It's been a busy week for the Department of Darts & Laurels. So much has been going on around campus. We've been so busy gathering quotes for "Overheard in Gainesville" and avoiding the Turlington preacher, we've barely had time to cross West University Avenue for a bite to eat or a pitcher to drink. Somehow we managed. But we also managed to bring you a special all UF, all the time edition for this week's…
Darts & Laurels
For round one, we launch a handful of what-is-going-on-this-week? DARTS in the general direction of Student Government.
To start, it's a wait-you-want-to-be-leaders? DART to party leaders for the upcoming SG elections. In what we've so cleverly dubbed the Name Game, we weren't sure who was coming and who was going. Not only were all the complaints a huge pain in the ass, they also delayed slating qualifications for the Student Senate elections. Do we really want people leading our school if they can't even pick their names without causing mass chaos?
Speaking of elections, we chuck a just-give-up-already DART at two SG referendum questions that will be on this election's ballots. One question asks if SG should fund a nonprofit, student-run cafe on campus. The other asks if UF should open a student-run homeless shelter. Feeling a sense of deja vu? That may be because last spring's elections had a very, very similar question. The only difference between the old homeless shelter referendum and this one is that the new one won't require incoming freshmen to visit the shelter during Preview. Last year, only 35 percent of voting students voted in favor of it.
And the coffee shop question is no different from last year's, which never made it to the ballot.
Even if both referendums miraculously passed, that in no way puts them into effect. That's the job of the Student Senate. And with UF facing budget crises left and right, something tells us these issues aren't high up on its list of things to spend money on.
But SG spends a lot of money on newspaper subscriptions - about ,30,000 a year. So when we can't use our Gator 1 Cards to open the lockboxes the papers are kept in, it's like SG is flushing money down the drain. We fire a thanks-for-wasting-our-money DART at SG for not taking this problem seriously. Student Body President Ryan Moseley said he doesn't think it's a big deal. Actually, Ryan, it is a big deal. It is SG's job to make sure every dollar is spent wisely. If students can't get their daily New York Times, their money is being wasted.
But enough about SG. Let's talk UF administration. We've got two things today that make us go, "Huh?" Here's a double-whammy since-when-did-UF-adopt-Bush-administration-policies DART for Bernie & Co. The first example of spending more when we need to save: UF departments shelling out ,1,000 per person for leadership classes. It's one thing to offer leadership training - we don't doubt the merits of that for a second - but it's totally another to have UF's departments, many which are already strapped for cash, foot the bill. UF doesn't pay for students' educations. Why should it pay for the faculty's?
The second "say what?" example is UF forking over ,200,000 to a consulting firm to help it find ways to cut its budget. Hey, Bernie, we've got a great idea on how to cut the budget: Don't pay someone ,200,000 to figure out how to do it. This ain't rocket science.
We give a reduce-reuse-recycle LAUREL to the Business Case for Sustainability and the UF Sustainability Showcase, which was held on campus this week. One of its main messages was that businesses can cut costs and carbon emissions at the same time. UF must continue to adopt measures if it hopes to achieve carbon-neutral status by 2030. We hope UF took away a lot from this conference, and we hope it can implement some of the practices emphasized by speakers.
Next we hand a welcome-to-America LAUREL to the European Union, which named UF the first American university to receive a grant for a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. Jean Monnet is regarded as an architect of the idea of European unity, and this center hopes to expand the ideals of cross-country unity to UF and the rest of the United States.
We can't end on such a happy note when there's so much wrong around campus this week, so we close with a we're-not-sure-who-that-is DART to Gator Growl for bringing "Lynyrd Skynyrd" to this year's pep rally. Don't get us wrong. We've heard of the band. We've heard all their songs. But this version of the band is in no way Lynyrd Skynyrd. This conglomeration is one band we don't want to hear growl.