New year, new you, new things for the Alligator editorial board to complain about.
We love this time of year. Everyone looks just a little bit prettier, with their freshly cut hair and new clean clothes - next time you see those outfits on the people in your 4th period class, they may not be quite as fresh.
But mostly we love it because it's a fresh start. Hate who you were in high school? Please, reinvent yourself. Hate your major? Don't wait any longer to change it. Hate what you see happening on campus? Do something to make it better. But for now, you can just sit back, relax and read this week's back-to-school edition of…
Darts & Laurels
Like some other university organizations, we're feeling generous, so we hand a football-tickets-for-funding-teaching LAUREL to the University Athletic Association for donating ,6 million to academic programs at UF. The Florida Opportunity Scholars Program will receive ,4 million of that money. The program pays tuition, room and board for qualified first-generation college students. Where the remaining ,2 million will go hasn't been decided yet, but we can only hope it's headed in the direction of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences deficit.
We recognize that UAA has given millions to UF over the years, and we're grateful. But after winning three national titles in two years, not to mention SEC championships and all the accolades in other sports, UAA must be rolling in dough. So why doesn't UAA give more to the brains of this operation - the academics? They can definitely afford it. After all, without the university, we wouldn't have the sports.
Yesterday in the Reitz Grand Ballroom, there was a speech. A big speech. The State of the University Speech. But we have to give a nothing-new-here-nothing-new-ever DART to UF President Bernie Machen. Sure, he told us we have a lot of problems - mounting debt, students taking too few credit hours, lack of faculty morale. He also cited the good: increased diversity, new construction projects and new faculty hirings despite a university-wide freeze.
But what he didn't do was give any solutions to the growing problems. Or propose any new ideas for how we can improve our university. The State of the University should be a time to explore new options and consider radical changes. We know not everything at UF is as great as it could be. We know we need a lot more money to get things done. But we also know there are new ideas Bernie could speak about, instead of dwelling on the ones we all already know about.
What else wouldn't we have without the university? Fraternities and sororities. Or their glorious new houses. We have to give a we'll-just-admire-from-the-outside DART to the Delta Delta Delta Sorority, which recently opened its new house's doors - but only if your fingerprint matches. Before you get all up in arms about us darting the sisters, we must admit, it's only because we're jealous of their shiny new digs. We bet this house is so posh it could be featured on MTV Cribs. If only our run-down houses and apartments in the student ghetto had libraries with pianos. We'd be the happiest college students alive.
Finally, we throw a how-can-you-call-it-the-downtown-station-when-it's-not-quite-downtown DART to Gainesville's Regional Transit System for moving its downtown station, well, out of downtown. Many people see this move as RTS' way of trying to shake the homeless population that was often seen around the former station. The new station, which boasts a restroom and covered waiting area, is safer and has a better atmosphere, according to RTS Director Jesus Gomez. We hope this isn't a covert plan to get rid of those less fortunate - because they'll just find their way to the new shelter.