You started Homecoming weekend by partying Friday night. It extended into Saturday morning, but the afternoon has already come calling. The sounds of tailgating and Homecoming weekend are beating down your door and begging to be let it in. These festivities wait for no Gator — they could not care less for your sleeping habits. You grumble to yourself and bunker your head under your pillow, but the fluffy shield doesn’t do much to dampen the subwoofers, excited yelling and the scent of hot dogs and hamburgers wafting through the window. You descend the stairs to investigate.
Outside, you’re greeted with face paint, grilled meat, an age-appropriate beverage and an overwhelming amount of school spirit. You could get used to this. Dressed in blue among a sea of other Gators, you feel like you belong as if you are a single shield in the armored phalanx that is the Gator Nation. You see a lone target in a yellow shirt with the nerve to have “Missouri Tigers” written on their back. As you walk to the stadium, determined, only two things are on your mind: victory, and…
Darts and Laurels
Homecoming is the big-ticket item on the agenda this weekend, but we’d like to submit a few other newsworthy topics for your consideration. Google employees left their fancy office chairs and took to the streets with signs in hand and voices raised on Thursday. Employees staged a walkout after learning of the luxurious financial retirement package the company awarded to a high-level executive who left amid allegations of sexual misconduct in 2014. The executive, Andy Rubin, received a $90 million parachute as he stepped out, or rather, was forced into retirement.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s current chief executive, tried to explain the problem away, saying that 48 employees had been fired for sexual harassment over the last two years and none of them received an exit package, according to the New York Times. “We are committed to ensuring that Google is a workplace … where there are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately,” Pichai said.
Really? Is that so?
Rubin’s exit package sounds more like an award than a consequence. Even worse, Google wasn’t legally obligated to pay Rubin a dime. For failing to handle the situation tactfully, the tech giant receives a dart. They could have sent Rubin packing with a loud, abrupt, unpleasant bump; instead, they let him slip away quietly with $90 million in his back pocket. We award a laurel to each and every one of the women and men who marched Thursday. If it takes a strike to end workplace sexual harassment, so be it.
In news not quite at but closer to home, Miami Beach will appear before the Florida Supreme Court in a continuing court battle to raise its minimum wage to $13.31 an hour from the previous minimum, $8.25. Ask yourself: If a city government tried to look out for its laborers and institute a fairer minimum rate for their blood, sweat and toil, what would happen? A) everything would go smoothly, B) the workers would revolt or C) the attorney general would side with business interest groups and sue the city, crying foul over a $5 increase.
Maybe the more puzzling question is, who can still survive on $8.25 an hour?
A dart to Pam Bondi, our attorney general, for taking up the cause of businesses against workers. Maybe she does not realize that 30 other states already have a higher minimum than we do, and the federal minimum has done a poor job of keeping up with inflation.
We award a final, warm, welcoming laurel to all UF alumni, students and faculty around the world this Homecoming weekend. We wish you could be in Gainesville with us, but we’ll get a few kicks into Missouri on your behalf.