The student body president of the University of Florida is facing an impeachment threat for spending $50,000 in student fees to bring President Donald Trump’s eldest son and his girlfriend to campus.
Members of the university’s student senate on Tuesday filed a resolution to impeach Student Body President Michael Murphy for malfeasance and abuse of power.
The resolution accuses Murphy of spending mandatory student fees to push his own political beliefs when he brought Donald Trump Jr, and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, to speak on campus on October 10.
The resolution says Student Body statutes forbid student money from being spent in support of or against a political party.
Every student at the university pays $19.06 per credit hour towards the activity and service fees.
According to a statement from the #ChompTrump organizers at the university, none of the students outside of the student government ‘were made aware that their fees were being utilized to fund this partisan, inflammatory and offensive event’.
‘It is crucial that all students feel safe and respected, especially at a Top 7 public institution.
‘Because of the Trump Administration’s racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and exclusionary rhetoric, this event disrespects various groups on camps, misuses student fees and poses a safety risk for marginalized groups,’ the organizers wrote in October in a bid to get the event shut down.
In that same press statement, the group revealed that Murphy’s father, Dan Murphy, has close ties to the Trump family, despite the student president claiming that the visit wasn’t campaign related.
‘Given the Murphy family’s ties to the Trump campaign, it is a clear conflict of interest for the Student Body President to approve the use of student fees to subsidize an event featuring a senior advisor of the Trump campaign and Trump’s son,’ the statement reads.
The appearance was a part of the ACCENT Speakers Bureau.
According to a contract, Guilfoyle and Trump Jr were jointly paid the $50,000 for the speaking engagement.
At the time, protesters held multiple demonstrations leading up to the event and on the day of the couple’s appearance.
Students also demanded that Michael Murphy apologize for ‘causing undue stress to the student body and allowing student fees to subsidize a partisan political campaign’.
The university also issued a statement defending the right of the student government speakers bureau to invite Trump and Guilfoyle.
‘For more than 50 years, ACCENT, the Student Government speakers bureau at the University of Florida, has selected and invited speakers to campus, and the University welcomes those speakers as its guest,’ the statement reads.
‘Those speakers are paid with student activity fees, which are separate from tuition. This year, the invitation has been extended to Donald Trump, Jr., and Kimberly Guilfoyle and as with their predecessors, we will welcome them to campus.
‘The University, in its statement on freedom of expression, has committed itself to ensuring that a wide variety of viewpoints are heard on campus as well as to protecting the First Amendment rights of all those in attendance. The University believes it is an essential component of its academic mission to foster an environment where divergent ideas, opinions and philosophies, new and old, can be rigorously discussed and critically evaluated.
The statement continued to say that in order to ‘maintain this environment, the University strives to ensure that individuals are treated with respect’.
‘At the same time, the University recognizes the right of members of its community to analytically and respectfully challenge ideas so long as such challenges are conducted in a civil manner that does not stifle the open expression of the opposing ideas.’
Previous speakers include comedian Hasan Minhaj, actor Kal Penn and right wing commentator Ben Shapiro.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Valerie Edwards; The Associated Press