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Saturday, April 13, 2024

A picture is worth a thousand words.

But 1,000 words is nothing compared to what the Editorial Board received when the Alligator ran Thursday’s sexToon, which depicted two people having sex on a table texting the word “Haiti” to the Red Cross.

Before we talk about anything else in this editorial, we would like to say one thing: We still have a lot to figure out.

After all, we are students.

However, we have a much bigger responsibility than most of the Student Body.

Don’t get us wrong — it’s an awesome one. We get to bring UF students and Gainesville residents their daily dose of local news, politics, entertainment and Gators sports.

When deciding to run that cartoon, we in no way wanted to make light of the situation that happened in Haiti.

Furthermore, we appreciate all of the fundraising efforts that have come from the Red Cross, UF organizations, the Salvation Army and any other person or group who has stepped up in this time of need.

We were simply trying to show how people have come together to help the Haitians in their time of need, as we do when we publish stories about the relief efforts of students — only with the cartoon, we were giving it a humorous spin. We understand that Haitians are dealing with a horrible tragedy, and we would never want to treat the situation insensitively. But despite the heartbreak, we see beauty in the way the world is coming together to help Haitians. Our cartoon was simply an acknowledgment of the fact that people are joining together to get behind a cause.

Alligator employees are standing behind Haitians as much as anyone else. The Avenue Editor wrote a guest column last week encouraging students to donate, and most of us have made personal donations.

We apologize if the execution fell a little flat, but the cartoon was certainly not malicious, and offense was never our intention.

We are an independent newspaper, and we rely on each other and ourselves to make good decisions and good choices.

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However, we do not operate under the illusion that we are perfect. We want feedback, and we want to learn. We don’t look at the past with regret but as an opportunity to grow.

That’s why we created a special e-mail address where you can send your questions, comments and concerns:

 This is not the place to harangue us. What you send here will not be published in the Letters to the Editor section. This is a place where you can send constructive criticism, suggestions, ideas, etc. and be assured that the editors will read it. We want to be as connected as possible to the Student Body, and the only way we can do that is to have an open pathway for you to access us.

Lay it on us.

That said, we would like to make it clear that we won’t be bullied into removing the sexToons completely.

And talking to our advertisers about our “smut magazine,” or e-mailing President Machen (yeah, someone really hates us that much) won’t scare us.

We may be independent from UF and distribute our paper to more people than just college students, but when it comes down to it, we are a college newspaper.

And college students have sex — not all of them, but a lot of them. You may not agree with it, and you may not participate, but it happens.

So if we want to publish a sexToon in the entertainment section, we will.

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