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Tuesday, May 30, 2023


Opinions generic

Move-in and a welcome for the Fall

A shout-out of gratitude and admiration to all the staff and students who this past week welcomed our new students into residence and dining halls with cheerfulness and effectiveness, even in the heat and rain of August in Gainesville.

Julia Coin, a 21-year-old former Editor-in-Chief of The Independent Florida Alligator, preps for her final semester on staff at a Midtown Bar earlier this summer.

More than enough

The newsroom’s soda-spotted carpets, crumb-ridden couch and nerd-infested nooks somehow kept my eyes bright as the rest of the city dimmed.

Heather Bushman, Julia Coin and Ryan Haley served as The Alligator's Big 3 for Summer 2022.

What I saw in the mirror

Pressure strips you down until there’s nothing left but who you are, deepest inside, and shoves a mirror in your eyes. Somewhere in all the split-second decisions and time on the clock, that mirror made its way to me.


Part of history

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.


Gambling with imposter syndrome

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. 


An unexpected second home

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.


Moving Past COVID-19

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.


Student Government overspends on Roddy Ricch

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.

Florida Alligator

The Alligator stands with The Battalion - and all student print journalism

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. 

Florida Alligator

UF’s COVID-19 policies have left us in the dark

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. 

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