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Papers thrown away by Unite campaigners

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Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 1:59 am | Updated: 1:59 am, Tue Feb 21, 2012.

At about 9:15 a.m. Monday, 268 crisp Alligator newspapers were found shoved into a trash bin on the north side of Weimer Hall. They were crowned by one newspaper with a wind-blown cover bearing the headline: "Muschamp endorses Student Government VP candidate."

Minutes before, a man and a woman wearing Unite Party T-shirts were seen pulling stacks of Alligators from the two orange racks that sit outside of the hall.

Eyewitnesses and a source affiliated with the Unite Party told the Alligator that Jason Tiemeier, Student Senate president pro tempore and campaign volunteer, was the man spotted discarding the newspapers.

Health science and pre-physical therapy sophomore Taylor Chambers said he was standing near the two orange racks at about 9 a.m. when he saw Tiemeier and a woman discarding Alligators.

Chambers, 20, said when the pair noticed him watching, they stopped. Journalism junior and Alligator freelance reporter Elizabeth Hamilton, 19, approached Tiemeier and asked him what he was doing.

He told her he was going to pass out the newspapers.

Chambers witnessed the exchange and said Tiemeier and the woman walked off with a stack of Alligators.

Tiemeier told the Alligator he was not involved, saying he was at home Monday morning.

"I was sleeping," he said.

Brock Hankins, campaign manager for the Unite Party, echoed Tiemeier.

"It was not Jason Tiemeier, and it was not anyone affiliated with the Unite Party," he said.

It is not clear whether Tiemeier and the woman were instructed by party leadership or if they were acting alone.

Students Party President Ford Dwyer said he was not surprised by the morning's events.

"People have told me that in previous elections, it has been a tactic to censor certain speech in the Alligator that [the Unite Party] didn't want students to know about," he said.

Capt. Jeff Holcomb of the UF Police Department said this activity might be considered theft because even though the newspapers are free, they are not intended for mass destruction. The incident would definitely be referred to Student Conduct, he said. In his 24 years of service, he said, he has never heard of this happening.

Chris Loschiavo, assistant dean of students and director of student conduct and conflict resolution, said the legality of trashing hundreds of copies of a free newspaper is unclear.

"It's certainly not a black-and-white issue," he said. "There's a lot of shades of gray."

Alligator staff writers Joey Flechas, Elizabeth Hamilton, Erin Jester, Clare Lennon, Emily Morrow, Jon Silman and Matt Watts contributed to this report.

Welcome to the discussion.

27 comments:

  • Xelkelvos posted at 2:20 pm on Thu, Feb 23, 2012.

    Xelkelvos Posts: 4

    @ALL_knowing
    >implying they wouldn't do it if they were a minority party

     
  • ALL_Knowing posted at 4:34 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    ALL_Knowing Posts: 7

    What a bunch of cry babies. Here's an idea, if you don't like it then go out and vote. Everyone outside of the Unite/Gator/Greek party wants to complain about them and point out that they are a minority at UF. Why is it that they constantly control the student government? Maybe because they ACTUALLY VOTE! Get off you A$$ and vote for a different party and stop crying about it.

     
  • gtl posted at 4:11 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    gtl Posts: 14

    GatorDem is clearly a Unite Party active member. I didn't know Unite had ads on the paper or stopped buying them, and I read it actively. Maybe I just ignored them. Also ask "TJ" how much more booze he's able to buy now that he's saving money.

     
  • gtl posted at 4:07 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    gtl Posts: 14

    Holcomb, see a neurologist! It's only been 4 years! http://www.alligator.org/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/article_f455fe54-bb4b-5419-8aac-9bdb70a06465.html

     
  • GatorDem posted at 3:57 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    GatorDem Posts: 31

    My response: I have written letters to the Alligator and they have been ignored.

    The Alligator is just mad that TJ and Unite stopped wasting SG money on buying ads in their paper and now they're completely overstepping their journalistic boundaries and attempting to influence the outcome of the election in an artificial way to get some form of revenge.

     
  • KMG15 posted at 12:20 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    KMG15 Posts: 1

    I'm not a student at UF, although I am from Florida and currently have many friends who are students here, most of whom are heavily involved in Greek life around campus. A good friend of mine linked me some articles about this current student election, and I have to say that I'm shocked.
    The members of both the Unite and Students parties are engaging in some of the most childish behavior that I have seen yet. If the members of both parties spent half as much time actually trying to solve key issues around campus as they did arguing or engaging in petty behavior, maybe some tangible change could actually be accomplished.
    This election has turned away from the key issues at hand: the student government and the well-being of the student body itself. Instead, it seems to have devolved into a childish war between Greeks and GDIs. This sort of animosity between those that are involved in Greek life and those that choose not to partake is exactly why I decided not to go to UF (or any university in the South, for that matter). It is petty, it is unprofessional, and it is casting an unflattering light on the University of Florida campus as a whole.

     
  • cmontana15 posted at 10:03 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    cmontana15 Posts: 57

    Pretty sure this is considered a felony.

     
  • lmao posted at 7:24 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    lmao Posts: 2

    This is a great example of how a few stupid people can ruin the efforts of an entire organization.

    I only have one question for the Unite party: U MAD?

     
  • Neoutler posted at 4:34 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Neoutler Posts: 1

    There's a recycling bin right next to that trash can.

     
  • smarsh posted at 4:32 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    smarsh Posts: 26

    Throwing away papers that people worked hard on is most definitely a type of theft (albiet stupid theft)... especially when you consider that advertisers paid to have their business featured in the paper, which they assume students will see. The paper is only free because the Alligator is non-profit. That doesn't mean it's garbage. Luckily they only got 300 or so... nothing compared to the total copies printed (not to mention, you know, the internet). Tiemeier cannot sue anyone for libel. He can try, but he won't win. The Alligator had reliable sources of information in this case.

     
  • Roosevelt posted at 1:30 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Roosevelt Posts: 56

    @G8r they have two eyewitnesses and a Unite source (anonymous, but if you know anything about journalism you know the standards an anonymous source is held to. If it was printed it is probably from a credible source) verified that Tiemeier was the culprit. They have to report this! Even if they had less than this they needed to report that newspapers were stolen by someone in a UNITE t-shirt. It HAPPENED. That is what the news reports, things that happen.

    Sucks that you don't like what actually happened but don't blame them for being angry at someone for throwing away their hard work.

     
  • G8r posted at 12:53 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    G8r Posts: 4

    Free newspapers being thrown away is not a crime. That's like throwing away free candy. This is a trivial matter. This kid is a victim of horrible reporting and should be suing for libel of anything.

     
  • Rebekah posted at 12:41 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Rebekah Posts: 1

    Throwing away student papers is most definitely theft. FAU had a similar case in November. I hope The Alligator contacts the SPLC and presses charges.

    http://www.splc.org/news/newsflash.asp?id=2175

     
  • gator8 posted at 12:32 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    gator8 Posts: 1

    @moish
    If you do not vote then why would you even bother posting on an article such as this. I am also willing to bet that about half of the people writing on this page do not vote. There is no concrete evidence behind that assumption so please do not take it as fact, it is just a hunch. How about instead of taking the time to write a comment on one of these pages you take that same time to go out and vote so that you make a real difference. I am not endorsing either side because i do not want my post to be biased one way or another, I am just trying to get people to vote

     
  • treynuf posted at 11:58 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    treynuf Posts: 1

    Dear Current UF Students and Capt. Holcomb,

    Just a reminder, this is deja vu of deja vu (of deja vu probably):

    http://www.alligator.org/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/article_f455fe54-bb4b-5419-8aac-9bdb70a06465.html

    Sincerely,
    Tom, c/o '09

     
  • UFmathguy posted at 10:29 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    UFmathguy Posts: 1

    @GatorDem ... did you read the article?

    There's a lot of talk about trashy, here's some real trash (irony?): http://florida.arrests.org/Arrests/Jason_Tiemeier_5290420/

    Really, it's nothing unexpected.
    The Unite Party is an embarrassment to our school. Yes, I do acknowledge both sides can take it too far. No, I don't care. The fact is, there needs to be a better method for voting that's a little more indicative of say, I don't know, our own democracy..
    (For those of you who don't know how voting works in the United States, I suggest you google "how voting works in the United States").

     
  • moish posted at 9:33 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    moish Posts: 2

    @GatorDem This is your opportunity to reply! And so far, you have wasted it. Also, you can write a letter to the paper. My roommate did the same over an article, and her opinions shed a very negative light on the paper, and they printed it the next day!
    You have every chance to give a good opinion, but you waste you time complaining about being silenced.
    This whole situation is pretty pitiful...worse than the crap that goes on in REAL elections. I don't remember the last clean election run at UF. And the trivial-ness of it all is highlighted by the fact that most people here are arguing for and against frats and sororities. This, above all else, just may motivate me to vote for the first time ever in these stupid elections.

     
  • ndparr posted at 9:32 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    ndparr Posts: 1

    No one else is outraged as to why they didn't put the papers into the recycling bin right next to the trash?

     
  • abc123 posted at 9:05 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    abc123 Posts: 15

    Everyone knows that the "Nazi flyers" were made by Unite to try and make them look like the victims. I ran for student senate against Unite, and my opponent legitimately asked me why I was running against her because she had spent her entire student career to get to where she was and I was jeopardizing her advancement.....if that's not entitlement, I don't know what is. The whole Unite Party is a joke.

     
  • dayergs posted at 8:50 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    dayergs Posts: 4

    That was nearly 20 years ago, and the people responsible were dealt with in a proper manner. How about the recent incident when the Student Party associated Unite with the Nazi....

    The fact is both sides have supporters that take it to far. I know both Alex and TJ very well, and neither would ever support such activities.

     
  • abc123 posted at 8:50 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    abc123 Posts: 15

    "Uh, Theta, you guys had that incentive of getting your girls a bottle, not too many sororities do that, that’s awesome. Uh, DPhiE, I know you had your baby pledge class that they couldn’t eat until they went and voted. [Giggles] That’s amazing, that’s what you need to do. So I applaud you all for doing that."

    "how we run this campus is through passing bills and getting certain things pushed through, and we’re not going to be able to do that if half of their people are in there and half of us, ‘cus then we do have to have them have these bills passed that we don’t want that are going to hurt us."

    - Unite Party 2010

     
  • abc123 posted at 8:41 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    abc123 Posts: 15

    The Unite/FBK party ALWAYS does this! They feel so entitled to this positions in Student Government. Remember in 2008, they did the same thing. In 2010, the audio recording proved their malice intents. And now this in 2012. I'm not surprised. The Unite Party is just a bunch of over-privileged Frat Stars and Sorority girls who only retain their power in SG because the rest of the University is so apathetic and they force their members to vote for each other. Until the rest of the university wakes up and realizes this, it will all remain the same. So, I encourage everyone to vote today and tomorrow.

     
  • Stonewall posted at 8:32 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Stonewall Posts: 47

    stealing newspapers is desperate and trashy. also spamming the alligator online with comments tearing down a fellow gator who is a member of the football team, the head of a thousand person student org, who runs his own charity, and is a member of the armed forces goes beyond trashy.
    Oh there was also this one time, that the FBK party put up posters all over campus accusing the indy party's presidential candidate of being a child molester...

     
  • GatorDem posted at 7:54 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    GatorDem Posts: 31

    Typical Alligator unfounded reporting. No proof no evidence and no opportunity for Unite to respond, just what the Students Party wants, a cheap shot on election day to score a few last minute votes. Sounds kinda desperate and trashy to me...

     
  • G8r posted at 7:35 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    G8r Posts: 4

    Has the alligator written anything good about the Unite party yet? Oh wait, that would be unbiased reporting. If you read this article, that kid probably didn't even do it. You don't have to lie to make news. Bad reporting, from and even worse paper.

     
  • GatorA posted at 6:43 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    GatorA Posts: 3

    Although this situation is somewhat trivial, I think it's funny that Unite is so self-conscious that it had to throw away issues of The Alligator which it swears is an insignificant and biased source of news.

     
  • SamMiorelli posted at 3:42 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    SamMiorelli Posts: 2

    This isn't new. When the Alligator ran front page about the Green Means Go e-mails in 2008 the Unite Party sent people to several Alligator bins across campus to steal newspapers and throw them away. I don't know why UPD doesn't "remember" this because it was reported to them then as well. The Alligator reported on this at the time and should pull out that reporting to refresh their memories.

    As to Chris Loschiavo, he's an old-time FBK guy and his history of protecting the machine is well known by the GDIs at UF.