By: Gabrielle Dankanich
The University of Florida allocated $60,000 for a “diss track” performance by a 20 year-old Tik Tokker, while refusing to provide campus conservative groups with any funding, according to a tip received through Young America’s Foundation’s Campus Bias Tip Line.
The $60,000 honorarium paid to Josh Richards, who is best known for his “diss track” about fellow 20 year-old TikTok rapper “Lil Huddy,” was funded through the Student Activity and Service Fee, which all students are required to pay in order to enroll in classes.
STILL SOFTISH CAN BE STREAMED EVERYWHERE! Thank you guys for the crazy support on the diss track. @brycehall
[WARNING, Explicit Content]
Meanwhile, two conservative clubs on campus, Young Americans for Freedom and College Republicans, were denied funding for the year.
”Richards signed a contract with UF that will pay him a sum of $60,000 for only a few hours of his time on campus. Presumably, while this contract was being negotiated, several registered organizations at UF were being systematically denied funding for basic necessities to continue day-to-day operations,” the leadership of one of the conservative clubs wrote in a statement posted to their Instagram page.
Ordinarily, student organizations at the University of Florida receive baseline funding in the amount of $500.
As if the university’s $60,000 contract with Richards wasn’t bad enough, left-leaning organizations, including Young Democratic Socialists of America were permitted the entire amount of baseline funding, records on the university’s website show.
“If UF is denying student organizations funding based on ideology, not only does this go against their Freedom of Expression Statement but also the First Amendment of the Constitution,” UF YAF Chairman Caitlyn McCoy told the New Guard.
A statement on the school’s website states that the university seeks to cultivate “an environment where divergent ideas, opinions and philosophies, new and old, can be rigorously discussed and critically evaluated in the academic environment.”
It’s not clear how this can be accomplished, when only one ideology is granted the means to share their views.
“We plan to use this unity to hold our Student Government officials to a higher standard going forward,” Matt Turner, president of UF College Republicans, said.
Three years ago, the UF YAF chapter won a lawsuit against their university over a very similar situation involving denial of funding. The university was ordered to pay the chapter $66,000 in damages, and was required to make adjustments to funding procedures. It appears, though, that they’ve forgotten all about that.
“We will continue to hold our institutions responsible for biases against conservative organizations,” McCoy added.
The university, and those who volunteer to represent its student body, ought to demonstrate at least some level of maturity by not allowing their personal biases to impact their funding decisions. And, of course, they shouldn’t dole out tens of thousands of dollars to a 20 year-old to sing about his sex life.
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