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Trashy Politics: Unite members' actions uncalled for

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Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 1:23 am | Updated: 1:23 am, Tue Feb 21, 2012.

Yesterday, at Weimer Hall, home of the College of Journalism and Communications, 268 copies of the Alligator were taken from bins and thrown away.

From eyewitness accounts and official Unite sources, we have reason to believe that Jason Tiemeier, the Senate president pro tempore and campaign volunteer for the Unite Party, was responsible for these actions.

Witnesses have also indicated that he did not act alone.

Tiemeier and all those involved should be ashamed of themselves for their reliance on dirty and classless political tactics.

This goes beyond the SG election and shows the true character of these members of the Unite Party.

More than 50 people put in countless hours every day putting together this paper for you, the Student Body. We also have career staff members whose paychecks rely on advertising revenue from businesses that expect their ads to be seen each day.

To take a stack of papers and trash them for no reason other than petty political games is beyond irresponsible.

These actions are an affront to our work, the free flow of information on campus, the businesses that support us and the First Amendment.

Ignorance is not an excuse at this point.

We expect a written apology from Unite and its campaign managers for not closely following actors within its campaign. Tiemeier should be removed from his office immediately.

This should not be happening at any level of government, and especially not on a college campus where unrestricted discussion and open-mindedness are encouraged. We should all treat each other with respect despite our disagreements.

The Alligator has been completely fair in its news coverage of the election, and it does not deserve these sort of attacks from either side.

We have also been diligent in publishing letters from supporters of both parties.

Obviously, the endorsement by head football coach Will Muschamp on Monday's front page seemed to give the Unite Party a lot of political reasons to stop students from reading the Alligator, but we do not want to make broad, sweeping assumptions about the entire party.

This could have been one or two individuals acting alone.

We do, however, want to ask that anyone involved in this step forward, be an adult and admit that this move was completely stupid.

We're pissed off, but we'll get over it.

Above all else, we feel the Student Body deserves an apology from these individuals who betrayed its trust and tried to manipulate this election.

Let us hope this is the end of dirty campaign tactics for this election.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Roosevelt posted at 6:40 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Roosevelt Posts: 56


  • funnychao posted at 4:41 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    funnychao Posts: 1

    This would all be less funny and more important if student government ACTUALLY mattered. Regardless of what party wins, nothing will get done. Just sit in your office wearing a button and have a title on your door.

    It's always funny when people argue about an organization that legitimately doesn't do ANYTHING.

  • Roosevelt posted at 4:18 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Roosevelt Posts: 56

    Way to just repost your blog post from Total Frat Move, @Biasnews.

  • BIASNEWS posted at 4:03 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    BIASNEWS Posts: 7

    If there’s one thing that goes hand in hand with Student Government elections every year, it’s a massive horde of GDIs rushing the polls hoping to take the dominant Greeks out of power. And behind these skinny-jean wearing bongo playing geeds is none other than the campus student newspaper, supporting their idiotic claims.
    A little background: today at the University of Florida we have the time-honored tradition of Greeks completely embarrassing the lowly Geed Party in the SG elections. And what should grace the soiled pages of “The Independent Florida Alligator” (our “newspaper”) but a near-endless stream of senseless and factless Greek bashing propaganda.
    Check out this article if you don’t believe me. In this highly opinionated piece (which ran on the sports page, for some reason), the author proceeds to accuse Greeks of violating the first amendment, and likens us to a dictatorial empire.
    I’m extremely sorry you didn’t get a bid, Mr. Watts, but that does not give you a legitimate excuse to completely shit on the credibility and integrity of your publication. We flip through your “newspaper” on the shitter every morning with hopes of finding out a little about what’s going on in the world, not to hear your pathetic slants and desperation.
    You go on to say that “Less than 5 percent of the enrollment of UF is affiliated with a Greek organization, but nearly 100 percent of SG is controlled by fraternities and sororities.” Last time I checked, that was a compliment and not the thinly veiled insult you tried to make it. It isn’t our fault that we’re organized, and can motivate our supporters to actually vote. Maybe if the GDIs on campus would leave the drum circle and put down the bong long enough to fill out a ballot you’d actually have a chance?
    If you paid as much attention to reporting the facts as you did tarnishing your journalistic credibility, then maybe your paper’s number one use on campus wouldn’t be kindling for bonfires. It’s about time you took your responsibilities as journalists a little more seriously.
    I’m here to tell you why we always win: we are, actually 100% better than you. Our connections far surpass the ones you receive writing for free in the piss-stained rag you pass to the public as “news.” Maybe the reason that we win year after year isn’t because we force pledges to pass out fliers and actually manage to rally our supporters. Maybe it’s because we’re the go-getters on campus, the ones who have actual leadership experience, and the people that will eventually become your bosses.
    Actually, scratch that, I would never hire someone associated with something so pathetic.

  • Roosevelt posted at 3:14 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Roosevelt Posts: 56

    haha @chomp. That's funny! I love how they accuse the alligator of throwing away journalistic integrity when they were the ones throwing away the paper.

    Also, racism? Seriously? Are we going to go there? I don't see a single racist piece in this paper

  • Gatorfan2121 posted at 2:36 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Gatorfan2121 Posts: 6

    Wait, this just in! It was actually a Student party member wearing a Unite shirt under his Student party shirt, under a Unite party shirt that he stole Vader in Turlington.... No one cares

  • Chomp posted at 2:25 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Chomp Posts: 7

    Since when does the Alligator need facts to print something?

    How about some positive and truthful commentary.....


  • G8r posted at 12:57 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    G8r Posts: 4

    Where is the proof? Seriously where is it? They ask at the bottom of the article to have the real culprit come forward but still wrote this article anyways about this kid. The alligator is garbage. This bs made up story is their front cover story?! How pathetic can you possibly be?!

  • wordsofwisdom posted at 12:38 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    wordsofwisdom Posts: 1

    @you got served with regards to

    " If Student's Party wins, why should we believe that anything will be any different? Every time the non-establishment party wins executive seats they turn out to be the exact same as the party they had rallied against."

    So you are telling us that your rational for not voting for the student party is that they will be no better than the horribly run unite party? That make sense. Just continue to feed the beast.

  • xxzyqb posted at 11:33 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    xxzyqb Posts: 2

    @You Got Served

    The Independent Florida Alligator hasn't been officially affiliated with UF since the early '70s, hence the "independent" part. Your attempt at stretching logic to accuse Alligator reporters of "extorsion" falls flat. If the Unite party did have any control over The Alligator, do you think this story had a chance in hell of being printed?

    Thank god for an independent press, eh?

  • frattygator posted at 10:32 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    frattygator Posts: 16

    "-If Student's Party wins, why should we believe that anything will be any different? Every time the non-establishment party wins executive seats they turn out to be the exact same as the party they had rallied against."

    In recent history, the non establishment party has only won executive seats once, when in 2004, Jamal Sowell was elected president. Except for that one election, SG has been completely monopolized by the Gator/Swamp/Unite establishment party. Your statement is therefore illogical

  • Hurp Derp posted at 10:20 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Hurp Derp Posts: 2

    I'm a grad student, so I don't care that much about undergrad politics. However, I make sure to vote for every nominee who ISN'T a member of the Unite Party. Why? Because I'm sick and tired of dealing with the moronic frat "bros" and sorostitutes who infest the campus. Thankfully we didn't have any such issues at my undergrad, but here it seems that these children (who got into their respective Greek chapter through the grace of God and Mommy and Daddy's influence) think that they can push their elitist agenda on the rest of the campus.

  • You Got Served posted at 9:09 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    You Got Served Posts: 44

    On another note, if The Alligator still had a shred of evidence and was aiming to benefit the student body instead of having every columnist affiliated with the Student's Party write a hit piece here are some suggestions for unbiased articles that probably could have helped the average student come to their own conclusion.

    -The issues facing tuition increases, how each party plans to attack it.
    -The real issues surrounding FSA. We've heard from each party's members pushing their position and now a sophomore who goes to New College, but what is the real story and facts here.
    -Any in depth coverage of the party platforms, why we should care about each point or some sort of explanation.
    -Who are the Senate candidates?
    -If Student's Party wins, why should we believe that anything will be any different? Every time the non-establishment party wins executive seats they turn out to be the exact same as the party they had rallied against.

    All in all, The Alligator has really done a poor job at even resembling an unbiased, legitimate news source in this election.

  • You Got Served posted at 9:02 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    You Got Served Posts: 44

    If he did indeed it, then that is completely wrong and he is an idiot. However, why does every Alligator editor talk about how "its been really tough to run a paper recently and we could use some help" when talking to high level sources within the Unite Party.

    The Alligator has never run a single article disclosing the cuts in their revenue as a result of the Unite Party making rules that require student organizations to vary their advertising and use social media rather than forking over several thousands of dollars to The Alligator.

    Regardless of who you support The Alligator is committing extortion, has an incentive to make sure that Unite does not win, and has thrown every ounce of journalistic integrity out the window.

  • dayergs posted at 8:39 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    dayergs Posts: 5

    Funny, my Dad told me this happened back in the 70's too. Except at that time it was John Morgan who headed it up. Funny.

  • frattygator posted at 8:36 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    frattygator Posts: 16

    A felony isn't going to look good on that FBK application!

  • GatorDem posted at 8:04 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    GatorDem Posts: 32


  • Abaddon posted at 7:49 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Abaddon Posts: 150

    G8r -

    It's looking as though they've got eye witnesses.


    While eye witnesses may not be unimpeachable, I can't imagine what better evidence you could ask for in this sort of situation.

  • Roosevelt posted at 7:40 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Roosevelt Posts: 56

    @G8r you failed to mention the rest of the quote. "From eyewitness accounts and official UNITE sources, we have reason to believe...

    While that may not be airtight until the Unite member unmasks it seems pretty solid to me. The fact is that someone threw away their hard work, I'd be pissed to.

  • G8r posted at 6:56 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    G8r Posts: 4

    " we have reason to believe?" what reason? Way to go again alligator, making up a story about a Unite member with no credible evidence. No wonder people don't read your trash reporting any more. At least try to act unbiased.

  • xxzyqb posted at 5:30 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    xxzyqb Posts: 2


    Reporting the truth, even when it makes someone look bad, does not constitute an "attack." Libel is one thing, being caught red-handed is another.

    Your condemnation of The Alligator with reference their responsibilities toward public discourse strikes me as absolutely delusional. Your comment makes it sound as though Unite party members have such a massive sense of entitlement that they think they can toss out 268 copies of a small college newspaper in an attempt to keep information away from their voters, and that they should be immune from criticism by that same newspaper when the act is exposed. I don't imagine you'd expect to see the Student party to receive that sort of special treatment. Please correct me if i'm wrong about any of this.

    The rest of your post reads like a lot of autofellatio, but I think we'll probably just have to agree to disagree about that.

  • Chomp posted at 3:29 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Chomp Posts: 7

    "The Alligator has been completely fair in its news coverage of the election, and it does not deserve these sort of attacks from either side."

    I think we have witnessed in the last few hours that the Alligator has been the antithesis of completely fair. Hey guys, don't claim fairness in the same issue that blatantly attacks one party in favor of another.

    It's obvious you guys are "pissed." I think you succeeded in getting that point across. Otherwise you wouldn't have been spending all evening finding ways to trash Unite all over the place. Unfortunately, with the power to control the public discourse comes the responsibility to act with at least a sliver of dignity and control. You have done the exact opposite and proven to the dozens and dozens of readers that you lack the character that you champion above.

    While your 50 staff members concoct ways to embarrass and attack students, over 500 people in student government work to achieve real, tangible results for this university and its student body. As stewards of student's money, they should get the credit they deserve, from putting on countless cabinet events to bringing prominent public figures to campus, and especially advocating on behalf of the student body in Tallahassee.

    Anybody who thinks that student leaders are in it for the "perks" and to boost their own egos or resumes knows nothing about public service. The fact is that Villamil, Justilien, and Rodriguez are not only genuine, intelligent, and diligent individuals, but they have the experience necessary to continue to lead the student body along the path to national respect and prominence.

    Maybe one of these days the "Independent" Florida Alligator will actually live up to its name.

  • rainman posted at 1:26 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    rainman Posts: 2

    All 8k Greek kids vote for each other and win every semester. They only way they could ever lose is if they piss off enough people do go vote against them. Or if they moved the elections online....

  • aczuf posted at 1:07 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    aczuf Posts: 3

    This isn't even the half of it. Why do we keep voting these immature people into office? Oh right, because they manipulate the student body into thinking they're working for them. Is that why student fees and tuition have gone up every single year during the past four years despite Unite saying they will fight these increases? Grow up Unite.

  • Stonewall posted at 1:03 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Stonewall Posts: 47

    he's basically a pledge, he still hasn't been given permission to speak to certain FBK leaders

  • Stonewall posted at 12:55 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Stonewall Posts: 47


    this isn't the first time or the last time The System resorts to dirty campaigning.

    I also remember hundreds of papers going missing during the fall of 2008 when the System Party was exposed in the Green Means Go scandal

  • achjr86 posted at 12:54 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    achjr86 Posts: 14

    Don't they usually have pledges do this?