USF employee faces termination over involvement in diversity cut protests

Admissions employee Chrisley Carpio received a letter from the university to discuss her termination on March 27, which was delayed by Carpio’s request to have a staff union representative present. INSTAGRAM/@tampabaycac

Following her arrest at a Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) protest on March 6, admissions department employee Chrisley Carpio is expected to be fired after receiving a letter from the university, according to a Tuesday Tampa Bay Times article

Carpio was one of four people arrested during the protest, in which Carpio, alongside members of SDS, marched to USF President Rhea Law’s office to make demands to speak with her. The protest was in retaliation to recent plans announced by Gov. Ron DeSantis to defund diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at public universities, senior and SDS member Lauren Pineiro said in a March 6 Oracle article

USFPD charged Carpio and other individuals involved in the protest with assault or battery on a law officer, resisting an officer without violence and disrupting an educational institution. USF Police Public Information representative Michael Lavelle said in the Oracle article that arrests began after protestors refused to leave the building, initiated physical altercations by pushing officers and began throwing objects at officers.  

USF junior and SDS member Yuki Shao said in the Oracle article that physical contact was initiated by a USFPD officer grabbing a female student. That’s when fellow SDS members joined in to protect the student, according to Shao.

After being placed on administrative leave on March 7, Carpio received a notice from the university asking her to meet on Monday to discuss its intention to terminate her from her position, according to the Times article. In response, Carpio made a request to reschedule the meeting so that a staff union representative could be present for the conversation. The university agreed.

At the time of publication, a new meeting date has not been set.

SDS has organized a call-in to the university requesting that Carpio not be fired for protesting, according to the Tampa Bay SDS Instagram page.