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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

I am writing to voice my support for incoming Student Body President Smith Meyers and speak on behalf of the thousands of students who have read his statement and accepted his apology. I don’t know Smith well, but what I do know from mutual friends is how much this situation has weighed on his heart. Smith has worked for four years advocating for students and portraying UF in a positive light. That should not be erased by the actions of one night. I also find it puzzling that the majority of students calling for his resignation — because he embarrassed the university — are the same students sharing the stories and videos all over social media, presumably spreading the embarrassment they claim to oppose. I also find your publication’s criticism of his transparency to be unfounded. As anyone who has ever found himself or herself in a legal situation knows, you do not talk about your case with anyone other than your attorney before it is decided so as not to impact the outcome. This holds especially true for media outlets. What information are you asking from Smith that he could ever possibly give you? Finally, your criticism of administration for their lack of comment is also unfounded. No university official is able to comment on the legal proceedings of a student due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Do you expect administration to ignore this for your interviews? Please practice more responsible reporting in regard to this issue.

Cameryn Schultz is an 18-year-old UF applied physiology and kinesiology freshman.

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