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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

End of Student Government election brings calm

Because I could not stop for voting, it kindly stopped for me. Oh, Emily Dickinson's famous words will forever linger in my mind. Actually, I think it was traffic. Traffic kindly stopped for her, right?

Voting really didn't stop for me. It kept going. I told voting I had prior commitments and would get to it, but it gave me the old "It's not you, it's me," and moved on.

Voting doesn't stop to accommodate anyone. And it shouldn't. It represents your free will, and whether you vote, voting will start and end at its designated times. And everyone's vote will be worth the same. The rules also apply to Student Government elections.

If Emily Dickinson rose from the dead and traveled to UF in hopes of voting in our current SG election, she would not be able to vote. One, she's not a student. Two, voting is over. And because she's not a student and she didn't vote, she should not be able to write a defamatory poem about SG.

If Diddy wanted to vote in our SG election, he would be barred from voting. He could just buy out the university and declare himself a student. But still, voting is over. Sorry, Diddy. He also won't be able to record a politically-charged rap song about SG if he doesn't approve of its policies.

Voting is a process bigger than a world-renowned poet and a rap star who is on the brink of world domination. Basically, it's pretty darn important. As Diddy would say, "Vote or die."

But I didn't vote. Go figure, I'm still alive. And I can make fun of SG if I feel the urge.

Critics warn that I'm not allowed to complain about SG if I don't vote. That's their favorite threat. They know if they take away our ability to make fun of the stupid things SG argues about, we'll come to voting booths quivering in submission.

If you didn't vote and find yourself making fun of SG, don't fear retaliation. SG is part of the public eye and should be scrutinized from all angles if its actions are laughable. But if you didn't vote, I doubt you care enough to even mock it.

I'm a rebel. I didn't adhere to the traffic safety-like signs outside the Reitz Union telling me to vote. I threw away all my Gator Party stickers. I don't think I even received any Progress Party ones.

And I certainly didn't heed the words of the Alligator editorial board on Wednesday when it instructed all students to vote.

So I actually didn't try to make time to vote. I basically ignored it altogether. I turned my iPod to a near-maximum volume each time I passed the shark-like campaigners on campus.

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Now that I haven't voted and it's over, I feel less annoyed when I walk around campus. There are probably more drops of alcohol from Saturday's tailgating than guilt coursing through my blood right now.

While voting for the American government is important, SG is more of a sticker-production company to me.

It's great that SG is the student voice, but I don't care. I'm sure thousands of other students don't care either. So if you chose not to vote or didn't even know voting was going on, don't feel bad.

And because I could not stop to vote, I got a phone call from a creepy voice saying I have seven days left to live. Actually, I didn't. Because I did not stop to vote, I took that extra time and studied a little harder for my quiz on Emily Dickinson.

Stephanie Rosenberg is a junior majoring in journalism. Her column appears on Thursdays.

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