The University of Florida on Wednesday denied a request from a group led by white nationalist Richard Spencer to rent a space on the campus for a September event.
University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs issued a statement in regards to their request. Fuchs said that the decision was made after assessing risks to the campus, community and law enforcement following the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I find the racist rhetoric of Richard Spencer and white nationalism repugnant and counter to everything the university and this nation stands for,” Fuchs’ statement said.
The president was referring to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on Saturday that turned deadly. At the rally, driver intentionally plowed into a group of counter-protesters and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
Members of the National Policy Institute led by Spencer vowed to file a court challenge after the university rejected their request.
“I signed an agreement and sent it in to the event coordinator,” Cameron Padgett, a Georgia resident affiliated with Spencer’s group, told The Associated Press. “I don’t know who’s advising them on why they think they can do this.”
Richard Spencer is a leading figure in the white nationalist movement and hosted a conference in Washington in January, in which audience members mimicked the Nazi salutes after Spencer shouted, “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.