Editor’s Letter: ‘Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes’: the anger of an outgoing Editor-in-Chief

As a queer student leader, I am both angered and disappointed with FAU’s silence regarding multiple legislative initiatives.


Editor-in-Chief Savannah Peifer admiring UP newspapers. Photo courtesy of Peifer

Savannah Peifer, Editor-in-Chief

Tonight is my last night serving as the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the UP. 

I came to FAU from Clarksville, Tenn. As a queer person, I saw Florida as a chance to be myself and the first two years I did just that. When I became a student leader I noticed an entirely different side of FAU. 

As Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature continue their attacks on people of color and the LGBTQ+ community, FAU officials have stayed silent. They have simply handed over information instead of protecting their students and employees. As a queer student leader, I am outraged. 

FAU failed us. Students held a number of protests throughout campus where, to my knowledge, not one upper admin was present. A protest outside of the admin building was completely ignored by those working inside. 

I think that a school who prides itself on being the “most diverse university” in Florida would at least denounce the efforts or provide more resources for their students. How does FAU expect its  students to trust in the system when administrators don’t even stand up for us?

This isn’t the only major thing happening with FAU affecting our communities. 

A presidential search, where DeSantis has recommended Rep. Randy Fine for the presidency, is taking place.  If FAU can’t even stand against DeSantis’ broad attacks, they’re definitely not going against his wishes to have a politician as president. 

In fact, the presidential search committee representatives told student leaders that politics will affect the search and no one batted an eye. 

The UP is one of the only student organizations that fights for transparency, yet the FAU media relations team leaves most of our emails unanswered. Coincidentally, the media relations team denied a public records request for finalized Title IX reports citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, despite already providing us an invoice for over $5,000. They did this less than 48 hours before my graduation. 

They did the same thing when former EIC Kendall Little graduated and I took over. They like to wait us out and think that if they hide behind the end of the semester, the next EIC won’t fight them. 

Well, I have news for them: the next EIC is ready to fight for students, like I have. 

I have challenged the university multiple times over the past two semesters and the writers and editors have seen that fight and most share my anger and disappointment. FAU may not care about following the law, but the UP does. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to take hate and disagreements and stand by my morals and decisions while always fighting for what is right.

More importantly, I’ve learned how important it is to hold FAU accountable. 

I hope hundreds more queer students and leaders will continue this fight. 

“Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes,” inspired by the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. 

Savannah Peifer is the Editor-in-Chief for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories DM her @ginger.savvy or email her at [email protected].