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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

We’ve received some complaints saying we as a newspaper opinions section have been too ambivalent. This was in regards to Wednesday’s editorial, which was intended to view the Smith Meyers situation at a macro-scale. We wanted to highlight the domination

of the story across media and examine why it’s been so captivating; do a little bit of philosophical musing to offer a different opinion than those expressed by our columnists and readers. If it seemed like we were complacent, we want to apologize. If it was not clear Wednesday, we did in fact take a stance on the matter in Monday’s editorial.

In case you missed that one, here’s a summary: What Meyers did reflects badly upon UF and makes an embarrassment of our school. Meyers and Student Government handled the situation poorly, refusing to answer our reporters or make any statements for five days. We want him and the rest of SG to be held accountable for their actions.

We mention it here again because it seemed to get lost between Monday and Wednesday.

On Monday, we also mentioned that this story deserved to be covered but not sensationalized.

The thing is, it’s kind of edging on the whole sensationalized thing right now.

We understand students are passionate about their opinions on this matter. We are happy to give them a platform: from our columnists expressing their voices on the situation, to readers writing in and telling us what they think.

What we want to do right now is remind everyone this should not be sensationalized. When we latch onto a specific media topic — let’s use Hillary Clinton’s emails and President Donald Trump’s tax returns as an example — it can turn into a frenzy, where we expect big results from small things. When both those came out (Trump’s tax returns on the “Rachel Maddow Show” on Tuesday night), it became achingly clear the underlying problems were not going to be fixed by one action. We have latched onto the hot topic, we made it into the ultimate end all be all, and then when we finally got our hands on what we thought we wanted, nothing became resolved.

The problem here isn’t solely Meyers not resigning. It’s the whole complex system of entitlement, party vs. Student Body loyalty and a lack of transparency from SG. Most of us realize that, but we’re at a dangerous tipping point where we’re making this more about individuals and their feelings, not the whole system at fault.

Yes, Meyers’ actions are an issue and reflect badly on our school. In our opinion, he should do more than offer an apology.

That’s not going to fix the underlying problem. If he resigns, someone else will take his place. It might be a victory — maybe this will force higher expectations on SG and compel them to listen to the majority of the Student Body. But it might just be a bandage on a gaping wound that needs some serious stitches.

We hope this is going to be the last editorial on Meyers for the week.

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But we know it will not be the last one on having higher expectations for SG, a need to revitalize our election system, the one-party domination, the discontent of the majority of the Student Body and the desire for more transparency between our elected officials and the rest of us.

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