets of Gainesville, with protesters and counterdemonstrators clashing with each other over the Saturday protests.
“I’m a Trump supporter but this is ridiculous,” @
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