According to Governor Ron DeSantis, Jewish students looking for a more welcoming campus environment may now apply to any of Florida’s state colleges without having to fill out a transfer application.
Prospective students with a reasonable fear of antisemitic persecution at their postsecondary school may apply for an extension of the application deadline and a waiver of the minimum credit-hour requirements via the Florida College System and the State University System of Florida. Students experiencing “antisemitism or other religious prejudice” were specifically mentioned in SUSF Chancellor Ray Rodrigues’ emergency decree as being eligible for the exemptions.
Two free-speech cases were initiated due to the state university system’s and DeSantis’s decision to ban chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine. U.S. antisemitic incidents have grown by 360% after the Oct. 7 attack, with many of these instances occurring on college campuses. As a result, inquiries from out-of-state students to Florida institutions have also spiked. Worries over antisemitism on campus reached new heights during a House hearing on December 5th, during which three university presidents said that the context would determine whether or not the demand for the “genocide of Jews” was a violation of their conduct rules.
State university chancellor Ray Rodrigues and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have issued a statement urging Jewish students who are experiencing antisemitism on their campuses to consider transferring to institutions in Florida. Colleges and institutions are required by the order to accelerate the processing of those students’ applications, eliminate application deadlines, and suspend some admissions procedures. In addition, if a student’s financial situation prevents them from transferring to Florida, the law permits colleges to waive tuition and fees for out-of-state students who qualify.
To ensure that transfer students are not subject to religiously motivated discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or violence, each school must independently confirm that such behavior has occurred, is, or is reasonably likely to occur at the transferring student’s present or previous school.