In elementary school, Valentine’s Day was something we all looked forward to. It was a day where we’d come to school decked out in festive shades of red and pink and receive candy and semi-heartfelt cards from our classmates.

About 15 years later, the holiday has turned into an unpleasant reminder of your perpetually single status. In an effort to keep spirits high, you and your friends decide to throw a retro V-Day party.

After several — and let’s be honest, way too many — heart-shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, you start to actually read the phrases on the cards you’ve received.

As you open the first one, you expect to find a witty one-liner about friendship or courtship. Strangely enough, what you find inside is no such thing. You open the first card to reveal ...

Darts & Laurels

Seventeen people woke up Wednesday for the last time. They made their way to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as they likely did every day without any hesitation, assuming it would be like any other. Unfortunately, this was far from the reality they would face.

A teen gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at his old high school. The suspect, identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, robbed 17 people of their lives and left 14 others wounded, including five who have been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

The actions of Cruz, as Gov. Rick Scott put it, can be described as nothing short of pure evil. To Cruz, we award our first dart.

This disturbing tragedy, however, was an opportunity for heroes to be made. They deserve credit for their selfless acts. Football coach Aaron Feis, according to the Sun, threw himself in front of students to protect them from the bullets during the shooting. Feis passed away early Thursday morning.

Cruz had set off a fire alarm in the school so students would come out into the hallway. Melissa Falkowski, an English and journalism teacher at the school, was quick on her feet during the chaos. When the code red was declared, she immediately hurried her students back to the classroom and shoved them all in a closet to keep them out of harm’s way.

To Feis and Falkowski, we award our first laurel of the week. It’s courageous people like them who lessened the impact of the shooting and single-handedly saved the lives of students without giving it a second thought.

House Bill 41 has reportedly been passed by both the Florida House and the Florida Senate and is on its way to Scott’s desk. This bill would legitimize, protect and fund Crisis Pregnancy Centers in the state. These centers are often religiously backed and have been known to use manipulative practices to shame women out of getting the reproductive health care they seek. The centers have often been dubbed “fake women’s health centers.”

We award a dart to the Florida House and Senate for allowing this bill to see the light of day. We can only hope Scott understands the dangers and lack of morality behind the bill and sends it to the grave.

On UF’s campus this week, we saw a positive development we believe signifies good things for the future. UF is reportedly the first U.S. institution to create a center for communications devoted to social change — something our nation could really use right now.

Ellen Nodine, the program director of the center, told The Alligator the center’s goals are to further develop the public interest communications curriculum, increase research in the field and continue to grow the community through the frank gathering, an annual conference for social change in Gainesville.

The center, which was launched by the College of Journalism and Communications, is a big step toward social justice and acceptance of diversity. We hope our school can serve as a model for others across the country. To Nodine, UF CJC Dean Diane McFarlin and all the others who helped make this center a reality, we award our last laurel.