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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Summer session has arrived in the swampy marsh that is Gainesville.

You’re fresh off the high of completing spring exams, but you’ve somehow found yourself back in the rut of classes. As you walk around campus, the ting of missing your friends creeps up on you. “Where the hell has everyone gone?” you say to yourself. You check the Find my Friends app, and you’re distraught to find how zoomed out the map must go to see your friends’ geographical location. They’ve abandoned you. You’re alone in Gainesville to fend for yourself, while they travel to far off cities… without you. 

You scroll social media to virtually escape this ghost town and dually self-inflict some undeserved FOMO. A selfie in the Amalfi Coast here. A video of an elephant sanctuary there. Each one sprinkled with comments of “ugh jealous” and “this is so freaking awesome.” You keep scrolling, hoping to find something entertaining enough to make you forget where you are and where you are not. Then you see it...

Darts & Laurels 

Remember Mr. Ratburn from the children’s show “Arthur”? Well, he got married in the season 22 premiere, and we’re giving a laurel to him and his new husband. LGBTQ+ representation in children’s media is important in showing young minds diversity. “Arthur” has been known for addressing serious topics children may come across in real life like divorce and death. Mr. Ratburn’s wedding presents children with the reality heterosexual is not the only kind of relationship that exists. Hopefully, this wedding episode and all that comes after is a wake-up call to bring more LGBTQ+ representation in children’s media.

The city of San Francisco banned the police use of facial recognition technology on Tuesday. We are giving a laurel to this prohibition. It institutes rules that force city departments to receive board approval first before buying and using this software. Privacy is growing more paramount in the current technological climate. According to an Associated Press article, some worry the technology goes against citizens’ privacy while others argue it helps police identify suspects and missing people quickly and cheaply. In addition, many worry law enforcement’s use of this technology may further racial bias in the justice system as it may have in the case of Willie Lynch in Jacksonville.

On Mother’s Day, The New York Times published an opinion article alongside a video with Olympic runner Alysia Montaño alleging Nike tries to cut its sponsored athletes’ pay if they become pregnant. We’re giving a dart to the “Swoosh” company for the irony that surrounds the whole ordeal given it just recently released an ad campaign telling girls to “dream crazier.” The problem with the current contract is Nike can reduce an athlete’s pay during a six-month competition-break period and stop paying them after those six months if they still do not compete. As The New York Times article describes, this clause has injuries in mind but does not take pregnancy and postpartum recover into consideration.

Wednesday night, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey approved a law banning all-stage abortions with only one exception: if the mother’s life is at risk. Results of rape or incest must be carried to term. Last week, Georgia passed the “heartbeat” law, which bans abortions after six weeks ― while most women do not know they are pregnant until at least the sixth week. We’re giving a dart to the Alabama and Georgia government and the elected officials who passed these laws. Both are direct attacks on a woman’s right to privacy in regards to decisions about reproductive health, which is constitutionally enshrined by the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments as established in the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade opinion. Both laws include prison sentences for doctors who perform abortions: the Georgia law includes a possible sentence for one to 10 years, while the Alabama law gives those doctors a life sentence or up to 99 years.

The Alligator Editorial Board includes the Opinions Editor Jackie De Frietas, Editor-in-Chief Mark Stine and managing editors Hannah Beatty and Lindsey Breneman. 

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