Since the resignation of former Diversity Coordinator Grayson Lanza, Knight News has attempted to acquire internal and external Student Government emails pertaining to the controversy –but UCF appears to be purposefully delaying the release of these emails.
In a public record request made to Student Government President Nick Larkins on July 31, Knight News requested “any and all emails sent and received” by Larkins regarding Grayson Lanza and the Diversity position. Larkins forwarded Knight News’ request to the UCF Office of Student Involvement Director, Shane Juntunen, who told Knight News he would not be able to process the public record request until Friday because Larkins is out of the office this week.
Knight News has fought with UCF, Larkins and Juntunen over these attempts to delay the release of information in the past.
Knight News responded to Juntunen with the following email:
UCF’s position on the public record law is very frustrating.
On one hand, UCF insists that you produce the SGA president’s records. That results in a delay when you’re not available. On the other hand, you won’t produce the SGA president’s records when he’s not here, resulting in a delay on that end.
UCF needs to make a choice – either you have custody and control and can pull the SGA records yourself (and make the determination as the custodian as to what can be released), or the SGA president can. UCF can’t delay newsworthy information by creating an undetermined amount of additional custodians we have to go through, especially if it’s done in a way to maximize the delay. Florida courts have said news delayed is news denied. We shouldn’t be at the mercy of two schedules when requesting records of one person.
You have the power and control as director of OSI to have your IT staff open up the SGA president’s emails and fulfill the request without the SGA president being there. If you’re truly the custodian, please begin fulfilling the request without the delay associated with waiting for the SGA president’s return.
Knight News is currently awaiting a response from Juntunen regarding the processing of the request.
Prior to the delay of this request, Knight News made a request on July 31 at 9:51 a.m. for the five most recent emails sent to Larkins from a non-ucf.edu email address.Larkins responded by telling Knight News he will forward the request to Juntunen on July 31 at 10:04 a.m. Knight news received the five most recent non-UCF emails sent to Larkins on three days later on August 2 at 4:12 p.m..Multiple people emailed Larkins calling for the resignation of Lanza and one angry emailer equated Lanza’s comments regarding Trump supporters to the Nazi’s treatment of the Jews.
It is important to note that Knight News made these request on the July 31, prior to the news that Lanza had resigned as the diversity chair.
Knight News will release more emails as UCF releases them.