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Saturday, December 09, 2023

Now that Tasergate is winding down, we've been turning up the tunes and dancing around the newsroom. The clubs downtown ain't got nothin' on the movers and shakers in the Department of Darts & Laurels. Actually, the only reason we had time to write this is because our Spice Girls' CD is skipping, so we're giving the old boom box a break. While we listen to nothing but commercials on the radio, we'll bring you this week's toe-tappin' edition of…

Darts & Laurels

First up, we bestow a "proud-to-be-an-American" LAUREL to all the students who've served their country. An Alligator series this week featured three UF students who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. These dedicated students braved snow, sand and suicide bombers. Even if you don't support the wars, you've got to give them credit for enduring what most of us aren't willing to and serving our country while the rest of us sit on our couches and watch "Dancing With the Stars."

Even though these students put their lives on the line, many Americans don't agree with the wars. And some people are protesting this weekend in Washington, D.C. We throw a WAR-What-is-it-good-for? DART at two student groups going to the nation's capital for a protest organized by the Troops Out Now Coalition.

Why a dart, you ask? Chelsea Solme, president of Students Against War said, "I think it's unrealistic to think we'll get the government's attention."

That is the wrong attitude to have if you're making the trip to D.C. to exercise your First Amendment rights. Protesting worked for the Civil Rights movement. It worked for Vietnam. We'd like to think it will work for Iraq. Please, protesters, take this dart constructively, and protest your hearts out. You never know which legislators might be listening.

All this talk of war is a bit of a downer, so we turn to the ultimate upper: porn. We hand an I'm-too-sexy-for-my-shirt LAUREL to the seven UF women who bared almost all for Playboy's "Girls of the SEC" issue. Someone stole our office copy, so we can't point out any specifics, but we're amazed at the women who were brave enough to strip in the name of the Southeastern Conference.

Our CD player is finally working again, and someone just put in the Flashdance soundtrack. What a feeling to hear this CD again. We could dance all night. We've got the stamina for hours of dancing, how 'bout you? One event on campus assumes students can't, so here's a dancing-like-she's-never-danced-before DART to the Dance Marathon organizers for cutting back the event's duration from 32 hours to 26.2. We get that 26.2 miles make up a marathon. But we don't get how reducing the event's length will give participants "a greater understanding and appreciation of what our Miracle Families undergo."

Wait, what? If anything, this will lessen the effects. Marathoners of the past have always claimed the duration of the event is important so students can attempt to understand what children go through. According to UF's Dance Marathon Web site, "participants experience physical and mental challenges during the event, serving as a reminder of the obstacles children treated at Shands face." Don't sugarcoat the fact that many students don't want to devote 32 hours or don't have the endurance. Those kids you're dancing for don't have a say in how long they suffer. It's not just about fundraising.

But when it comes to raising tuition, we hand a I-want-to-thank-you LAUREL to the Board of Governors for defying the Florida Legislature to raise tuition rates so the state universities will have some much-needed money. Universities' budgets have already been cut tremendously. It can allow us to have our measly ,3.68 per credit hour.

But not everyone is desperate for cash. We have to chuck a mo'-money-mo'-problems DART at the Gator Party's election spending. We can't imagine why the Gator Party needs ,3,500 to run its campaign. How many stickers, T-shirts and pizzas could one party need? Senate candidates shouldn't need food to fuel their campaigning. Their desire for the job should be enough. The Progress Party is running on a slimmer budget, but we're not so sure why Progress Party president Joseph Trimboli said his party could save money if online voting was allowed.

But maybe it's just that we can't get no satisfaction.

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