At the University of Central Florida, diversity apparently doesn’t include those who support President Donald Trump.
Grayson Lanza, UCF’s newly appointed “diversity chair,” once chastised Trump supporters during the 2016 presidential election, saying they “are not welcome” at the Orlando, Florida, university.
— UCF Knight News (@UCFKnightNews) July 28, 2017
“And let today be a lesson to all; Trump supporters are not welcome on our campus,” Lanza wrote in a Facebook post on Oct. 31, referring to a pro-Trump rally held at UCF, according to Knight News.
Statements like that are allegedly not uncommon for Lanza. Daniel Hanna, a student who voted for Trump on Election Day, said the new diversity chair once discriminated against him because of his political opinions.
“When we started debating politics, I eventually said, ‘You know the great thing about this country is we can both differ regarding political views but we can openly discuss it,’” Hanna recalled. “Then I offered him a handshake. He said, ‘I’m not shaking your hand, I do not tolerate you and you are not welcome here.’”
Then, during an interview with Campus Reform, Hanna said he and his friends “were having a good time waving Trump flags and such” at a rally on UCF’s “free speech lawn” when Lanza and his progressive friends started calling them “racist” and “sexist.”
Hanna went on to tell Knight News that Lanza is not qualified to be diversity chair. He said he doesn’t care if the job goes to someone “equally as liberal” as long as “it’s not someone who has been actively aggressive toward people who disagree with him.”
“That is the antithesis of diversity,” Hanna explained. “You can talk about diversity of skin color, religion, and sexuality all you want. But diversity of thought is a real thing too, and if you’re just disregarding people who disagree with you, and you just want them off campus, what’s the point?”
Lanza’s appointment to the position of diversity chair came just weeks after the SGA Senate rejected Karis Lockhart, former chair of the UCF College Republicans. Lockhart said her experience in politics made her “the most qualified person for this position” but her conservative views on issues like “sanctuary campuses” disqualified her.
She said the student Senate “didn’t care” about her qualifications but was instead concerned with political opinions.
“They do not want diversity, they just want one thought process — liberal-leaning policies only,” she said. “The student Senate didn’t approve me because of my affiliation with the Republican Party and their lack of ability to look past party politics and look at a qualified candidate ready to serve the students of UCF.”