Students protest Florida bill on campus


Maleigh Crespo

Members of Young Democratic Socialists of America and NOLA Youth Action Network protest against measures that target diversity, equity and inclusion in Florida state universities on March 28th. These measures were introduced by Governor Ron DeSantis.

Maleigh Crespo, Design Chief

The Loyola chapter of Young Democratic Socialists of America, along with other organizations, protested Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ House Bill 999 outside of the Danna Center on March 28.

House Bill 999 prohibits state college funding and backing for courses and activities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as limits on gender, queer, and racial studies and prohibits the use of critical race theory in hiring.

Sophomore Maya Davis, founder of NOLA Youth Action Network, one of the protesting organizations at Loyola, said they were trying to protect the rights of minorities.

“It’s really important that we stand up for this because if this happens in one state, especially since we’re in the South, it’s definitely something that could happen here,” Davis said.

Carson Cruse, the Young Democratic Socialists of America’s president said the organizations were also standing in solidarity with the students in Florida, referring to the “Tampa four,” which are the four students arrested on felony charges at the University of South Florida for protesting the same bill.

Jeff Landry, Louisiana’s attorney general, has openly discussed book bannings in the state. Cruse said that since Landry is running for governor, if he wins, there is a high chance Louisiana will follow suit with laws like House Bill 999.

Cruse said Loyola could support its students by affirming they will not follow any of these laws that are put in place in Louisiana.

In spring 2022, Loyola hired its first coordinator of multicultural affairs. That position is now vacant. The administrative assistant role for the Office of Equity and Inclusion also remains empty.

“Affirm the Office of Equity and Inclusion, headed by Dr. Kedrick Perry, by making sure that that is a permanent position that is going to remain, expanding that, making sure that there’s more student involvement, more programs, and more funding for that department,” Cruse said.

Cruse said the Young Democratic Socialists of America want to make sure Loyola knows that students on this campus are aware of what’s going on and are conscious that laws like House Bill 999 could affect Louisiana too.

“YDSA is a student organization that stands for rights for all. We are welcome to anybody joining,” Cruse said.