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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Opinion | Columns

More Opinion | Columns

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Better pedestrian planning means safer students

If you’ve never been in a car accident before, I’m sorry to report, you’re in the minority. A vanishing minority as Florida has earned a top spot among the most dangerous states for pedestrians. I recently had the misfortune of colliding with a city bus on my morning commute to class. The experience taught me far more than to look both ways before crossing the street, though it was a grim reminder. 


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It isn’t just what you learn: The value of experience for STEM

Recently, fellow columnist Sabrina Castro wrote about the value of involvement culture. With nearly 1,000 registered student organizations and many informal organizations, involvement forms a key aspect of the college experience. While what you learn is important, what you experience will be essential to the rest of your life. This is especially the case for STEM.


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Vote for Debbie, save my healthcare

The fight for Florida’s United States Senate seat is not just a political race; its outcome is deeply personal to me. This past summer, my mom faced a health scare marked with uncertainty, all while navigating a healthcare system rife with economic barriers. Like millions of Floridians, the Affordable Care Act saved us from crippling medical bills. 


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Your vote DOES matter: The importance of voting in local elections

Walking through Turlington Plaza, in between the chaos of students scrambling to arrive to class on time, you will undoubtedly be asked to sign a petition, join a political movement, or maybe even register to vote. To the average student, the nuisance of being approached despite wearing headphones outweighs the merit of exercising one’s civil duties, as there is a growing sense of voter apathy amongst younger generations. 


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My love letter to involvement culture at UF

As I prepare to finish my junior year, the involvement culture surrounding the student body isn’t just a freshman year fad. Before I could even realize it, these questions have quickly become, “What organizations have you been accepted to?” or even worse, “Have you received any internship offers?” 


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Message from an alumnus: Get off the sidelines and restore DEI

As a high school graduate from New England, I knew little about UF and had never been to Gainesville before I applied. After arriving as a freshman in 1984, I quickly became immersed in the culture of the school, served in Student Government and was one of the many founders of SCAAR, the Student Coalition Against Apartheid and Racism. Florida was still under the radar, but to me it was a hidden gem in large part because of its myriad of cultures.


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The rematch we were given

On March 19, voters in the Republican Party of Florida will head to the polls to vote in the state’s presidential preference primary election, although the contest is purely a formality. Former President Donald Trump (fitting that the first president associated with Florida is actually just a snowbird, right?) has already secured enough delegates to win the GOP nomination.


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What UF tells us about America

 I am confident the overwhelming majority of our faculty and staff hold this position, and absolutely positive that our students do. While the provost’s promises of maintaining trust and respect may seem disingenuous in this context, I believe most Gators remain steadfast in our commitment to a more equitable university, community, and world. 


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Federal funding saves lives in Gainesville

Over the course of the past few weeks, it became obvious to anyone paying attention that the national crisis in chronic homelessness was manifesting itself in a couple of new tent camps, including one downtown on SE Fourth Place — literally on the street itself. As mayor, I knew my colleagues on the Gainesville City Commission and I had to act, but I also knew we were fiscally restrained, in the middle of an unusually challenging budget year.


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The uncertain future of the University Multicultural Mentorship Program

Diversity, equity and inclusion programs are on the chopping block at UF and every other state institution of higher learning. Just recently, the administration shut down the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, amongst other DEI positions. In response to The Alligator breaking this story, Gov. Ron DeSantis quote reposted its coverage to further classify DEI as “toxic.”


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