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Student Protesters Storm Ben Sasse’s Q&A Forum At University Of Florida

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Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) who’s reportedly the “sole finalist” to take over as president of the University of Florida, on Monday was met with loud protests during his first appearance on campus for the reason that news of his potential appointment broke.

Sasse held three separate sessions with university faculty, students and staff on the Gainesville campus.

Protesters gathered outside the room where the scholar Q&A session was held, chanting: “Hey, hey, ho, ho. Ben Sasse has got go.”

Outside Sen. Ben Sasse’s moderated forum to fulfill with students, lots of have gathered protesting Sasse as the only real finalist in UF’s presidential search, citing his previous public statements on same-sex marriage and the search sealed from the general public amongst reasons. pic.twitter.com/Uay2bQIbEf

— Divya Kumar (@divyadivyadivya) October 10, 2022

Protesters eventually entered the room the meeting was being held in, leading to the forum ending quarter-hour ahead of schedule, in accordance with the Independent Florida Alligator, the university’s student newspaper.

Protesters have now entered Emerson Hall where Sasse is addressing students. Cheers of “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Ben Sasse has got to go,” are capable of be heard throughout the President’s Ballroom. pic.twitter.com/KMybwHpFTd

— Alan Halaly (@AlanHalaly) October 10, 2022

Protesters have even fully filled the President’s Ballroom and have taken to the rostrum where Sasse was moments ago.

“Get the f*ck out of our swamp!” protestors are cheering. pic.twitter.com/glixuAfPKL

— Alan Halaly (@AlanHalaly) October 10, 2022

In the course of the session, Sasse addressed the demonstrations.

“Obviously, I wish they didn’t have the position they’ve, but I strongly support the precise people to protest and exercise their free speech rights,” Sasse said, in accordance with The Hill. “I won’t say I precisely welcome the protesters, but I type of intellectually and constitutionally welcome the protesters.”

The demonstrations were sparked partly by Sasse’s conservative opinions on issues, including same-sex marriage.

The Nebraska senator called the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex unions, “a disappointment to Nebraskans who understand that marriage brings a wife and husband together so their children can have a mom and pa,” in a statement dated June 26, 2015.

The statement continued: “As a society, we want to have a good time marriage as the most effective approach to provide stability and opportunity for youths.”

Asked on Monday whether he would stand behind the university’s LGBTQ community, Sasse replied: “Your query is: Do I support and affirm everybody on this community? Absolutely.”

Sasse also said the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision “is the law of the land and nothing about Obergefell is changing in the US.”

In the course of the summer, Sasse celebrated the high court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade.

“The professional-life movement’s work has just begun,” he said in a statement. “This issue will now be debated within the 50 states, and a 330,000,000-person, continental nation will work through this debate in a way that’s healthier than Roe’s one-size-fits-all, Washington-centrism.”

Asked about his abortion stance, Sasse reportedly said the presidential role doesn’t involve any decisions across the medical procedure, in accordance with The Hill.

Sasse also addressed how he would maintain his commitment to the possible presidential post and avoid being drawn into politics.

“One among the things that’s appealing about this, frankly, is the chance to step back from politics,” Sasse said, in accordance with the Independent Florida Alligator.

Sasse on Thursday emerged because the only finalist within the search to succeed current president W. Kent Fuchs, who announced his resignation in January.

“I’m delighted to be in conversation with the leadership of this special community about how we’d together construct a vision for UF to be the nation’s most-dynamic, daring, future-oriented university,” Sasse wrote on Twitter.

The university’s Board of Trustees will interview Sasse on Nov. 1. If the board approves his nomination, he may even need to be confirmed by the Florida Board of Governors.

If Sasse becomes university president, he could have to resign from the Senate and Nebraska’s governor will appoint a substitute.

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