SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Students at the embattled New College of Florida plan to hold an alternative graduation in protest of the state’s takeover and the person slated to speak at the school’s official commencement ceremony.
The plans come in the face of sweeping conservative changes at the small liberal arts school. In recent months, a board of trustees appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis voted to eliminate the college’s Office of Diversity.
Earlier this week, the governor visited the campus to sign into law three bills related to higher education.
“What this bill is saying is some of these niche subjects like critical race theory, other types of DEI, infused courses and majors,” Gov. DeSantis said. “Florida is getting out of that game.”
DeSantis’ visit sparked protest among students on the campus.
“I hope that they know they’ve got a long fight coming in the next year, because New College students will not stand down to this fascist attack on our school, and our education,” Madison Markham said.
An online fundraiser has raised more than $118,000 for the alternative graduation. According to the website, the private ceremony will be held Thursday at an undisclosed location and time in Sarasota.
The school’s official commencement ceremony is scheduled for Friday.