University of Florida: Investigation of Pro-Kanye West Chalk Messages for Expressing “Hatred and Intolerance”


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On February 1, 2023, the University of Florida learned of messages chalked on its sidewalks reading “Ye is Right 2/2/23,” “Students for Ye,” “Ye 24,” and “Ye for President.” The same day, UF announced that although “no security threat has been identified,” its police department was investigating the chalking and labeled the messages “acts of antisemitism, hatred, and intolerance.” On February 3, FIRE wrote UF to explain that although it could prohibit chalk messages based on the university’s content-neutral time, place, and manner policies, it could not investigate or remove the messages based on the viewpoint expressed therein. On February 23, UF’s Senior Counsel clarified and confirmed to FIRE that the university police never investigated the messages.