USF President Judy Genshaft, through media relations coordinator Marsha Strickhouser, said Wednesday that she must investigate further before acting on a request for help from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The NAACP implored Genshaft to offer assistance in a letter delivered Tuesday.
The letter, sent by USF NAACP President Dara McCoy, expressed unhappiness about the Nov. 2 arrests of sophomores Lateefa Morehouse and Melissa Lormine. The students were taken into custody by Hillsborough County Sherrif’s deputies while participating in a protest outside the Sun Dome during a visit by President George W. Bush.
The letter claims the students’ “rights were violated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department.” It further claims neither student was read their Miranda Rights, as required by law.
The NAACP sent the letter to request a meeting with Genshaft to discuss the incident. Strickhouser said the president will not opt for a meeting right now.
“President Genshaft is always concerned about students’ welfare. However, it is not appropriate for the president to talk about this matter at this time, especially because she does not have all of the facts right now,” Strickhouser said via e-mail. “It is certainly a situation she will watch closely.”