They framed the opposition as working to silence a man who advocates for an "ethno state" for white people.
An outspoken supporter of Trump during the 2016 campaign, Spencer rose from relative obscurity after widely circulated videos showed some Trump supporters giving Nazi-style salutes to Spencer during a gathering in Washington to celebrate the Republican candidate's win.
Chabad director Rabbi Berl Goldman said that dozens of Jewish students, parents and staff members had contacted him with worries regarding the event.
They are standing in front of the Curtis Phillips Performing Arts Center Spencer, where Spencer will speak for the first time since the deadly rallies in Charlottesville in August.
But not everyone at the event opposed Spencer's views. While the University of Florida initially blocked Spencer from speaking, as a state institution, the University is not able to limit free speech. including hate speech. He said he had a message for Spencer: "Don't be racist".
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The death in Charlottesville, home to the flagship campus of the University of Virginia, occurred as counter-protesters were dispersing.
Richard Spencer said the emergency declaration was "flattering" but "most likely overkill".
Alt-right organization the National Policy Institute, of which Spencer is president, is paying the $10,564 to rent the UF space.
Many on campus came ready to confront Spencer and his supporters, while other struggled with the best way to respond. The university provided a permit for Spencer to speak, but the event is unaffiliated with the school, and no student groups sponsored the speech or invited Spencer, the university said.
He called Thursday's event as a victory, proof "that we are persevering". Fuchs had told students prior to the governor's announcement to go to class as usual, and said the campus would remain open.
By law, the school must pay for the additional costs of security.
"I really don't believe that's fair that the taxpayer is now subsidizing through these kind of events the security and having to subsidize his hate speech", he said. "It's been surprising to many students that hate speech can not be banned from a public university".