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In Photos: Students Protest After Student Body President-Elect’s Arrest

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After the newly-elected University of Florida Student Body President-Elect, William Smith Meyers, was arrested in Key West over spring break, students began to call for his resignation. Meyers, 22, was charged with criminal mischief on March 7 after Key West police say he knocked over motorcycles, causing some damage to them.

Barely two weeks after winning an unopposed election, Meyers has since found himself responding to calls for his resignation. Meyers issued a statement to The Alligator promising to remain as transparent as possible, but this was not enough for some students. Students gathered at Turlington Plaza to call for his resignation Tuesday and were met with counter-protesters defending Meyers.

UF freshman and Infinity Hall Senator Zachariah Chou stands alone protesting Smith Meyers among Meyers’ supporters. Chou invited students to open debate at Tuesday’s Senate meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Reitz Senate Chambers. (Lena Schwallenberg/WUFT News)

 

Counter-protestors surround and drown out the voices of those speaking against Meyers. They chanted, “Stick with Smith,” in addition to insults and vulgar hand gestures toward actual protestors. (Lena Schwallenberg/WUFT News)

 

Students gathered in a counter-protest to support Smith Meyers, shouting “stick with Smith” and carrying signs about Chipotle, news outlets, and Spongebob’s The Krusty Krab. (Lena Schwallenberg/WUFT News)

 

Anthony Rojas, the UF junior who organized the protest, stands among counter-protestors. A student in the crowd shouted at Rojas, “I can’t take you seriously without a belt,” spurring taunts from more of Smith’s supporters. (Lena Schwallenberg/WUFT News)

 

Chou laughs with Rana Al-Nahhas, president of Students Organize for Syria, as she joins the protest for a group picture after tabling in Turlington. (Lena Schwallenberg/WUFT News)

 

Rojas leads a group of protestors to the Dean of Students Office to deliver a petition with over 400 signatures calling for Meyers’ resignation. (Lena Schwallenberg/WUFT News)

 

Five protestors share their thoughts, letters and petition with the DSO. Ashley Grabowski, a UF junior, said she knew a friend at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who was working on a student body president campaign there. According to Grabowski, Meyers’ arrest was used at an example of how not to act over the candidates’ break. (Lena Schwallenberg/WUFT News)

 

Chou speaks during a meeting with Kris Klann and Mickey Howard, representatives of the Dean of Students Office while Dean Jen Day Shaw is out of town. “Everyone makes mistakes,” he said, “but not everyone gets to be President.” (Lena Schwallenberg/WUFT News)

 

About Lena Schwallenberg

Lena is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 727-534-6278 or emailing l.schwallenberg@ufl.edu.

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