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Thursday, April 25, 2024

You step into the ballroom, four hooded figures following you on either side. The figures on each end carry torches, and the others carry various gemstones. You recognize that one is an emerald, another jade and another topaz. The rest of the stones you can’t discern, despite having a masters degree in geology. The two figures nearest to you grab you by the arm and strap you down to a chair at the end of the ballroom. Someone pries your eyes open and forces you to stare into the light. The hooded figures assemble in front of you, each holding their gem in a different orientation and position. The light shining from the ceiling focuses into a beam, which begins to refract from one gemstone to the next. Once the light passes through the sixth gemstone, the beam hits your eyes, and everything goes white. Out of the whiteness comes a message, and upon reading it, your fears and doubts vanish. The message, of course, reads:

Darts & Laurels

For those new to campus, you may not realize what’s about to happen in the next few weeks. Let us fill you in. Students are currently interviewing to run with Student Government parties for a spot in the Student Senate. Soon enough there’ll be crowds of people with fake smiles and cheery campaign slogans on Turlington Plaza trying to convince you to vote (admittedly, you really should — our turnout is horrendous). But until then, we at the Alligator would like to award a laurel to all the students signing up to run for Senate, no matter the party, who have thought out ideas to improve UF. But for those of you who are just signing up to get another line on your resume, you’re getting a dart. SG has done great things for UF, but please know what you’re getting yourself into before committing to a political organization that controls a budget of more than $20 million.

Is anyone really surprised that the white supremacists won’t just give up and realize it’s not the 1800s anymore? But unfortunately racism never went away in this country. While Richard Spencer and his croonies prepare to sue UF to speak on campus, we would like to award UF President Kent Fuchs with a laurel for standing behind his decision. As a newspaper, we’re a staunch supporter of free speech, but not at the cost of safety.

Back to school means back to the germ party that is dorm rooms, lecture halls and a packed Grog House on a Friday night. It’s only the second week but we feel like the infamous UF plague is already rearing its ugly head. Since we don’t want another thing to be stressed about at the beginning of the semester, back-to-school illnesses get a dart.

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the terrifying flooding in Texas by now. While returning to UF means we students get caught up in our Gainesville bubble, we at the Alligator want to take a moment to thank those helping the victims of Harvey. To the UF students and organizations establishing donation drives, you get a laurel for your efforts. It restores some faith in humanity to see our fellow Gators helping those in need.


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