TO REQUEST MICHAEL TO SPEAK AT YOUR EVENT, CLICK HERE
Florida Atlantic University’s announcement to change the name of its football stadium to that of a private prison corporation accused of human rights violation has surprised and outraged students as well as South Florida’s pro-immigrant activists.
FAU announced Tuesday that it would name its stadium GEO Group Stadium after reaching an agreement with the private prison company that included a $6 million donation to the university, to be paid over 12 years. GEO is the company that owns the immigration detention center in Pompano Beach, about 10 miles from the stadium.
FAU President Mary Jane Saunder initially agreed to talk about the news, but after hearing questions about the immigration detention center, a university spokesperson said they would have to return the call later. At press time, the university had stopped responding to El Nuevo Herald’s calls.
But in a press release sent out earlier on Tuesday, Saunder praised GEO’s philanthropic gesture of making the largest donation the university’s athletic department has ever received.
“This gift is a true representation of The GEO Group’s incredible generosity to FAU and the community it serves,” she said.
Noor Fawzy, a political science student at FAU whose parents are Palestinian immigrants, is not so happy with the news.
“The fact that they are locking up people of color and immigrants like my parents is shameful,” said the 22-year-old, who is an elected member of the student government. “We don’t want our university to be associated with an entity that is being investigated for human rights abuses.”