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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

I wholeheartedly agree that we should not ruin Meyers’ career over these events, however, I disagree on some key details.

The matter is, we are not responsible for the ramifications this incident has on Meyers’ career and position. To blame the portion of the Student Body speaking out against his position as our primary representative and attempt to silence us by shaming us for holding him accountable for his actions is to promote the proliferation of excusing the unacceptable for the privileged elite.

The primary duty of our Student Body president is to represent our Student Body. He did so in a nationally published manner that has already impacted the reputation of UF and its standards; of its students, their caliber, ethics and professionalism; and, inevitably, of the degrees this university awards. You cannot write off multiple people speaking out against something that so extremely impacts them as “mob mentality.” Consider other protests and large groups speaking out against wrongful actions, and consider again the dangerous precedent you’re beginning to establish with that claim.

You claim we should “indisputably hold Meyers accountable for his actions.” Calling for him to resign as Student Body president is what holding him accountable looks like. You claim that we should “also remember how easily we could be in the same position and give him the same consideration we would want for ourselves.”

Many of us could not easily be in the same position. Those who could “easily do this” should probably not accept positions that include being responsible for the representation of a Student Body of more than 52,000 students, a position that places you consistently under the public eye and contributes to the reputation of The Gator Nation as a whole.

I agree that Meyers deserves the same consideration I would hope for if I were in his position. Ignoring the ramifications of his actions is not “consideration,” however. Consideration is ensuring that bullying and ridicule — destructive comments and measures that are not for the cause of ensuring appropriate representation of the Student Body — do not occur. As I speak out against his position as incoming Student Body president, I commit myself to ensuring that my words and actions do not stoop to that level. Those two measures are not exclusive.

Keep in mind the fact that the Key West Police Department officer, who repeatedly attempted to offer Meyers the opportunity to explain, admit to or apologize for his actions to no avail, still chose to charge Meyers with the misdemeanor of criminal mischief rather than an alcohol-related charge is extensive consideration of his future aspirations.

I have enough compassion toward Meyers to support and admire this officer’s decision.

Asking me to allow him to remain in office, to excuse and overlook this unfair, disrespectful and extremely detrimental display, is not compassion — it is ignorance and obliviousness that I will take no part in.

Ashley Grabowski is a UF English and advertising junior.

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