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Column: Students, athletes can find common ground in Unite hatred

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Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 1:20 am | Updated: 5:36 pm, Wed Aug 28, 2013.

Cody Riggs is just like you.

Sure, he’s a cornerback on one of the nation’s most recognizable football teams and has a chance to play on TV in the NFL one day. But trust me, you and Riggs have plenty in common.

Forget the football stuff, forget that he suits up in orange and blue and plays in front of 90,000 on Saturdays. Riggs is more than a football player — he’s a person, a student. He’s someone every regular person on campus can identify with.

And when he walks through Turlington Plaza, especially during weeks like this one, Riggs is just as annoyed by those countless Unite Party minions who live for seemingly one sole purpose: cramming their one-party-over-all-others brochures and stickers down your gullet.

Don’t believe me? Check out his Twitter feed, @CodyRiggs31.

There you will find the following from last Friday: “I’m voting Students Party lol Unite party leave me TF alone it’s way too early to be talking to me going to class #teamjesseschmitt.”

And: “Like who TF are y’all even running against? Lol Don’t approach me again.”

Riggs gets it, and while an obviously overwhelming reason why Riggs and several other prominent Florida athletes have endorsed the Students Party instead of the Greek empire is because vice presidential candidate Jesse Schmitt is on the football team, that doesn’t mean he is wrong for stating his opinion.

In fact, he couldn’t be more right.

Riggs has that option because of the First Amendment, which was completely and literally trashed by a separate faction Monday when hundreds of copies of the Alligator were thrown in the nearest wastebasket.

Some people were so afraid of Students usurping the power from the Greeks that they stooped to the lowest level of all and made an effort to silence the free and independent press.

The motivation? Likely the statement released by UF football coach Will Muschamp supporting and endorsing Schmitt and the Students Party in today’s and Wednesday’s elections.

From his release, Muschamp said, “I join his teammates in endorsing Jesse as VP for student government. I know that his leadership and drive for excellence will make him successful and in turn make campus a better place for every student.”

The Alligator ran a story about the endorsement on the front page of Monday’s edition, one you probably didn’t get to see unless you rooted through garbage.

There are plenty of reasons (roughly five million) why people didn’t want that story to be seen by the masses  of the student population.

By having total and complete domination in SG, Unite controls about $5 million of the more than $17 million in student funds and has done so without bipartisan representation for as long as I can remember.

The members of that party were responsible for the voter debacle during fall semester, and they routinely look out for what’s best for the Greeks, not what’s best for all students.

They control UF, and they want it to stay that way.

And what’s the biggest competition to that control? The real student population. The fans of Gators sports.

People at Florida have shown through dismal voter turnout that they couldn’t care less about SG, but that has to change.

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 — otherwise known as Unite.

They crave that power, and as long as you — the everyday person who isn’t worried about the next gym sesh or tan appointment — don’t get involved, then Unite will continue its reign.

Do we really need more fluorescent tank tops and stupid neon sunglasses roaming campus?

Do we really need more dictatorial “leadership” and control? Or is it time for a real party that caters to your interests to take over?

We at alligatorSports know where our allegiance lies.

Just ask Cody Riggs.

#TeamJesseSchmitt

#StudentsParty

Contact Matt Watts at mwatts@alligator.org.

Welcome to the discussion.

14 comments:

  • gladigraduated posted at 8:01 pm on Tue, Feb 28, 2012.

    gladigraduated Posts: 12

    These comments are all beyond predictable.

     
  • eetilton posted at 5:50 am on Thu, Feb 23, 2012.

    eetilton Posts: 2

    Gatorfan2121: Kinda like how Unite Party posted a video stating they had the support of Gator athletes, though only 3 athletes were shown in said video. Oh, and the fact that I'm an athlete, and I know that the majority of my team, myself included, supported the Students Party. I'm pretty sure the Students Party has more of a right to say that they have the athletes' support, and yet they weren't the egotistical ones posting a youtube video that said so. Also, this article isn't stating that the Students Party has all athletes' votes. It's merely bringing attention to one that does support the party, and stating that the Sports section at the Alligator supports the Student Party.

     
  • jbalesi posted at 12:15 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    jbalesi Posts: 1

    re Hurp Durp: "My observation is this: those who dwell in fraternities and sororities here at UF are generally unpleasant, entitled brats who are only here by grace of God and Mommy/Daddy's contacts"

    I come from a very middle class family and was in a fraternity at another SEC school, and I can honestly say that it positively changed my life. It taught me the lessons in professionalism and friendship that I didn't learn elsewhere in the other two schools I went to before arriving in a state university. That being said, if your entire student body can organize to beat the "5%" of your campus, then obviously something is wrong there. Fraternity men are looked at positively everywhere in the country and especially in the military and in our government. Don't be mad because you didn't get a bid...

     
  • RichardHead posted at 3:47 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    RichardHead Posts: 1

    I find your hatred of the Greek system humorous. Well, if you dislike Greeks and their inevitable positions of power then guess what? Will Muschamp was a KA at UGA. You just got mind-fucked.

     
  • southern_bred posted at 1:34 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    southern_bred Posts: 1

    Hurp Derp,

    Clearly you don't have the slightest clue about what you are talking about. Please quit watching MTV and American Pie movies and assuming that fraternity men are any of the things you just mentioned. Congrats on making it through life as an independent, way to go. Out of college with a B.S.B. I am now working at a very established business making a very nice pay. Did I pay for my friends? No, I paid dues to an organization. Were you ever a member of a club? 4H? Jedi Church? Well, if you weren't let me tell you. A club/organization requires money usually (as they are non-profit) to fund their activities. My fraternity donated over $20,000 to a charity several years in a row. Have you done that? If so, again congrats to you, sir.

    I encourage you to stick to what you know best, whatever that may be. Clearly it has nothing to do with social lives of the college student.

    As for this piece of garbage editorial that found it's way into the sports section please allow me to be blunt. You are clearly a very angry cargo short wearing liberal arts major who has no idea what: A) A fraternity is B) What the real world is like C) How politics works. Please enjoy this little stint in your "independent" newspaper because trust me, you will never make it in journalism with these foundless and slanderous accusations. I encourage every student, Greek and independent, to boycott this paper for allowing such baseless claims to masquerade as fact. Not only does it make your student body look bad to the rest of us, it's just a waste of money.

     
  • Hurp Derp posted at 7:58 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Hurp Derp Posts: 2

    BIASNEWS,

    I am a grad student. I went to undergrad in a school that didn't have fraternities. I don't even know what a GDI is, though I'm sure it's defamatory.

    My observation is this: those who dwell in fraternities and sororities here at UF are generally unpleasant, entitled brats who are only here by grace of God and Mommy/Daddy's contacts. I never paid money to make friends, I never had some bro slap my ass with a paddle for fun, and I never caught an STD from the village bicycle in Theta Tau (or whatever). If you want to, that business. But don't act as if you're any better. A newsflash for you: outside these big SEC schools, nobody cares about Frats, and indeed they are actively looked down upon by many.

    More bothersome is the idea that this group is entrenched in power, and has that much money to throw around. It does the State of Florida, and the student body, a disservice to have one party with such complete control for so long. The student body as a whole needs to take responsibility for this and wake up--but I can understand why they don't care. Like me, many aren't here long, and just want to keep our heads down and get the degree. Moreover, as someone mentioned--it's student fucking government. It shouldn't be this serious. The saddest thing about all this is that there is a group of people at Unite who are so obsessed with power.

    I don't know enough about the Students' party to make a judgement about them, though I can guess they'd be just as bad if they had any actual power.

     
  • BIASNEWS posted at 4:02 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.

     
  • BIASNEWS posted at 4:02 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    BIASNEWS Posts: 7

    http://totalfratmove.com/824698

     
  • Bacon Good TFM Intern Bad posted at 4:00 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Bacon Good TFM Intern Bad Posts: 2

    It's student government, you try-hards. Who the hell cares.

    Sorry your crappy newspapers were used for homeless toilet paper.

     
  • Gatorfan2121 posted at 2:47 pm on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Gatorfan2121 Posts: 6

    One athlete supports the Student party, so all athletes support the Student party..... I see the logic - FAIL

     
  • abc123 posted at 9:19 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    abc123 Posts: 15

    What you didn't see was the bribe money that transferred hands after the interviews....

     
  • dayergs posted at 8:42 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    dayergs Posts: 4

    Wait is this Student Athletes supporting the Unite Party? I think so!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUlDIpDus1E

    Would someone tell the Alligator to stop crying because Unite stopped giving them advertising business.

     
  • GatorDem posted at 8:07 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    GatorDem Posts: 31

    Hey sports section, stick to what you're good at writing about and stay out of my politics. Oh wait, you suck at sports coverage also... awkward.....

     
  • Chomp posted at 2:01 am on Tue, Feb 21, 2012.

    Chomp Posts: 7

    For a minute there I thought I was reading the Editorial page. Didn't realize that the Sports section takes political sides as well.

    It is clear that this publication (to call it a newspaper would disgrace real news outlets), has engaged in a concerted effort to throw as much mud as possible at the Unite Party's name and pray that it sticks. What the Alligator makes up for in energetic yet erroneous claims it lacks in reality and truth.

    I also did not realize that Will Muschamp and the football team knew about the best interests of the student body. Maybe they should focus more on offensive line schemes and running actual plays than influencing student government elections.

    The last thing that this election season needs are more meaningless endorsements trashing Unite's name. God knows the Alligator doesn't need any more help.

     
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