Progressive students at the New College of Florida criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis', R-Fla., efforts to shift the school in a more classically liberal direction during a segment that aired on MSNBC Thursday.
Pushback against DeSantis among liberal students and faculty has been widespread after the governor of the Sunshine State appointed six conservative members to the college's board of trustees.
MSNBC host Alex Wagner interviewed New College students opposed to the changes DeSantis is expected to bring.
"The main thing is the students. The students are still here. The students are still, you know, LGBT. The students still respect and encourage for a diverse array of studies and want to understand the truth about society. And as long as we're here they can't change the culture of the school," trans student Sam Sharf said.
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Another student in the "Alex Wagner Tonight" segment alleged that DeSantis only wants students to learn about "White-man history."
"I think a lot of what they've talked about has been cloaking language and I feel like they think we're not smart enough to see that it's cloaking language so they'll say classical liberal education, they'll say family values, they'll say all these things, and every time they have opportunity to change leadership, to change anything, it always is White male," she said.
New College student Kayla Kisseadoo said she "literally could not tell you" what DeSantis means when he uses terms like "woke" and "critical race theory."
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"'Woke' - you mean practicing basic empathy? Valuing people who are a part of your community? ‘Critical Race Theory’ - you mean American history? Like, it's so confusing, so it's incredibly frustrating to constantly hear all these buzzwords being thrown at us when they have no basis and they don't even seek to understand why we're here," Kisseadoo contnued.
Some DeSantis allies, such as Chris Rufo, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute who was nominated to serve as a trustee, have argued that New College can be the start of shifting colleges across America in a more conservative direction after decades of being dominated by the political left.
The fight for New College represents the latest inflection point in an ongoing battle between DeSantis and progressives over education.
The DeSantis administration recently got The College Board to modify its AP African American History course to comply with Florida's educational standards by removing proposed content about queer theory and Black Lives Matter. DeSantis also signed legislation banning the teaching of LGBTQ theory to young elementary school children.