We’ve been thinking a lot about independence lately. The Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade came one week before the Fourth of July, but the choice also came more than 50 years after The Florida Alligator became The Independent Florida Alligator.
Recommendations from State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo directly contradict, and fail to cite, the thoroughly researched and referenced consensus standards of care for transgender and gender-nonconforming children and adolescents.
The Alligator newsroom is lined with its history. The best issues, framed, hang over editors’ desks. The sagging couch where I nestled for the past 16 print nights seems pulled out of an estate sale, or an abandoned frat house. Closets contain stacks of our recent issues and proud collections of novels written by Alligator alum.
I’ve been obsessed with words for as long as I can remember. The way they can make you feel, what art you can create or how they shape you. And I love words, for I grew up having trouble arranging them in my speech the way I could on paper. So I gobbled them when I could, whether that was reading or writing elementary books before I understood what world I lived in.
I had joined The Alligator Summer 2020 as a transfer student, about four months after the onset of the pandemic. As a digital news assistant, I reported remotely from my Miami home, and my interactions consisted strictly of text and video calls over Zoom. It wasn’t until I became a features and investigations editor in January that I began to feel the sense of community that a true newsroom fosters. I began to see The Alligator as a second home.
We got here because while some of our leaders played partisan politics, others got to work — and together, we all did our part. We developed the best vaccines in the world in record time and distributed over 250 million of them to Americans. We passed legislation that kept small businesses open and put money in people's pockets to ride out the crisis. Local leaders made the tough calls to keep people safe despite intense political interference from Tallahassee.
SG paid Roddy Ricch to perform at the O'Connell Center Feb. 8. In 2021, UF Student Government transferred $1.55 million from its reserves to improve the student experience “as in-person activities return[ed].” Of that money, $750,000 went to SGP. I don’t have an issue with Roddy Ricch as a performer. In fact, I was at the show. But as someone who has worked in live event production for years, I can tell you that’s an obscene amount of money for one act — especially given the turnout of the event. According to The Alligator, of the 6,500 seats available, only about 3,000 were filled.
This project is dedicated to the people of living history who shared their stories. Please accept your roses while you’re still here.
On Thursday, Feb. 10, The Battalion, Texas A&M’s student newspaper, was told by university administration to shut down their print edition. The 129-year-old student publication has been printing their paper since 1893. Texas A&M President M. Katherine Banks has demanded it ceases. If it doesn’t move exclusively online, The Battalion will be stripped of its resources, including their office space and faculty advisor. Texas A&M administration is censoring student journalism. That is unacceptable.
We’ve been reporting on COVID-19 since the pandemic hit in March 2020. Our reporting uncovered UF’s failures to respond to concerns of students, faculty and the greater community. We uncovered problems with UF’s covid dorms, UF testing and careless protective measures. The Alligator has remained committed to providing updated information on changing UF policies and COVID numbers on campus. However, we took down our COVID-19 dashboard Jan. 27. We lacked the data from UF, and in the interest of transparency, we feel that we owe our readers an explanation.
Common themes for Cindy’s speeches include slut shaming, homophobic comments and racist remarks. She became famous by sharing her problematic beliefs on TikTok, and her hateful speeches have grown into a full-blown national tour.
Here in Gainesville, we trust the science, and it tells us climate change is real. Roughly 92% of Floridians agree — they know climate change is real, too. That’s because we’re paying higher electric bills from record heat waves and skyrocketing insurance from stronger hurricanes and increased flooding.
Right now, our community cares about COVID-19. Students and faculty are sick, scared of getting sick or sick of the situation in general. And there’s no end in sight. Despite widespread symptoms of pandemic burnout, UF continues to implement a laissez-faire leadership style when it comes to the virus. UF leaders expect masks but won’t mandate them, online class alternatives are rarely offered and simple social distancing protocols in classrooms seem to be a thing of the past.