Students at the University of Florida protested the visit of Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska – the likely new president of the university – to the school Monday.
Students protested Sasse during an open forum on the university’s campus in Gainesville on Monday afternoon, according to the university’s newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator. Sasse plans to resign from the Senate by the end of the year to take a job as the president of the University of Florida, CNN reported last week
Sasse was scheduled to host three open forums Monday afternoon, according to the university’s website.
According to the Independent Florida Alligator, Sasse left a forum about 15 minutes early at which point about 300 protesters entered the ballroom where the event was taking place.
Protesters called Sasse homophobic and racist, The Independent Florida Alligator reported.
Video obtained by CNN shows protesters chanting “Hey hey. Ho-ho. Ben Sasse has got to go,” during Sasse’s visit.
Last week, the university’s presidential search committee voted unanimously to name Sasse as its sole finalist for president of the university, a source told CNN. Sasse would replace Kent Fuchs, who is leaving the position after eight years to become a professor at the school.
Ethan Eibe is a sophomore at the University of Florida who was covering the protest for the Independent Florida Alligator. He told CNN that he talked to several people who participated in the protest.
“Many are concerned with Sasse’s past comments that show he is not in favor of same-sex marriage and abortion. When it comes to a community as diverse as UF, students overall don’t feel he is a good fit,” Eibe told CNN Monday. “They consider him a political appointee essentially. They believe it’s a bad look on the board of trustees that named him the sole finalist out of 700 candidates.”
The University of Florida would not comment on Sasse’s visit to the school Monday.
Meanwhile, CNN has reached out to Sasse’s office but has not received a response.
According to the university’s handbook, the president serves as the chief executive officer of the school and oversees all university activities.