Monday, May 13, 2024

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UF professor sues Florida officials over law restricting international student employment

Two Florida International University students also suing

After losing his top pick for a postdoctoral assistantship, UF professor Zhengfei Guan is suing top state officials to block a law restricting international student employment at Florida public universities.

Guan, an associate professor of agricultural economics, is hoping to prevent the enforcement of 2023 Senate Bill 846, which prohibits state public universities from “participating in partnerships or agreements with a college or university based in a foreign country of concern,” including Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and China, unless authorized by the Board of Governors.

The law could affect a third of UF’s graduate students. In 2022, 33.3% of graduate students were from countries of concern.

The law was one of three passed on the same day as part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ effort to “stop CCP influence in our education system from grade school to grad school,” he said in a news release after the law passed in May 2023.

A DeSantis spokesperson did not respond for comment.

UF and other public universities must comply with the restriction to avoid losing state performance funding. A statement issued by UF in February said the law “does not impact enrollment or scholarship.” But Guan’s lawsuit alleges the law’s hiring restrictions have significantly hindered his research progress and threatened his funding, future grant applications and academic freedom.

Of the 18 international students who applied for the position of Guan’s assistant — five from countries of concern, according to court documents — a postdoctoral student from China emerged as the best candidate.

However, the law caused a four-month delay in the hiring

process, and the student accepted a competing offer outside of Florida. Guan was unable to comment in time for publication.

Two Chinese doctoral students at Florida International University, Zhipeng Yin and Zhen Guo, are also taking legal action against the state. The students joined Guan in the lawsuit after their graduate teaching assistantships at FIU were deferred because of SB 846.

They were told their positions would take months to be approved during which they would not receive benefits amounting to about $40,000 per academic year covered by the graduate teaching assistantship offers, according to court documents.

Neither student responded for comment.

The law sparked outrage among UF faculty and students as well. Nearly 400 UF faculty members have signed a petition protesting the law, and UF’s Student Senate passed a resolution in February condemning the bill and its effects on international graduate students.

Asif Islam, a former student senator who co-authored the resolution, said this law and others like it promote fear among students and will prevent UF from advancing as a premier academic institution.

“SB 846 is blatantly discriminatory, and there is no reason to not stand against it,” he said. “UF’s ability to be a top tier research institution is largely because of our exceptional graduate researchers, many of which are from these ‘nations of concern.’”

Anghelo Gangano, the graduate student senator and UF Graduate Assistants United officer who also co-authored the resolution, said many international graduate students in his department were worried about their futures in the U.S. if laws similar to SB 846 remained

What to expect from UF Student Government this summer

Senators say redistricting and budgeting will be important

During the Spring semester, the Student Senate passed laws and resolutions covering issues ranging from rebuking ACCENT and Student Government Productions Agency for inviting Nelly to calling upon UF to address climate change and move away from fossil fuels.

Looking ahead at the summer session, senators agreed on the budget, redrawing of the voting districts and keeping Marston open 24/7 are top ticket items students should keep a close eye on.

Budget issues

Sen. Allan Rivera-Jaramillo (Independent-Keys-Springs) said the status of Marston Science Library remaining 24/7 will “probably be the elephant in the room” when the Student Senate goes into session May 14.

Marston used to be 24/7 un-

der UF Student Government funding before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In January 2023, it was announced the Office of the Provost would fund Marston’s 24-hour services for the Fall and Spring 2023 semesters as a pilot study to collect data on overnight hour usage.

Sen. Anamika Naidu (ChangeBeaty Towers) said the Senate doesn’t directly fund Marston through its budget process.

“Theoretically, a senator could just write a reserve transfer to do it,” Naidu said. “The problem is none of us have information about how much Marston costs. As far as I know, the only person that knows about that right now would be in the executive branch.”

Students should pay attention to when the 2025-2026 budget gets decided, Naidu said. The budget, which typically totals more than $20 million, is used to fund student clubs and services.

“The budget happens over the

summer, so students don't really tend to notice,” Naidu said. “It is one of the more important things that we do.”

Naidu said there has been no increase in funding to account for inflation or the rise in the minimum wage, and organizations like sports clubs may experience budget cuts.

For students, the funds could impact the ability of clubs they’re involved in.

“I think the student government should actually fund the student clubs in a smarter way,” said Yijia Zhao, a 22-year-old rising digital arts and sciences senior.

Zhao said it’s hard for smaller clubs to compete for funding with bigger clubs. The Society of Software Engineering is one club Zhao thinks isn’t receiving enough funding.

“It’s hard to actually get our people together to do any very substantial activities, such as

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Governor Ron DeSantis addresses campus protests at the Plaza of the Americas on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 amid chants for UF to divest funds to weapons manufacturers involved in the IsraeliPalestinian conflict.


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Professor sues Florida

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in effect.

“I can tell you right now thousands of students are feeling unwelcome at UF,” he said. “Multiple professors say they are having a harder time recruiting students to their laboratories because of this bill.”

This isn’t the first time DeSantis passed legislation targeting racial minorities in Florida educational institutions. A law that went into effect the same day as SB 846 limits funding of diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

“All of these laws are creating a very homogenous environment here at UF, one where it’s becoming harder and harder to see other worldviews, or to appreciate new perspectives,” Gangano said.

In addition to DeSantis, the lawsuit lists Florida Department of Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr., Chancellor of the State University System Ray Rodrigues and members of the Board of Governors as defendants.

A Board of Governors spokesperson did not respond for comment.

The defense hasn’t filed their opposition to the preliminary injunction as of May 12, but Clay Zhu, one of Guan’s attorneys and co-founder of the Chinese American Legal Defense Alliance, expects them to argue the law is necessary under national security assertions.

The law treads on the federal government’s exclusive immigration power and is unconstitutional, Zhu said.

“The law singles out students from China and several other countries, and that is discrimination on its face,” he said.

To Zhu, who said he came to the U.S. for the academic freedom it offered, the law seems regressive and detrimental to a country that benefits from global contributions.

“Diversity is a fast way to attract talented people from all over the world,” he said. “The great part of the United States is that it’s a melting pot. It’s really sad. It’s really unfair and un-American.”


Melanie Peña // Alligator Staff

Student Government recap

inviting speakers to the club or getting more important opportunities, for example, like internships,” he said.

The Big Five to Four Act — a series of four bills that were passed and merged Student Activities & Involvement with Sorority & Fraternity Affairs to create Student Engagement — streamlined the budgeting process for the Senate.

“Whereas the budgets would usually be split,” said Sen. Allan Rivera-Jaramillo (IndependentKeys-Springs). “Now those two areas of student involvement have a bigger budget together.”

The Big Four that now submit their budget requests to the Senate are RecSports, the Reitz Union, Student Engagement and Student Government.

Gabriel Wong, an 18-year-old rising computer science sophomore, said he would like the student government to remove laundry fees.

“Laundry fees do pile up,” he said. “It seems so little and insignificant at first… but as the semester goes, you realize how much you're actually spending on that.”

Student Government has a ten-

dency to not deliver on its promises, Wong added.

The Student Government reinstated the Stay Fresh Laundry Grant in January, which allows students to apply online for a $30 grant to be used for washing and drying on a first-come, firstserved basis until the funds are depleted.

23 members of Vision Party were contacted by The Alligator but did not respond in time for publication.


The UF Supreme Court passed a controversial apportionment map in September 2023 that some senators accused of amounting to gerrymandering. Reapportionment, the redrawing of the maps for the next election, will take place during Summer B.

“Way more people are voting in Districts A and B,” said Sen. Anamika Naidu (Change-Beaty Towers). “Far more minorities live in Districts C and D…By lumping all of these districts into one mass district, there are far more voters in District A and B. So District A and B, despite having less people, will now control the outcome of the election for all four districts.”

When the Senate begins re-

drawing maps in Summer B, Naidu hopes students will hold SG accountable to ensure election maps accurately represent the students who live there.

“It's very important that students are looking to UF Senate this summer and saying, 'Hey, we're watching you guys draw these maps, and we want them to be fair,’” Naidu said.

Sen. Meagan Lamey (ChangeYulee Area) also highlighted the importance of reapportionment.

“I think that's really important for students to kind of be in the loop about this because it definitely does affect them, like having a 37-seat at-large district model, like if you live in District D, for example, basically your vote is not really getting counted because it's so diluted by people in District A,” she said.

23 members of Vision Party were contacted by The Alligator but did not respond in time for publication.

The spring session in review

A first-of-its-kind environmental bill, mental health provisions and a censure were among the key pieces of legislation Student Government passed in its Spring session.

UF Student Senate made na-

tional headlines in February after it passed the first public university Green New Deal in the country. The resolution, written in five volumes, called for UF to adopt plans related to climate change and to transition away from fossil fuels. The bill passed unanimously Feb. 21.

There’s still work to be done for Lamey (Change-Yulee Area), one of the bill’s co-authors.

“We have been kind of working on it in the background… like talking to different faculty about it and setting up meetings,” she said. “There will definitely be more to come on that.”

Change Party senators also wrote two resolutions that censured former Student Government Productions Agency Head Luke Holderman and former ACCENT Agency Head Samuel Hendler for inviting the rapper Nelly to campus, who was accused of sexual assault and rape.

Naidu said the resolutions were important to the values of the student body.

“You have to bring speakers with no moral turpitude,” Naidu said.

Student Government passed the SGP and Accent Integrity, Negotiation and Transparency Act in 2023, which said Student Government Productions should not try to invite any organization or person onto campus that has committed sex-related crimes

with “reasonably compelling evidence.”

“Essentially, the people that you bring have to be enriching for the student body is the premise of the law,” Naidu said.

A series of four bills called The Behavioral & Legislative Advocacy for Necessary Clinical Education (BALANCE) were significant to Sen. Allan Rivera Jaramillo (Independent-Keys-Springs) for addressing UF students facing mental health issues.

The bills focused on expanding mental health resources, including eating disorders, microaggressions, OCD & ADHD and additional Counseling and Wellness Center satellite offices.

For Rivera-Jaramillo, the bills were encouraging signs of campus support for mental health resources.

“Being somebody who has used these resources in the past, it's definitely awesome to see that the Senate really wants to push forth for the expansion of the services on campus and even off campus for the satellite offices,” Rivera-Jaramillo said. “Everybody needs these resources more and more.”

23 members of Vision Party were contacted by The Alligator but did not respond in time for publication.


pg. 1
Kate McNamara // Alligator Staff

The Social at Midtown closes its doors, future plans unclear

A midtown favorite closes after 8 years

UF students chugged bottomless mimosas in their last visit at The Social at Midtown May 5, after the expansive, two-story bar situated on West University Avenue across from campus announced it would close its doors.

“After 8 years, The Social at Midtown is coming to an end,” The Social said in a May 2 Instagram post. “We have been grateful these past years for spending it with you all. We are so glad you were part of our family this long and experiencing this journey with us.”

Gatorbolt LLC, owner of Gainesville properties including Camelot Apartments, purchased the building The Social operated out of and leased it to Sunpubs Group, a Tampa-based dining and entertainment conglomerate. Sunpubs Group did not respond for comment, leaving future plans for the bar unclear.

The Social’s end is the latest in a series

of closures and reacquisitions in Midtown. Grog, a Midtown sports bar known for its status as a quintessential part of freshman initiation to UF, closed its doors in May 2023 after 27 years of operation. Three months later, two more Midtown staples — The Rowdy Reptile and Fat Daddy’s — also closed and were replaced by Lil Rudy’s.

In the wake of these closures, uncertainty over Midtown’s future lingered in students’ minds.

Abraham Hilu, a 25-year-old UF political science junior, said he is worried about further real-estate development in Midtown.

“Students shouldn’t have to fear that their favorite place to go after studying hard might get turned into a mall,” Hilu said.

Additionally, he said new Midtown businesses have failed to innovate. One of his key hopes for the future of Midtown is other members of Gainesville’s community outside of UF students will provide their support for Midtown as a place of social

engagement and relaxation rather than real-estate development.

Laura Tagliente, an 18-year-old UF preprofessional biology junior, said she expects the bar to reopen with a new name.

“Honestly I’m hoping for maybe a name change and that’s it. Lowkey not even a name change. I like [The Social],” she said.

For Tagliente, the new owners should only make small quality-of-life additions.

“They could change seating to make it more comfortable and not in the way of everything,” she said.

Other students expressed mixed feelings about changes in Midtown.

Oden Dillenkoffer, a 19-year-old UF computer engineering freshman said he was disgusted by the state of the Midtown bars.

“The bars seem gross and do not seem fun,” he said.

Dillenkoffer hopes the new owners open something that adds to campus culture, he said.

“I’d like to see them open literally any

store or restaurant there, I just don’t want to see them develop into apartments or something else that sucks the soul out of the region around campus,” he said.

Naomi Eshghi, a 19-year-old UF business freshman, said she hadn’t visited new Midtown locations like Lil Rudy’s since new ownership but thought student promotion and further involvement from businesses could convince her otherwise.

Eshghi also voiced her concerns about safety in the area.

“There’s always a negative feeling about [Midtown],” she said. “It’s a little bit sketchy.”

On multiple instances, she witnessed “people screaming at each other” on the street. She suggested that “if the area was cleaner” it would make it “automatically feel better.”

Students and Midtown frequenters will have to wait and see how Sunpubs Group transforms the building formerly known as The Social.


Ashley C. Hicks // Alligator Staff The Social at Midtown pictured on Wednesday, May 8, 2024.

MONDAY, MAY 13, 2024


Over thirty years of music packed up in 30 days: High Dive closes its doors


High Dive, a popular venue and staple in Gainesville’s music scene, is disappearing from its familiar spot on Second Avenue, as announced by owner Pat Lavery in an Instagram post.

The music hall, which hosted live events since the ‘90s, gained notoriety for giving local musicians a starting point — essentially putting Gainesville on the map.

Through the years, globally recognized artists have also graced the stage of the concert hall, including Kenny Chesney, Paramore, Mitski, Ethel Cain and Built to Spill.

“Multiple generations have a story about attending shows in our building and how it changed their life,” Lavery said. “Erasing that history and that connection is another in a series of blows for our community as it continues to ‘progress.’”

Lavery owned and operated High Dive since 2011, along with his promotion company “Glory Days Presents!”

He plans to continue promoting shows at other venues in Gainesville in the hopes it stays an epicenter for Florida’s music scene, he said.

“History tells us there is certain-


ly the possibility that artists will no longer stop in Gainesville or that local bands will no longer form or have the motivation to elevate their craft to the level of performing at a venue like High Dive,” Lavery said. “I certainly hope that is not the case.”

In the post announcing the venue’s closing, Lavery briefly cited gentrification as the cause for High Dive’s removal from the music scene.

“Gentrification is a cancer that is inflicted on cities like ours, where property has been historically cheap,” Lavery said. “[Developers] are erasing the reasons we all wanted to live here in the first place and simultaneously driving up rents and property costs.”

Upon High Dive’s announcement, local artists took to social media to express their sadness regarding the news. Many artists, local and otherwise, spoke to the positive legacy of High Dive.

“PunkNites,” a traveling poppunk emo concert tour, credited High Dive for its start.

“[High Dive] allowed us to develop our Pop Punk Emo Night show into what it is today,” a representative for the tour said. “We do events all over Florida [now] and even shows in New York, Nashville, Las Vegas and Seattle.”

Like Lavery, PunkNites worries about the rift that will be left by the absence of High Dive.

“A piece of Gainesville history dies with the closing of High Dive,” they said.

While many fans and artists

He said he could not, however, ignore the negatives he heard from his friends in the local music scene.

“I am much happier to support my friends that seem to be united in their good riddance of the place than to lament the loss of a dive bar,” he said. “As an institution, I’m not sorry to see it go if it gave my friends so much trouble.”

Giralt’s sympathies, he clarified, lie with the employees of High Dive.

Owner Pat Lavery emphasized his strong care for and relationships with his performers, highlighting his relationships with bands, comedians and industry professionals.

Lavery maintained that he has always been transparent with artists about compensation, stating that this is just the reality of the music business.

praise High Dive for its impact on Gainesville’s music scene, the venue has gained a reputation among the city’s smaller artists for underpaying its local acts.

“I must admit, High Dive was not the place you play a gig to earn a paycheck,” said Zack Sjuggerud, a guitarist for the band Twin Suns. He recounted an instance where the payment for their show was not enough to cover their travel to and from Orlando.

However, he maintained that the exposure garnered by their performance was worth it, and the loss of the venue would be a blow to upand-coming bands.

“High Dive was the first venue we played at as Twin Suns,” said Sjuggerud. “We have had some of our biggest opportunities playing at High Dive.”

Eduardo Giralt, the former singer of the now-disbanded Red Letter Day, found himself in what he called an “awkward position” when asked about High Dive’s dealings with local artists.

“I want to acknowledge the incredibly talented, supportive and friendly team that operated the High Dive,” Giralt said. “This meant a lot to me being someone that was learning in real-time... [it] allowed me to find my voice in the music scene.”

“[They] come back to us year after year because they trust we will take care of them, financially and otherwise,” he said. “I’m a very easy person to get in touch with, and anyone who has an issue is welcome to have a professional conversation with me directly, as opposed to on social media.”

In the end, Lavery believes High Dive and the legacy that it built in Gainesville speak for itself.

“Myself and my staff can hold our heads high knowing that for 13 years we operated one of the longest-running and most successful music venues in the history of Gainesville,” he said. “That will be our legacy.”


Coterie Market ‘happy to announce’ store closure nearly one year after opening


Coterie Market announced the closure of its brick-and-mortar store on its Instagram, adding to the list of small businesses Gainesville will lose this month. However, unlike other closures, this is a happy announcement, Coterie said.

Eliminating barriers such as overhead costs and lease commitments, Coterie opened the opportunity for anyone to rent store space to sell their creations. Its clients ranged from beginning local artists to well-established wholesale businesses.

Co-owners 24-year-old Kate Yeung and 25-year-old Braden Ramirez ran everything. In addition to vending creations ranging from

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stationary to Swedish candy, the couple said they wore all the hats as business owners.

“Every step of the way has been a challenge,” Yeung said. “It’s been a lot. It definitely tested our mental health and our own sleep schedule.”

As their lease renewal date approached, she and Ramirez said they had outgrown the space.

The couple managed in-house art workshops, a rental business on the side and sold iced, superfood lattes at pop-up markets.

The latter of which, she said, was never part of the original business plan but became the muse for a new venture — learning how to properly run a cafe.

“Not a lot of people would be willing to go backward to go forward because it’s quite possibly the scariest leap to make as a business owner,” she said in the store’s Instagram post. “But we deem it necessary to be able to provide the experience we hope to bring to

Gainesville in the near future.”

Yeung expressed gratitude for having the financial ability to close and take on this new chapter.

“A lot of other businesses don’t have that ability to, and we don’t want to wait around and find out,” she said.

In the past month, established businesses in the community have either shut down or abruptly announced an unforeseen closure. Joining Volta Coffee, Third House Books and the High Dive, Coterie made its announcement on May 5.

Cypress & Grove Brewing Company fosters dozens of small businesses during their weekly farmers market. Anna Heineman, one of the owners, lamented the influx of closures.

“I think it’s just sad for Grove Street to lose something that brought color and energy to our block,” she said.

The Grove Street area is a hub for smaller, specialized shops such as Serpentine Plants

Softball Gators look to Regionals. Read more on pg. 11.

+ Provisions, Afternoon Roasting and Samurai Skateshop.

“When we have a rich assortment of businesses and choices for where to go, and where to buy and what to do, it makes our lives richer, and Gainesville richer as a community to live in,” Heineman said.

One of the small businesses that gave Coterie its color and energy is 13 Resins Why. Owner Rochelle Mindrum started her business during her senior year at the University of Central Florida.

“I was just looking for a creative outlet and trying to find something that didn’t drive me crazy and would let me just be creative and connect with my inner child,” Mindrum said.

Read the rest online at @noorsukkarr

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Houston Harwood // Alligator Staff Quincy Allen-Flint performs an acoustic set at the High Dive during the Original Gainesville Food Truck Rally on Saturday, June 5, 2021.

El Caimán


Financiamiento de RTS extendido temporalmente hasta el 2024

La ausencia de una solución permanente impone un peso a estudiantes y miembros de la comunidad

Escritora de El

Traducido por Isabela Reinoso

Esritora de El Caimán

La ciudad de Gainesville enfrentó una pérdida potencial de un importante servicio de transporte comunitario tras el anuncio de UF el 9 de abril de suspender parcialmente su contribución fiscal al Sistema de Tránsito Regional [RTS] de Gainesville. Después de casi un mes de protestas estudiantiles y críticas de la comunidad, UF y la ciudad llegaron a un acuerdo en una reunión en el ayuntamiento el primero de mayo, dejando a RTS seguir con sus servicios completos hasta el primero de enero del 2025. En anticipación de una solución permanente a la financiación, el acuerdo extendió el servicio de rutas existentes de autobús y horarios por 6 meses más después del 30 de junio, la fecha límite del contrato.

Durante su aparición en el ayuntamiento el 10 de mayo, la comisionada general de la ciudad de Gainesville, Cynthia Chestnut, exclamó estar “muy complacida” de trabajar con el periodo de tiempo extendido y que la ciudad está preparada para arreglar un acuerdo con UF para el 2025.

Coterie Market está

El acuerdo conlleva un gran desapruebo de estudiantes y entes de la comunidad. Una protesta organizada por el Amalgamated Transportation Union Gainesville tomó lugar fuera de Tigert Hall el 26 de abril, reuniendo a una audiencia de más de 50 estudiantes y miembros de la comunidad que esperan prevenir la suspensión del financiamiento. Adicionalmente, una petición fue circulada en la plataforma change. org, acumulando más de 900 firmas de “gators preocupados”.

“El sistema de tránsito público apoya a la población de más de 200,000 residentes. Si no llegamos a un acuerdo y las rutas son impactadas, puede alterar la habilidad de RTS de servir a la comunidad para los años por venir”, dijo la gerente de la ciudad Cynthia Curry en un comunicado de prensa de la ciudad el 22 de abril.

Según un comunicado de prensa el primero de mayo, Curry y el vicepresidente ejecutivo Dave Kratzer, permanecen en correspondencia mientras el asunto progresa.

El alcalde Harvey Ward expresó consternación sobre los trabajadores desplazados de RTS si llegan a perder sus trabajos, poniendo énfasis en la necesidad de una solución permanente.

“Todos en esta discusión son parte de la misma comunidad. El personal

de la UF, estudiantes y facultad son parte de Gainesville. Y ellos son las personas que sus trabajos y negocios dependen de la universidad”, dijo Ward en un comunicado de prensa de la ciudad el 9 de abril.

El programa de RTS, introducido en 1998, depende de la UF para un financiamiento parcial. Contribuyendo a casi mitad de sus ingresos anuales para el año fiscal del 2024, la universidad actualmente paga 14 millones de dólares de los 28.5 millones de dólares que RTS acumula anualmente, según la ciudad. Si UF fuera a disminuir su contribución financiera, Gainesville dejaría a 52 de sus empleados sin trabajo y suspendería 11 de sus 39 rutas actuales, incluyendo todas las 5 rutas del campus, según una reunión de la ciudad presentada por Curry el 11 de abril.

“Para las personas que toman el bus para ir a trabajar o a clases — o al doctor o al supermercado — eso es un gran cambio de vida”, dijo el director de transportación de Gainesville, Jesus Gomes, en una conferencia de prensa de la ciudad el 9 de abril.

Según la respectiva rueda de prensa el primero de mayo, la UF y Gainesville concuerdan con la importancia de un uso sustentado al servicio de bus a través del área urbanizada de Gainesville durante la negociación continuada.

A pesar del acuerdo temporal, la ausencia de una resolución permanente impone un peso a estudiantes que dependen del sistema de RTS.

Tuline Al Hassan, una estudiante de biología en la UF de segundo año, de 19 años de edad, dijo que ella gastó la mayor parte del semestre de primavera del 2024 estudiando en la Biblioteca de Ciencias de Marston. El siguiente semestre, ella planea vivir en el complejo residencial de Lakeside, una residencia universitaria a 1.7 millas de Marston.

“El acceso a los autobuses es crucial para mí, especialmente cuando esté viviendo en Lakeside”, Al Hassan dijo. “Sin ellos (los autobuses), llegar a mis clases sería muy trabajoso”.

Mientras los estudiantes desafían el problema de poder pagar el costo adicional de poseer un carro, ella dice que los autobuses juegan un rol vital en su día a día.

“No son solo una conveniencia”, ella dijo. “Son una línea vital y uno de los aspectos de UF que yo más valoro”.

Si un acuerdo permanente no se logra, todas las rutas de bus al complejo residencial de Lakeside serán eliminadas.

Nathaniel Pelton, un estudiante de tercer año de ciencias políticas de la UF, de 20 años de edad y un senador viviendo fuera de

"feliz de anunciar" el cierre de la tienda casi


Por Noor Sukkar

Escritora de El Caimán

Traducido por Jose Carmona

Esritora de El Caimán

Coterie Market anunció el cierre de su tienda física en su Instagram, sumándose a la lista de negocios pequeños que Gainesville perderá este mes. Sin embargo, a diferencia de otros cierres, este es un anuncio feliz, dijo Coterie.

Eliminando barreras como los costos fijos y los compromisos de arrendamiento, Coterie abrió la oportunidad para que cualquier persona alquilara espacio en la tienda para vender sus creaciones. Sus clientes eran desde artistas locales principiantes hasta negocios mayoristas bien establecidos.

Los copropietarios Kate Yeung, de 24 años, y Braden Ramírez, de 25 años, se encargaban de todo. Además de vender creaciones que iban desde papelería hasta dulces suecos, la pareja dijo que llevaban todos los roles como propietarios de negocios.

"Cada paso del camino ha sido un desafío", dijo Yeung. "Ha sido mucho. Definitivamente puso a prueba nuestra salud mental y nuestro horario de sueño".

A medida que se acercaba la fecha de renovación de su arrendamiento, ella y Ramírez dijeron que habían superado el espacio.

La pareja gestionaba talleres de arte internos, un negocio de alquiler en el lateral y vendía lattes helados y superalimentos en mercados emergentes.

Este último, dijo ella, nunca fue parte del plan de negocios original, pero se convirtió en la musa de una nueva empresa: aprender a dirigir correctamente una cafetería.

"No muchas personas estarían dispuestas a retroceder para avanzar porque posiblemente sea el salto más aterrador que se pueda dar como propietario de un negocio", dijo en la publicación de Instagram de la tienda. "Pero consideramos que es necesario para poder proporcionar la experiencia que esperamos llevar a Gainesville en un futuro cercano".

Yeung expresó gratitud por tener la capacidad financiera para cerrar y asumir este nuevo capítulo.

"Muchas otras empresas no tienen esa capacidad y no queremos esperar y

Mantente al día con El Caimán en Twitter. Envíanos un tweet @alligatorElCaiman.

campus, actualmente sirve como miembro de la comisión del Senado de Transportación de la UF, una organización fundada por él mismo.

“Estoy orgulloso que nuestros oficiales de la ciudad y los de la Universidad de la Florida hayan extendido su compromiso de proveer una línea vital de transportación pública a su capacidad máxima para los seis siguientes meses”, Pelton dijo.

Sin embargo, él dijo que es esencial para la comunidad no solo mantenerse atentos al problema sino también participar activamente en la defensa continuada.

“Nosotros necesitamos la voz de todos para advocar por la universidad de continuar el financiamiento de RTS”, él dijo.

“La oportunidad para cualquier estudiante de subirse a cualquier autobús e ir a clase, trabajo o supermercado de cualquier lugar en Gainesville es invaluable”.

Mientras una solución permanente no ha sido decidida, Gainesville y la UF planean reunirse mensualmente para discutir el financiamiento, Chestnut dijo durante una conferencia de prensa de la ciudad.


un año después de su apertura

descubrirlo", dijo.

En el último mes, empresas establecidas en la comunidad han cerrado o anunciado abruptamente un cierre imprevisto. Uniéndose a Volta Coffee, Third House Books y High Dive, Coterie hizo su anuncio el 5 de mayo.

Cypress & Grove Brewing Company fomenta docenas de pequeñas empresas durante su mercado de agricultores semanal. Anna Heineman, una de las propietarias, lamentó la llegada de cierres.

"Creo que es triste para Grove Street perder algo que le dio color y energía a nuestra cuadra", dijo.

El área de Grove Street es un centro de tiendas pequeñas y especializadas como Serpentine Plants + Provisions, Afternoon Roasting y Samurai Skateshop.

"Cuando tenemos una amplia variedad de negocios y opciones de dónde ir, dónde comprar y qué hacer, nuestras vidas son más ricas, y Gainesville es más rica como comunidad para vivir", dijo Heineman.

Una de las pequeñas empresas que le dio color y energía a Coterie es 13 Resins Why. La propietaria Rochelle Mindrum comenzó su negocio durante su último año en la Universidad de Florida Central.

"Estaba buscando una salida creativa e intentando encontrar algo que no me volviera loca y me permitiera ser creativa y conectarme con mi niño interior", dijo Mindrum.

A través del Florida Vintage Market, conectó con Yeung y comenzó a vender en Coterie en agosto de 2023. Ahora, ha vendido más de 1,000 pares de pendientes de resina pintados a mano en 30 estados, dijo.

"Eso es algo que nunca habría imaginado que sucediera, y es gracias a personas como Kate, y al Coterie Market y los clientes que siguen regresando", dijo Mindrum.

Si bien Yeung, Heineman y Mindrum expresaron preocupaciones sobre la falta de ingresos disponibles en la economía actual, todos compartieron un amor por la comunidad de pequeñas empresas y su capacidad para crecer.

Lea el resto en línea en



Síganos para actualizaciones

Para obtener actualizaciones de El Caimán, síganos en línea en

Tennis Season falls short of expectations. Read more on pg. 12.

Profesor de la UF demanda a funcionarios del estado por ley que restringe el empleo de estudiantes internacionales

Dos estudiantes de la Universidad Internacional de Florida también demandan

Traducido por Eneida Escobar

Esritora de El Caimán

Después de perder a su mejor candidato para una asistencia pos-doctoral, el profesor de la UF Zhengfei Guan está demandando a los principales funcionarios estatales para bloquear una ley que restringe el empleo de estudiantes internacionales en las universidades públicas de Florida.

Guan, un profesor asociado de economía agrícola, espera evitar la aplicación del proyecto de ley del Senado 846 de 2023, que prohíbe a las universidades públicas estatales “participar en asociaciones o acuerdos con una universidad basada en un país extranjero de interés”, incluidos Rusia, Irán, Corea del Norte, Cuba, Venezuela, Siria y China, a menos que esté autorizado por la Junta de Gobernadores.

La ley podría afectar a un tercio de los estudiantes de posgrado de la Universidad de la Florida. En 2022, el 33.3% de los estudiantes de posgrado eran de países de interés.

La ley fue una de las tres aprobadas el mismo día como parte del esfuerzo del gobernador Ron DeSantis para “detener la influencia del Partido Comunista Chino en nuestro sistema educativo desde la escuela primaria hasta la universidad”, dijo en un comunicado de prensa después de que la ley fuera aprobada en mayo de 2023.

Un portavoz de DeSantis no respondió para dar comentario.

La UF y otras universidades públicas deben cumplir con la restricción para evitar perder financiamiento por desempeño

estatal. Un comunicado emitido por la UF en febrero dijo que la ley “No afecta la inscripción ni las becas”. Pero la demanda de Guan alega que las restricciones de contratación de la ley han dificultado significativamente el progreso de su investigación y han amenazado su financiamiento, futuras solicitudes de subvenciones y libertad académica.

De los 18 estudiantes internacionales que solicitaron el puesto de asistente de Guan, cinco eran de países de interés, según documentos judiciales, un estudiante posdoctoral de China surgió como el mejor candidato.

Sin embargo, la ley provocó un retraso de cuatro meses en el proceso de contratación, y el estudiante aceptó una oferta competidora fuera de Florida. Guan no pudo hacer comentarios a tiempo para la publicación.

Dos estudiantes de doctorado Chinos de la Universidad Internacional de la Florida, Zhipeng Yin y Zhen Guo, también están tomando medidas legales contra el estado. Los estudiantes se unieron a Guan en la demanda después de que sus asistencias de enseñanza de posgrado en la Universidad Internacional de Florida fueron diferidas debido al SB 846.

Se les dijo que sus posiciones tardarían meses en ser aprobadas, durante los cuales no recibirán beneficios por un monto de aproximadamente $40,000 por año académico cubierto por las ofertas de asistencia de enseñanza de posgrado, según documentos judiciales.

Ningún estudiante respondió para hacer comentarios.

La ley también provocó indignación entre la facultad y los estudiantes de la UF.

Casi 400 miembros de la facultad de la UF han firmado una petición protestando contra la ley y el Senado de estudiantes de la UF aprobó una resolución en febrero condenando el proyecto de ley y sus efectos en los estudiantes internacionales de posgrado.

Asif Islam, un exsenador estudiantil que coautorizó la resolución, dijo que esta ley y otras similares promueven el miedo entre los estudiantes y evitarán que la UF avance como una institución académica de primer nivel.

“El SB 846 es flagrantemente discriminatorio, y no hay razón para no oponerse a él”, dijo. “La capacidad de la Universidad de la Florida para ser una institución de investigación de primer nivel se debe en gran parte a nuestros excepcionales investigadores de posgrado, muchos de los cuales son de estos ‘países de interés’.”

Anghelo Gangano, el senador estudiantil de posgrado y oficial de Asistentes de Posgrado Unidos de la UF que también autorizó la resolución, dijo que muchos estudiantes internacionales de posgrado en su departamento estaban preocupados por su futuro en los Estados Unidos si leyes similares al SB 846 permanecían en efecto.

“Puedo decirte ahora mismo que miles de estudiantes se sienten poco bienvenidos en la UF”, dijo. “Varios profesores dicen que les está costando más reclutar estudiantes para sus laboratorios debido a esta ley.”

Esta no es la primera vez que DeSantis promulga legislación dirigida a minorías raciales en instituciones educativas de Florida. Una ley que entró en vigencia el mismo día que el SB 846 limita la financiación de programas de diversidad, equi-

dad e inclusión.

“Todas estas leyes están creando un ambiente muy homogéneo aquí en la UF, uno en el que cada vez es más difícil ver otros puntos de vista, o apreciar nuevas perspectivas”, dijo Gangano.

Además de DeSantis, la demanda enumera al Comisionado del Departamento de Educación de Florida Manny Díaz Jr., al Canciller del Sistema Universitario Estatal Ray Rodrigues y a los miembros de la Junta de Gobernadores como acusados.

Un portavoz de la Junta de Gobernadores no respondió para hacer comentarios.

La defensa no ha presentado su oposición a la medida cautelar hasta el 12 de mayo, pero Clay Zhu, uno de los abogados de Guan y cofundador de la Alianza de Defensa Legal Chino-Americana, espera que argumentan que la ley es necesaria bajo alegatos de seguridad nacional.

La ley pisotea el poder exclusivo de inmigración del gobierno federal y es inconstitucional, dijo Zhu.

“La ley señala a estudiantes de China y varios otros países, y eso es discriminación de facto”, dijo. Para Zhu, quien dijo que vino a los Estados Unidos por la libertad académica que ofrecía, la ley parece regresiva y perjudicial para un país que se beneficia de las contribuciones globales.

“La diversidad es una forma rápida de atraer a personas talentosas de todo el mundo”, dijo. “La gran parte de los Estados Unidos es un crisol. Es realmente triste. Es realmente injusto y antiamericano.”




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1. GEOGRAPHY: Which European country has the largest population?

2. ASTRONOMY: What does the acronym SETI mean to the scientific community?

3. LANGUAGE: What does the Latin prefix “sub-” mean in English?

2. TELEVISION: Which sitcom features a character named Ron Swanson?

3. SCIENCE: What are the three layers of the Earth?

4. U.S. PRESIDENTS: Who was the only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms?

4. MOVIES: Which 2001 movie has a famous "bend and snap" scene?

5. LITERATURE: Which 20th-century movie star penned the autobiography “Me: Stories of My Life”?

5. MONEY: What is a modern U.S. penny made of mostly?

6. HISTORY: What was the first National Monument proclaimed in the United States?

7. GEOGRAPHY: Where is the island of Luzon located?

6. ANIMAL KINGDOM: What is a common name for an animal in the Leporidae family?

8. MOVIES: Which sci-fi movie has the tagline, “Reality is a thing of the past”?

7. LITERATURE: Which children's book contains the line, "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast"?

9. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What was the name of the United States’ first nuclear-powered submarine?

10. GAMES: What are the four railroad properties in Monopoly? Answers

8. ANATOMY: Where is the pinna located in the human body?

9. HISTORY: Who was the fourth president of the United States?

1. 63,360 inches

2. Search for extraterrestrial intelligence

3. Below or insufficient

10. BUSINESS: What did Amazon sell exclusively when it started business in 1994?

4. Grover Cleveland

5. Katharine Hepburn


6. Devils Tower, 1906

7. The Philippines 8. “The Matrix”

9. The USS Nautilus

10. Pennsylvania, Short Line, Reading and B&O © 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.

1. What member of the 1919 World Series champion Cincinnati Reds was head coach of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles from 194150 and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969?

1. Tommie Aaron, brother of Hank, hit how many home runs in his seven-season Major League Baseball career?

2. Bill Chadwick, the NHL’s first U.S.-born referee and later a broadcaster for the New York Rangers, went by what nickname?

2. Name the Indiana University president who fired men's basketball coach Bob Knight in 2000 and went on to become president of the NCAA in 2003.

3. John Salley was the first player to win NBA championships with three different franchises. What were they?

4. What two college football rivals played in a dramatic 2016 game that became known as "The Block at the Rock"?

3. The name for the Albuquerque Isotopes Minor League Baseball club was inspired by a fictional team from what TV comedy series?

4. Jim Covert and Ed Sprinkle, two members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020, spent their entire playing careers with what NFL franchise?

5. In what sport would one find participants using an epee on a piste?

6. What golf course, located in Louisville, Kentucky, first hosted the PGA Championship in 1996 and was the site of the 2008 Ryder Cup?

5. What traditional Japanese martial art is literally translated as “the

7. What French tennis player won the 1983 French Open and later embarked on a successful music career? (Hint: His son played in the NBA.)

CryptoQuote solution I HAVE OFTEN WISHED HAD TIME TO CULTIVATE HONESTY BUT AM TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MYSELF. - DAME EDITH SITWELL Sudoku solution ScrabbleGrams solution solution below 1. Greasy Neale. 2. Myles Brand. 3. Detroit Pistons (1989-90), Chicago Bulls (1996) and Los Angeles Lakers (2000). 4. The Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes. 5. Fencing. 6. Valhalla Golf Club. 7. Yannick Noah. 1. Russia. 2. "Parks and Recreation." 3. Crust, mantle and core. 4. "Legally Blonde." 5. Zinc. 6. Rabbit or hare. 7. "Alice in Wonderland." 8. Ear. 9. James Madison. 10. Books. Sports Quiz answers Trivia Test answers scan
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January 27, 2020 King Features Weekly Service by
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MONDAY, MAY 13, 2024


Micah Handlogten embraces new role into likely redshirt season


After starting 33 games for the Florida men’s basketball team last season, sophomore center Micah Handlogten solidified himself as one-half of the best rebounding duo in program history alongside graduate student forward Tyrese Samuel.

Florida’s mission this offseason won’t be to improve Handlogten’s vertical jump or freethrow shooting. It will be to ensure the potential redshirt sophomore is in a solid headspace after suffering a leg injury in the SEC championship game March 17.

Handlogten will need to feel comfortable throughout his injury-rehab process. UF head coach Todd Golden understands this narrative all too well regarding the 7-foot-1-inch Marshall transfer.

“Micah’s doing great, he’s probably going to redshirt next year,” Golden said. “The number one key in my mind is his comfort and his recovery. He had a great surgery, everything at Vanderbilt [hospital] went really really well. Just talking to him, I think it would be best for him to know that he doesn't feel pressured to

try to get back quick.”

Redshirting will allow Handlogten to not only strengthen his leg, but work on his fundamental skills on the court. Golden envisions a positive outcome will come to fruition if a fully healthy Handlogten returns to Florida’s lineup.

“My hope is not next year [2024-25], but the year after, he should be an absolute monster as he comes back fully healthy with a lot of confidence on the leg,” Golden said.

With the 2023-24 season coming to an end, it gave Handlogten time to mentally reset and find out what the best course of action was for his remaining two years of eligibility.

Florida landed two new recruits this offseason via the transfer portal who will both replace the significant production left behind by Handlogten, who played an important role in landing the two new additions to UF’s roster.

“Micah is such a great dude,” Golden said. “He helps us recruit these other bigs. He's an awesome, awesome young man.”

Washington State sophomore center Reuben Chinyelu and Chattanooga junior forward Sam Alexis will provide a much-needed boost to the Florida frontcourt that could lose just under 7 rebounds per game with the absence of Handlogten.

Chinyelu boasts a 7-foot-8-inch wingspan and averaged 4.7 points for WSU last season in just 14 minutes per game. He recorded 45 blocks in 12 starts as a freshman.

Alexis is coming off an all-conference hon-

oree season averaging 10.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. The Florida native ranked No. 43 in defensive rebounding percentage and No. 37 in block percentage in 2023-24 according to 247Sports.

“In a way it [Handlogten redshirting] helps us because before we got Reuben and Sam, if guys were looking at us [in the portal], and they saw Micah coming back we knew it’d be hard,” Golden said.

Dealing with transfer portal and NIL negotiations in college basketball grows even more difficult when utilizing it to replace a significant player that will unexpectedly miss the upcoming season.

However, after having a conversation with Handlogten following the end of Florida’s postseason run, it became evident sitting out a year would be in the best interest of the rising junior.

“I think [redshirting] was good for Micah [and] good for our program,” Golden said. “Now he can just pour all of his efforts into his rehab and not feel the pressure of, ‘I need to get back on the court by November.’”

Handlogten has shown nothing but a positive attitude since dealing with the injury. It has not only given him time to reflect, but it has allowed Florida fans to see the true team-first mentality that he brings to the table.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to spend my sophomore year with, and I’m looking forward to spending my junior and senior year with them too,” Handlogten said.

It won’t be entirely the same team around Handlogten this offseason after the departure of graduate student guard Zyon Pullin and Samuel.

The former Gators showed no hesitation in showing gratitude for the center’s production on and off the court.

“Micah is so valuable for our team,” Samuel said. “Especially on the offensive rebounding side of things. Losing him early kind of affected us a little bit. We really care about him, he's part of our family.”

Pullin left behind a stellar season donning orange and blue but wouldn’t leave his legacy behind without showing remorse for Handlogten.

“It’s definitely tough to see him go down like that,” Pullin said. “We just tried to rally together and kind of focus on staying together.”

Despite the disappointing premature end to the season for the 7-footer, the future remains bright.

Suffering a season-ending injury can steer the career path of an athlete for better or worse. Handlogten made it clear he has a point to prove on his road to recovery.

“I’m going to come back better and stronger for it,” he said. “I have something to work for. I have a goal in mind, and I’m going to strive to reach it.”


Florida looks ahead into NCAA regionals after SEC tournament win


The No. 11 ranked Florida softball team captured the No. 2-seed in the SEC, laying its foundations early into the SEC tournament to ring in on top as the 2024 Champions.

“I said [before] this team’s got a chance,” Florida head coach Tim Walton said. “We’re on the up, and definitely been inching our way up to be SEC Champions.”

The win also titled Walton with the most SEC Championships as a head coach in league history with six.

UF defeated the No. 7-seed Georgia in the quarterfinals early Friday and capped off a 2-0 victory for the day after its 7-3 win over the No. 3-seed Texas A&M Friday evening. The Gators then advanced to their 10th SEC Tournament Championship behind a game with nine total hits,

five walks and a pair of home runs.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Keagan Rothrock turned in her 20th complete-game performance against the Aggies and struck out six batters without allowing a walk. The freshman kept her composure in the circle and stayed hot in her SEC Tournament debut.

“Keagan mechanically spends so much time perfecting her craft,” Walton said. “Not by just how she pitches, but I think you are seeing her learn how to compete through this league.”

Another standout freshman, second baseman Mia Williams, worked her magic behind the plate as she stepped up to bat and worked a 3-1 count off Aggies’ junior starting pitcher Emily Leavitt.

As her eyes met the ball, she launched the next pitch into the air and to the top of the scoreboard earning her fourth home run of the season to give the Gators an early 3-0 lead over TAMU.

“Trying to keep it simple and just play the ball I know how to play,” Williams said. “Specifically that home run, I was doing a little bit of self-talk… and telling myself to trust my hands and let the ball get deep.”

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A current nominee on the SEC All-Tournament Team selections, redshirt senior shortstop Skylar Wallace, is at the top of the list for MVP. Wallace powered through Game 2 against the Aggies and utilized her momentum to belt her 13th home run of the season, extending the Gators lead to 5-0.

TAMU was able to break through in the fourth inning and cut into the Gators lead bringing the score to 5-2 with a pair of unearned runs. However, it wasn't enough to make a comeback in which Florida closed out the game with two more runs scored.

UF secured its sixth SEC Championship with a 6-1 victory over the No. 5-seeded Missouri Tigers May 11 at Jane B. Moore Field in Auburn, Alabama. Rothrock turned in her second consecutive complete-game performance to seal the victory for Florida.

The freshman held Missouri to just six hits over seven innings of work, allowing two walks to her six strikeouts. The Gators took an early 3-0 lead with the help of Williams as she cleared the bases with her fifth home run of the season. This time, a 296-foot home run that flew over the Auburn scoreboard.

The Tigers attempted to battle

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back from the Gators’ early success after putting a pair of runners on base, but the speed of junior Kendra Falby saved what could have been two runs with an athletic play made over the shoulder for a catch at the wall.

UF went on to extend its lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Wallace notched her third home run of the tournament.

“Trusting in my teammates [and] my preparation, that’s all I really lean back on,” Wallace said. “That’s all I really lean back on, and it keeps me grounded knowing that everything is going to work out in some way.”

In an effort to respond, Missouri was able to draw a hit by a pitch and a walk, but senior first baseman Avery Goelz shut down the rally when she grabbed the line drive and tagged the runner to end the game.

“We're not done yet, we got work to do,” Wallace said. “We’re going to celebrate this one, take it all in and then come back tomorrow and Monday and reset and get after it again.”

Next, UF will host Florida Gulf Coast, Florida Atlantic and South Alabama in the NCAA Gainesville Regional. The Gators will compete in the first round against FGCU at noon Friday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

and has the highest on-base percentage at 0.592.

“She’s competitive, fiery,” Walton said. “Her on-base percentage is sick — then again, she’s a good teammate and softball player.”

Then, with two outs, Erickson smashed a double to left-center field, and Otis used her speed to score from first base.

South Carolina attempted to capitalize with one last chance in the top of the seventh. It had two runners on base and one out in the inning. But freshman Ava Brown stayed composed in the circle, forcing a ground out and an infield pop-up to end the game.

“I told them we have to play better softball and by ‘we’ being the team,” Walton said. “It’s not about us, it’s about them. They have to play better, communicate better and appreciate little things better amongst each other.”

Next, Florida will step out of conference play for a midweek contest against in-state rival Florida State at 6 p.m. April 24 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.


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Gators men's and women's tennis fall just short of lofty expectations


Heading into their 2024 seasons, the Florida men's and women's tennis teams expected to make deep runs in the NCAA Tournament.

The women's team headed into the season looking to advance past the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2017.

Florida kicked off the season ranked No. 10 in the ITA, with three ranked singles players and two ranked doubles teams leading the way for its lineup.

Moreover, the men's team was ranked No. 23 after bringing in the No. 4-ranked recruiting class in the nation, according to the Tennis Recruiting Network.

First-year head coach Adam Steinberg had the opportunity to work with a talented squad that featured four ranked singles players and two ranked doubles teams.

However, after up-and-down seasons, neither team advanced past the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

The women's squad fell just short in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Miami, bringing its season to an end with a 17-9 record.

It was the first time Florida’s women’s program failed to reach the Sweet 16 since 2018.

“Some years it’s easy to know exactly what to say,” said Florida head coach Roland Thornqvist following the team’s loss May 5. “Then you have some years you really love the team and the way they worked together all year and how they invested, like this team.”

Florida impressively had a hot start to the season with a fourmatch winning streak while qualifying for ITA National Indoors in late January.

Though, a brutal slate was on the horizon for UF. The Gators were set to face five straight top-15 opponents and went on to drop all five matches.

In early March, the Gators had a record of just 5-7 and were fresh off losses against SEC foes Georgia and Texas A&M.

But then, everything seemed to change.

As the Gators began working their way through conference play, Florida caught fire and started to click en route to an 11-match conference winning streak featuring nine ranked victories.

Thornqvist switched up his doubles pairings, and the adjustments to the lineup paid dividends for Florida.

In the season’s remaining 13 matches with the newly paired doubles, Florida won the doubles point and headed into singles play with the all-important advantage.

Staff Florida women's tennis pairing of Alicia Dudeney and Malwina Rowinska high-five each other after a point in the team's match against Mississippi State on Friday, March 29, 2024.

Thornqvist placed many of his more experienced players, graduate student Carly Briggs and juniors Alicia Dudeney and Bente Spee, with the team’s fresher faces, freshman Qavia Lopez and Malwina Rowinska and sophomore Rachel Gailis.

The strategy worked well, allowing the newcomers to develop alongside their teammates who knew what it takes to win on the collegiate level.

The Gators found their stride in singles play, none more than Gailis, who became a fixture on Court 1 in singles play for UF and emerged as one of the top players in the nation.

Gailis, who started the season as the No. 63 singles player in the country, had a dominant sophomore campaign, tallying a 24-8 record while racking up seven victories over ranked opponents.

The sophomore, now ranked as the No. 8 player in the nation, stressed the importance of bouncing back from adversity over the course of the season no matter the obstacles she faced.

“So even though it was tough, the way that I thought about it afterward was, if that’s my lowest point, I still have a lot of room to grow,” said Gailis May 4 after the team’s win over Stetson.

Alongside Gailis, senior Sara Dahlstrom and Briggs were both mainstays in the singles top 100 in 2024.

Dahlstrom battled early injuries but delivered an impressive season, finishing 13-9 in singles play while peaking at No. 52 nationally.

Meanwhile, Briggs also served

as Florida’s team captain to end the duel season on a season-best nine-match winning streak in singles play.

“We are just really proud of how they [Dahlstrom and Briggs] came and got their work done every day,” Thornqvist said May 5. “I’m really grateful for everything they have done and how they invested, and what they were willing to sacrifice.”

The season came to a disappointing end in the Second Round against Miami, as Florida suffered a nail-biting 4-3 loss in a match that could have gone either way. Despite UF taking the doubles point, the Hurricanes were able to outmatch the Gators in singles play, winning four of six singles bouts.

Despite the disappointing end to their campaign, Thornqvist was adamant that his team did all they could.

“We gave it everything we had to the very, very, very last point,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Gators men's tennis team headed into the season with more questions than its counterparts.

Following the 2023 season, the Gators had lost seven players from their roster for various reasons, as well as the departure of head coach Bryan Shelton, who led the program for 11 seasons.

Few people knew what to expect coming into the 2024 season with a new head coach, Adam Steinberg, and a roster that included seven freshmen.

Florida’s season came to an end in the first round of the NCAA

Tournament after losing 4-3 to the UCF Knights, whom the Gators beat 6-1 earlier in the season.

“I think the team grew a lot,” Coach Steinberg said. “I think they accomplished so many positive things. It definitely didn’t end the way that we wanted… but for as young as we were and as depleted as we were in the fall, I’m very proud of the coaches and our players.”

After an up-and-down season for the Gators, UF finished its spring season with a 13-12 record in dual matches, including a 6-6 record in SEC play.

It was a tale of two teams for Florida this season, boasting an 11-1 record at home but just 2-11 when on the road.

Steinberg attributed the team’s struggles away from home to the youth of the team.

“For a lot of these guys, on the road in hostile environments, for a lot of them it was their first time experiencing that… and I don’t think we handled it as well as we could,” Steinberg said. “I think just having this year under their belt going into next year, many of them will definitely be used to it and handle it better.”

The Gators opened their spring schedule with three home wins followed by four straight losses against ranked opponents in road territory.

Florida went on another threematch win streak at home, where UF took down UCF and its first two SEC opponents, LSU and formerly No. 12-ranked Texas A&M, to open conference play.

With seven freshmen on the

team, it allowed the opportunity for some of them to step up in huge moments for the Gators.

Freshman Aidan Kim shined this season with a 12-11 singles season record but finished 7-3 in his last 10 matches.

The majority of Kim’s time in the doubles lineup was spent playing alongside junior Nate Bonetto. The duo posted a 10-9 record and reached a season-high ranking of No. 23 in the ITA doubles rankings.

The Gators also dealt with injury troubles throughout the season, turning the lower half of their lineup seemingly into a revolving door.

Freshman Adhithya Ganesan stressed the importance of staying healthy early in the season.

“We are gonna almost be playing every week, so I gotta make sure to stay healthy,” Ganesan said.

Not long after, Ganesan was sidelined, putting a halt to his hot start to the year, where Ganesan won his first five singles matches.

Despite an up-and-down year, Steinberg is excited for the direction and future of this team.

“It may be the most excited I’ve ever been as a coach just to see our program move forward,” Steinberg said. “See these young guys keep growing. I think the fall is gonna be really, really exciting and great for them.”



Gabriella Aulisio // Alligator
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