UF Students Call for Resignation of Student Body President

Anthony Rojas stands in front of the Student Senate Chamber calling for the resignation of Student Body President Michael Murphy

After emails were recently uncovered revealing communication between UF Student Body President Michael Murphy and Trump Victory National Finance Consultant Caroline Wren, students called for the resignation of Murphy Tuesday.

Trump Victory is the official name for the Trump 2020 reelection campaign.

The emails discussed how and when Murphy met with Wren the past 4th of July. According to the email exchange, Murphy discussed with her how he was interested in bringing Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle and RNC Co-Chairman Tommy Hicks to speak at UF in early October. This resulted in the ACCENT event “ACCENT Presents: Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle.”

This was met with contention from many students, including Anthony Rojas, a 24-year-old political science graduate student who organized a protest calling for Murphy’s resignation. Rojas, along with many other students, were discontent with this incident because they believe that their student fees were being used toward the Trump Victory campaign.

“To see that a high ranking official in a national re-election committee for the current president of the United States ask a favor of the student body president, and he went ahead and used $50,000 of student fee money to go through on that favor –– that should alarm anyone,” Rojas said.

“It doesn’t matter what your politics are when it comes to student fee money. That money should not be going anywhere near a campaign, an upcoming election, anything related to that,” he said. “We are calling for his resignation, because I don’t think, under any circumstance, any student body president at any school should be using student fee money to do political favors for personal friends.”

During public comment, Senator Gabriella Hernandez introduced herself to the chamber as the new Gator Party leader. She spoke about how she and her party want to promote accountability and transparency in the chamber. Hernandez also spoke on how she and Senate President Emily Dunson are working to hold Murphy “accountable for his actions and to make sure something like this does not happen again.”

Around 15 students, including Rojas, came to last night’s senate meeting to call for Murphy’s resignation. The number of students that came pleased Rojas and Dunson, the latter of which commended students during the Senate President’s report for “standing up today and feeling the boldness to speak out about your feelings about things that had come out in the past two weeks regarding President Murphy and regarding our student government.”

“It really truly does break my heart to see that we are in a space in student government where students and also senators feel that they cannot trust our body as student government because as you all know, we are all called to be here and to perform ethically not only as a representation of ourselves but also as a representation of every single student that elected every single one of us,” Dunson said. During her comment, Dunson also stated a few times her disappointment in Murphy and how she does not agree with his actions.

After Dunson gave her comments, senators from both sides of the aisle stood up in applause. Some Gator Party senators who were seen applauding were formerly part of the Impact Party, the party that Murphy ran for in the Spring 2019 campaign. Dunson and Hernandez were also a part of the now-defunct Impact Party. 

“You can’t be student body president and then go allocating student fee money to whatever candidate or cause you feel is right,” Rojas said. “That money needs to go toward solving issues on campus. We want to spread awareness of this problem and get some answers too.”