College students protest Florida bill that would eliminate DEI funding

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 8:35 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - College students took to the streets of downtown Tallahassee Wednesday to protest House Bill 999.

The bill would eliminate funding for college and university programs and activities related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Diversity matters, point blank,” said one protester, FSU student Jasen Louis. “It’s simple.”

The bill would also prevent students from majoring or minoring in gender studies.

“They don’t care about our education in general, and they don’t care about us at all,” Andres Cubillos, the organizer of the protest, said.

After marching through the streets of Tallahassee, students sat outside the Governor’s mansion in silence.

“We just want to make sure the government knows we are out here and we want to be heard,” Cubillos said.

In a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke in support of the legislation.

“Some of the programs they have violate civil rights laws,” he said. “They are racially discriminatory. And that has no place in the state of Florida.”

He said some diversity initiatives try to impose ideologies on students.

“It needs to just be removed and we need to treat everybody equally,” DeSantis said.

House Bill 999 would also give boards of trustees more power to hire faculty, review tenure and rewrite university mission statements.