Boca Raton, FL – An event meant for Florida Atlantic University student organizations to promote their clubs was interrupted Wednesday afternoon by a group of several men who set up a table with a tablecloth that read, “Ye is Right. Change my mind.” The table had signs of Tweets from Ye, formerly known as Kanye West.
When the UP arrived on the scene, there was a large crowd around the table. Some supporters of Israel were holding up pro-Israel signs.
While on the scene, the man behind the table was dressed to be unrecognizable- he was wearing a blue hat that read “America first,” sunglasses, and a neck and face covering. A man with a camera was recording for the man behind the table, and at one point, told him that the footage was no good and could not be posted on YouTube. Stop Antisemitism identified two members of the group: Dalton Clodfelter and Tyler Russell.
The UP found Clodfelter’s Twitter account. It details other antisemitic things, such as “forgiving Hitler.”
While all of this was occurring, the crowd grew larger, with students yelling at the group to leave campus and other distasteful things. Student Body Vice-President Dalia Calvillo was present and spoke to Clodfelter. She expressed her concern for the student body being upset and said that he needed to leave campus immediately. After a short exchange, he left with his camera crew.
Clodfelter refused to speak with UP reporters because he believes reporters are “lame.”
“To my knowledge, they didn’t have permission to be in the breezeway because they didn’t need one,” Calvillo added. “They aren’t an organization on campus. I asked them for an email confirmation with evidence as approval to be there, when they didn’t show me one, I was told they weren’t FAU associated. Unfortunately, they were permitted to be there due to the area being a free speech area.”
Calvillo details that the hate against the Jewish community has left her heartbroken. She wrote that a line was crossed between free speech and hate speech at FAU.
“When I arrived to the table in which these events were occurring, I went directly to the disturbance on the breezeway, to these non-university affiliated people, and urged them to leave our breezeway,” Calvillo wrote in a statement. “I made it very clear that they had two options: me kindly asking them to leave, or me calling our FAU police department.”
Calvillo wrote that her executive position in SG left her with an obligation as vice president and a human to stand up for students.
Since, the FAU community has received an email from Interim President Stacy Volnick, which details that all forms of hate are condemned on campus.
“The University strongly and unequivocally condemns hate and Antisemitism. Florida Atlantic University believes in the freedoms provided by the First Amendment; however, we also denounce Antisemitism in all its forms,” the email from Volnick read.
Ariana Hoblin, founder and president of Students Supporting Israel at FAU, feels that the FAU Administration did not do anything to protect its Jewish student population, as it allowed the group of unidentified individuals to continue.
“As a Jewish student on campus, I no longer feel safe knowing that the FAU Administration failed to protect Jewish students. The FAU Administration must protect the students on campus,” Hoblin wrote in a statement.
Hoblin wrote that free speech does not protect someone from speaking in hate.
Mia Evans, immediate former president of Hillel on campus, agreed with Hoblin and thinks that the FAU administration should have done more to protect the students.
Evans wrote a statement detailing that these “boys” shouldn’t have been allowed to stay on the Breezeway for two hours.
“These boys were claiming ‘Ye is Right,’ denouncing the Holocaust, comparing abortion to slavery, and many other extremist ideologies. There is no room in this world for hate or bigotry. I understand FAU is a public campus, but when is enough, enough? We are your students, who fund this campus. Why isn’t more being done to protect us,” Evans wrote in a statement.
“The incident today was not acceptable and goes against our University values of Diversity and Self Respect. I am proud that my fellow Student Leaders in Student Government took a stand with me against Antisemitism. Antisemitism and all other discrimination are not tolerated in our community,” Inbal Shachar, an SG House of Representatives official, wrote in a statement.