Monday, June 10, 2024

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UF’s financial ties, publicly disclosed partnerships with Israel, explained

The Alligator reviewed publicly available information on UF’s partnerships and investments to identify its financial ties with Israel

Amid the ongoing IsraelHamas war, pro-Palestinian protestors across Florida and the nation are calling on universities to publicly disclose and divest from their financial partnerships with Israel. At UF, home to the largest population of undergraduate Jewish students in the country, protestors’ demands have gone unacknowledged by the university.

After reviewing publicly available information on UF’s business partnerships, investment portfolio and contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense, The Alligator identified UF’s financial ties with Israel and organizations supplying military aid to the nation.

The UF Divest Coalition, an assembly of student-led and community pro-Palestinian organizations, began occupying the Plaza of the Americas in the heart of UF’s campus April 24 to demand the university make its financial partnerships with Israeli-affiliated defense companies transparent.

Police arrested nine protesters April 29, including one student facing a felony battery charge because police said he spit on an officer’s arm. UF President Ben Sasse said students arrested in the protests would be suspended and trespassed from

Track and Field

campus for three years.

In a statement to The Alligator, UF Divest Coalition wrote it is no longer occupying the plaza but will continue to demand the university reallocate its Israeliaffiliated funds toward programs like the Regional Transit System and the Partnership for Reimagining Gainesville.

“Students at UF would prefer to use their ideas, creativity, and time to benefit our community’s health and well-being, not to fund weapons used to murder innocent civilians in Gaza,” the coalition wrote.

UF spokesperson Cynthia Roldan said UF administration does not plan to respond to “socalled ‘demands’ because we don’t pretend that protests are negotiations.”

The Alligator’s review of UF’s publicly disclosed financial statements does not reflect contracts and partnerships that the university didn’t report. As a public university, UF is required to complete annual tax reports that disclose some details about its investment portfolio but is not required to disclose all financial information, such as what companies it is invested in.

University endowment and investment funds are more opaque, providing little public information on what markets and businesses the university invested in.

Gators win NCAA Outdoor Champions. Read more on pg. 11.

UF continues searches for top leadership positions, deans


Within the past year, UF has filled positions from the shifting vacancies that followed after Ben Sasse was announced as UF’s new president in February 2023.

As leadership positions have shifted over the past year, UF has been filling in the vacancies.

Senior Vice President of IFAS

Robert Gilbert became interim senior vice president of UF/IFAS July 2023 after J. Scott Angle, the former director of IFAS, became the university’s interim provost. Sasse named Angle the permanent provost in January.

A decision hasn’t been made yet about who the next permanent IFAS director will be but Gilbert said there is no ongoing search. He said he will continue to hold the position until July 2025 and wait to hear from President Sasse.

where he eventually became the center director. Before taking the position, Gilbert served as the chair of the Agronomy department at UF/IFAS from 2014 until 2019 when he was appointed dean of research.

“I’ve served in pretty much every role you can have going up the chain as faculty and administration,” Gilbert said. “My job is to make sure our enterprise is successful in research that we do in teaching that involves our students and pals.”

Chief Financial Officer



A Quinn Jones Museum and School celebrates, pg. 3

New Pride Month events, pg. 6

Gilbert started his career as a sugar cane researcher at the UF/ IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade,


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10, 2024 VOLUME 118 - ISSUE 36 @FloridaAlligator @TheAlligator_ @TheAlligator @thefloridaalligator
Courtesy of Rubnery Davila A girl rides a horse as a part of equine therapy in Lake Wales, Fla. on June 8, 2024. Find this story in El Caimán on pg. 7.
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Student Senate to vote on 2024-2025 budget, ‘Stop the Stall’ legislation

Change caucus proposes several budget amendments

The UF Student Senate is set to vote June 11 on the 2024-2025 Student Government budget as well as bills proposing significant changes to Senate speaking rules.

The budget bill, authored by Sen. Damien Rodriguez (Vision-Off Campus), allocates $6 million toward Student Government and $3 million toward Student Engagement, the conglomeration of what used to be Student Activities and Involvement (SAI) and Sorority and Fraternity Life (SFL).

However, Change senators have proposed amendments that propose different options for reallocating $100,000 toward RecSports.

Potential budget changes

The first amendment aims to reduce program funding for Student Government Productions (SGP) by $100,000. The second would reduce SGP funds by $70,000 and ACCENT funds by $30,000. The third proposes reducing Student Government Projects, a budget line of Student Government’s Administrative Account, funding by $30,000 and SGP by $70,000.

Sen. Anjali Natarajan (ChangeEngineering) said student funds should not be directed toward events that are "hit or miss at best," and should instead be used for "longterm investments" like increased hours and more equipment at UF RecSports facilities.

She also raised concern about how the funds were being used, referencing an SGP concert where musical artist Nelly performed at the Stephen O'Connell Center which brought controversy due to allegations of sexual assault against Nelly. In response to his performance, the Student Senate passed a unanimous censure against SGP for its involvement with the artist.

Natarajan believes none of the amendments will pass and expressed frustration with the Vision caucus.

"It seems like everyone should be in agreement, there should be bipartisan support for at least one, if not multiple, of these amendments," Natarajan said. “But for some reason moving money in this budget has been like trying to push a boulder up a hill.”

Limiting public comment

The Senate is also set to hold a vote June 11 on parts two and three of Sen. Aaron Rubaii’s (Vision-Off Campus) “Stop the Stall” bill. In a 5427 vote June 3, the Vision-majority Senate passed the first part of the bill, which changes Senate rules around public comment.

The first volume of the bill reduces public comment, during which students can speak before the Senate, from five to three minutes per speaker. The chamber also passed Rubaii’s amendment to the bill, which bars senators who previously had the ability to sign up to speak, from participating in public comment.

Speaking before the chamber, Rubaii said the new rules will allow the Senate to focus more on passing legislation rather than holding lengthy discussion periods.

“Public comment was out of control in the spring,” he said. “It would not be uncommon for them to go for an hour and a half or longer. When you only have three-and-a-half-hour meetings, that prevents us from doing a lot of stuff that the Senate is supposed to do.”

If passed, the second volume of the bill would limit permanent Senate committees’ presentation of issues to five minutes per meeting. Ad-hoc committees would have a three-minute limit. Previously, Senate rules had included no time limits on committee reports.

The third volume would reduce the amount of time senators have

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to deliver minority reports from unlimited time to five minutes. Minority reports are written by dissenting members of a committee when they disagree with the official report the committee produces.

“We are often unable to get through the agenda within the threeand-a-half-hourthree and a half hour period in which we have our meeting,” wrote Vision Caucus Majority Leader Sen. Julia Seifer (Vision-Off Campus) in a statement to The Alligator.

The Reitz Union, where the Senate Chamber is located, closes at 11 p.m. during the school year. Senate meetings begin around 7 to 7:30 p.m.

Seifer said she hopes the bill’s passage will lead to “increased productivity in the Senate Chamber” and “in-depth discussion and debate on agenda items.”

“By ensuring that public comment is exclusively reserved for our constituents…[the bill] promotes student perspectives so we can more effectively perform our jobs as representatives while simultaneously allowing us the time to accomplish the changes [students] hope to see,” Sen. Seifer said.

Sen. Isha Khan (Change-Honors Village), however, said she is opposed to the bill because public comment is one of the few ways in which senators can address all members of their caucus and the other caucus at once, especially since there is currently no Senate channel on Slack, GroupMe or any other communication platform.

“The only way I can address people that may be part of Vision caucus is here,” she said.

Sen. Anamika Naidu (ChangeBeaty Towers) said the bills restrict the ability of the minority caucus to express itself and advocate for its constituents.

“When we have minority of the Senate, it really does feel like an attack on our rights because sometimes [minority reports are] the only way we can address the chamber,” Naidu said.

She also questioned whether five minutes would be sufficient time to report on committee findings.

“I have sat as a voting member of committees that have gone on for six hours or more,” she said. “How could you possibly sum that up in five minutes?”


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gathered to celebrate Gainesville trailblazers in edu cation and Black history.

tural Center and the A. Quinn Jones School hosted the second annual Juneteenth film festival in collabora tion with the Gainesville Office of Equity and Inclu sion and Gainesville Parks Recreation and Cultural Affairs along with the Alachua County School Board and Public Information Office.

short film “One More Time” and a documentary titled “Class of Her Own” as a part of Gainesville’s Journey to Juneteenth.

sioner Desmon Duncan-Walker covered the current state of education and the importance of learning to “meet students where they are.”

former student, as one who was impacted personally, because I think it’s important to hear once again that that makes such an incredible difference,” she said.

dent and the festival organizer, brought the film fes tival back for a second year because “last year was such a hit,” she said.

ture,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to really just peer into that culture as we celebrate Juneteenth and the road to emancipation.”

named for A. Quinn Jones, a Gainesville educator from 1915 to 1957. He served as the principal of Ala chua County’s Lincoln High School, which became the second accredited Black high school in Florida to offer an education through 12th grade before its closure in 1970. Students were then split between Buchholz High School and Eastside High School for integration.

light on the history of Mr. Jones as well as the school, that is very important to me,” she said.

was the director and visual artist for the short film “One More Time,” which he said speaks on family, education and community.

School band, which received recognition for its HBCUstyle traditions that mirrored Florida A&M University at the time, earning it the nickname “Little FAMU.” munities, became one of the first two integrated high schools in Florida 20 years after the Brown v. Board

tiple projects similar to the Fifth Avenue/Pleasant Street Heritage Trail aiming to preserve different cultural legacies.

“Every community has a unique story,” he said.

Davis and Burke said the project could also serve as an economic benefit to the Gainesville area, referencing the success of heritage trails in other communities including Soul Voices of Frenchtown in Tallahassee and LaVilla in Jacksonville.

“The whole concept of it is helping to share history and stimulate foot traffic to also support a lot of the rehabilitation and existing businesses in that area,” Davis said.

The trail is critical to ensuring Black history is not forgotten, Arbelaez said. She works with the Gainesville Community Reinvestment Area, a portion of the city dedicated to investing in the preservation of local neighborhoods.

With an increase in gentrification, she said the history of Fifth Avenue and Pleasant Street is dying, making the project valuable even in its planning stages.

“It has come together in different parts of the city to preserve history,” she said.

While Arbelaez expressed approval of the project, other community members believe it’s too late.

Terri Bailey, owner of the Bailey Learning and Arts Collective nonprofit, said her family has lived between Fifth Avenue and Pleasant Street since the 1920s. New developments have since taken over the neighborhood.

“The heritage trail is not a new concept,” she said. “It would’ve been great if we could’ve moved forward with it while there were still a lot of Black people living in our neighborhood, but right now, our neighborhood is extremely gentrified.”

Bailey said she can’t help but see the trail as a memorial of the neighborhood rather than a celebration.

Read the rest online at @morgvande

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UF’s Israel Investments

Business partnerships and foreign contracts

UF reported receiving nearly $2 million from partnerships with Israeli-based companies in 2024. Universities that receive federal funding are required to report foreign gifts and contracts over $250,000 to the U.S. Department of Education under the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Over three-fourths of the total Israelibased gifts and contracts are with a single company that was unidentified in the university’s report. UF’s contract with the company is $1.6 million and runs through 2025. UF Procurement Services did not return The Alligator’s request to identify the company the contract is with.

The remainder of UF’s Israeli-based partnerships were with Pulsenmore, a prenatal technology company, and Mediwound, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in tissue repair.

Among currently active foreign partnerships with UF, Israel is ranked third in total gifts and contracts after Australia and Singapore, who contribute $2.7 million and $2.1 million respectively. Compared to other schools in the State University System, UF received a majority of gifts and contracts at 58.7%.

The UF Divest Coalition also called upon the university to sever its ties with American defense companies RTX, Lockheed Martin, Kratos Defense and L3Harris, which the coalition said is “implicated in human rights violations, including the Gaza genocide” in an April 24 news release.

RTX, formerly known as Raytheon, is partnered with UF Innovate, which "moves research discoveries from the laboratory to the market." Raytheon also collaborates with UF in its "Integrated Product and Pro -

cess Design (IPPD) two-semester course for UF engineering students" where students visit Raytheon's headquarters in Largo and get hands-on experience in "operational mission planning."

Other companies tied to Israel's war efforts and UF include Lockheed Martin, who attend UF's career showcases; L3Harris and Kratos Defense, which sponsor UF's W.E. Rise Mentorship Program; and Nvidia, whose co-founder, Chris Malachowsky, is the namesake of UF’s new computer information and science building.

Investments and endowment funds

UF’s $2.3 billion endowment is the largest of any public or private university in the state. Its endowment is three times the size of Florida State University’s and is larger than the largest private university endowment in the state — University of Miami’s $1.4 billion endowment.

The university with the largest endowment in the country is Harvard University, which as of last summer was a reported $50.7 billion.

UF’s endowment is made up of thousands of funds pooled together and managed by the University of Florida Investment Corporation. In 2023, it contributed over $100 million to the university.

The investment corporation is not required to publicly disclose its investment portfolio. It operates independently from the university as a direct support organization with its own board of directors and reports to the UF Board of Trustees. Since the portfolio is shielded from public view, it is unknown if the university has any Israelirelated investments.

The investment group is responsible for the nonprofit University of Florida Foundation, the primary recipient of money donated to UF. Global stocks make up 40% of the foundation’s primary fund, but the

Faculty search

After UF’s former Chief Financial Officer Chris Cowen left the university in July 2023 to become Cornell University’s CFO, Taylor Jantz started leading the CFO’s office. He was selected alongside Kevin Lintner to lead the office while UF searches for a permanent replacement.

Before he was interim CFO, Jantz worked as a director at Huron Consulting Group and assisted over 30 colleges and universities with financial projects. He graduated from Creighton University with a bachelor’s of business administration in economics and earned his master’s in higher education administration and policy from Vanderbilt University.

UF spokesperson Cynthia Roldan said the university “does not anticipate any changes” to the office of the Chief Financial Officer in the near future.

Honors Program director

After former UF Honors Program director Mark Law was fired from the university for his “inade-

quate vision for the program,” his deputy, Melissa Johnson, became the program’s interim director. A search committee announced her as one of the three finalists last year, but the university hasn’t made a decision about who will be the permanent director as of June 9.

UF spokesperson Cynthia Roldan said Johnson will continue to lead the Honors Program as interim director. The university is also exploring the possibility of establishing an honors college, according to Roldan.

Dean searches

UF is searching for deans across six of its 16 colleges, including the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Levin College of Law, among others.

Merritt McAlister became the interim dean of the Levin College of Law in June 2023. Since then, she has continued leading with a mindset of improvement for the college.

“Like the university, our college has been on a meteoric rise over the last decade, and I was

countries from which the stocks originate which countries the stocks originate from were not publicly disclosed.

Unlike a publicly traded mutual fund, which is required to file quarterly holding disclosures, there is no public disclosure of what these limited partnerships are invested in.

If UF has investments in Israel-affiliated companies related to its war effort in Gaza, it is likely those investments would be in publicly traded company shares or corporate bonds. The school’s investment group may be invested in Israeli firms through its private equity investment fund.

Military partnerships

Some protestors at other universities have called on their administrations to end their contracts with the military-industrial and other entities supporting Israel’s war effort in Gaza.

particularly excited to be part of continuing that forward momentum for the law school,” McAlister said. “Deans keep lots of balls in the air and have lots of demands on their time. Sometimes we want to accomplish more than is possible in a day, a week, a month or a year.”

McAlister started working at UF in 2018 as a law professor, but before joining the faculty, she worked as a partner at King & Spalding, an Atlanta-based law firm. Along with her publications in notable law reviews, she was also on the American Law Institute and rewarded for her pro bono work on civil rights issues.

Jennifer Hunt started as the dean of the College of Medicine in January, replacing Colleen G. Koch. When Koch started the dean position in 2020, she was the first woman to hold the position in the history of the college.

UF announced Hunt “brings a wealth of administrative experience to the role.”

Before accepting the position, she served as chair of the department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine at the College of Medicine. She was also the chief of staff at UF Health Shands.

As a public research university, UF receives funding awards from the U.S. Department of Defense. While some of these awards attract private military contractors, UF’s funding awards are primarily tied to medical research and development.

UF reported receiving $22 million from DoD spending in 2024, which is the most among Florida public universities. The spending, which includes contracts, grants and loans, represented 10.7% of the $211 million awarded to the university from the federal government that year.

Medical research made up the largest amount of the DoD spending at $9.45 million. Defense research was the fifth largest spending category at $1.4 million, or 6.4% of total DoD funding awarded to UF.

@garrettshanley @diegoperdomoaq

Hunt was also a big part of the UF Health and the College of Medicine's COVID-19 response. She was the leading force that ultimately ended up providing viral testing all over the university.

“Under her guidance, the department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine went from performing 300 to 500 tests a day to an all-time high capability of performing over 9,000 tests in January 2021,” UF wrote in the announcement.

Jennifer Setlow began as interim dean of the College of the Arts in January, replacing Onye Ozuzu. Setlow was associate dean of the College of the Arts since 2017 before accepting the position.

Before starting at UF, she was the associate dean for students for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. In her career she has designed lighting all over the region, published books, and won several awards for her designs.

David Richardson resigned as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences May 7 after 10 years in the role. Associate Dean Mary Watt will begin as interim dean starting July 1. Watt earned her bachelor's degree in foreign languages and literatures and earned

her doctorate in Canadian studies and law at the University of Toronto.

Elaine Turner is the current dean of UF/IFAS and has been since 2014; however, a job search for the position was posted June 1.

Turner has been a UF/IFAS faculty member since 1996. She served as the associate dean of UF/IFAS prior to accepting the position as dean.

She’s earned awards such as teacher of the year, undergraduate adviser of the year and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Award for Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences, among others.

Dr. Dana Zimmel, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, is the search committee chair and Devan Brown, a UFHR talent consultant, will handle nominations and inquiries. Applications will be open from June 7 to July 21 and Zoom interviews are scheduled to take place Aug. 1 and Aug. 9.


FACULTY, from pg. 1
pg. 1
ISRAEL, from
Credit Melanie Peña // Alligator Staff

Donald Trump: Grievance or rightful justice?

The American people have witnessed multiple worldly events that have affected their personal and professional lives in a short period of time. The ongoing war in Ukraine and the United States’ aid to fund those initiatives, the world-stage perception of the Israel-Hamas war starting Oct. 8, 2023, the national divide in political opinion for the upcoming election and most recently (let’s save the best for last) former President Donald Trump becoming indicted and criminally charged on 34 counts over his Manhattan hush money trial.

Not only is this historical precedent, but the combination of all these tragic events is continually shaping the American image, both its reputation and internal relationships, on a national scale. I don’t find this event to be celebrated or to be taken positively. This is sad.

While we ponder our layered options for future American leadership, we must have the mindset of a positive future, not a potential meek one.

There is an element of justice prevailing over evil individuals who have done horrendous actions in society. Whether you see Trump’s trial as an indication of positive good, you will still need to account that the U.S. president, the international representative of the American people, was criminally charged and will be looked at as a criminal under the justice system. International leaders who are against our nation’s principles will celebrate.

The people who elected Donald Trump must internalize this event: whether they voted for an innocent man or a criminal that was yet to be processed. We are all affected, Some are hurt, angry, ashamed and disappointed, all of which will ultimately require the healthiest method in getting past this tragic event and the ones along with it.

The contents of the trial can be divided into separate topics, the Manhattan hush money case, and the New York state civil fraud case. We will go over the contents by or-

der. The hush money case revolves around accusing former President Trump of falsifying business records to pay adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

The plaintiff, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, states that Trump used the funds from his 2016 presidential election to pay Daniels in exchange for staying silent about their alleged affairs. The motive for this unlawful action was to mitigate any negative face for his campaign so he could secure his presidential status. This case is unique to the overall recent process since this case was dropped in 2016 but became revitalized in March 2023.

Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen was a key element as testimony for the present case. He admitted that he lied under oath back in 2016 and Trump was guilty of the plaintiff’s accusation. A key insight for this case, New York City attorney Michael Cohen, was disbarred and criminally charged in 2019. Both his direct affiliation with past cases of the hush money case and his status as a malpractice attorney present skeptics in his testimonial validity. I see a conflict of interest and he should not have been involved in the new case file of past cases.

The second case focuses on Trump’s business malpractice in the state of New York. The plaintiff accuses Donald Trump of fraud by overstating the values of real estate properties to secure favorable loans and insurance policies.

Both cases tackle different angles of former President Trump’s character. The hush money case identifies Trump’s low-quality ethics and morals of not only having adulterous affairs while being married but also highlighting his unethical methods in attempting to achieve his motives through any means possible. The second case ultimately shows Trump’s credibility in his previous career as a successful, morally practicing real estate developer.

These outcomes are important to digest. Previous Trump voters will either succumb to Trump’s criminal background

and create a newly revised impression by trusting the American legal system, or they will have to deny this conviction and plead his innocence. Ultimately, stating this trial violated due process and will require further plea cases.

Abraham Hilu

There is still concern for Trump voters since there is a possibility his convictions will follow him even if he becomes newly elected president in 2024. Previous presidents have been tried and followed impeachment processes. Most notably, Richard Nixon in 1974 under the Watergate scandal, and Bill Clinton in 1998 over allegations and obstruction of justice related to his extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky. Although impeachment of past presidents has happened, Trump’s case is the only one that has been found guilty followed by an ongoing criminal sentence.

The political battle between democrats and republicans will not be over Nov. 5. There is suspicion that we will face an extreme political battle within Congress and the Senate if Donald Trump becomes elected as president.

This is neither good nor reassuring news for voters. Our international influence is at risk, our relationships are subject to compromise and Americans’ pride in their country is questioned. Let us pray and grieve for these losses as an entire nation. We are hurting and hope for a better future for the upcoming generations. America is known as the innovator of freedoms for citizens, giving hundreds of years of success and happiness for individuals throughout the generations since its inception.

Embracing our accomplishments and positive contributions to human society is something noteworthy, and can lead people to cross party lines and embrace our national identity, overcoming our political differences.

Abraham Hilu is a UF political science senior.

From indictments to disconnect: The polarizing effects of Trump and Biden

The upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris, France have been forced to take a backseat as news cycles begin to focus their content on the presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Although it can be beneficial for young people to be intrigued by politics, most of the discourse surrounding the election has been extremely polarizing. This has caused division within the American youth that is detrimental to our society and democracy. A large reason for this divide is the divisive nature of former President Donald Trump, and the lack of firepower President Joe Biden has to provide a rebuttal.

Max Rappoport

Most recently, Trump was indicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records concerning hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, among others. On May 30, a New York jury found him guilty of all counts, marking the first time a former U.S. president has been convicted of felony crimes. The case involved falsifying records to cover up payments meant to influence the 2016 election by concealing potentially damaging information about Trump

Rather than taking accountability for these actions, Trump did the exact opposite, calling the case a complete witch hunt and blaming the indictments on what he deemed to be an unfair or rigged trial. Trump can be likened to a spoiled child who will blame everyone else for his misdeeds, refusing to take responsibility and insisting that the rules are unfair whenever he is caught.

This behavior not only undermines the integrity of the judicial system but also sets a dangerous precedent for his followers who will buy into whatever he says, deepening the rifts in American society.

It is very difficult for somebody like myself who is a believer in American democracy and its foundations to voice that without being reprimanded by Trump zealots who now are fully under the spell that America’s longstanding judicial system is illegitimate. The inability to voice opinions in support of America’s build without it being drawn up as an attack on a political candidate represents the partition in the country.

On the contrary, President Joe Biden, despite his extensive political experience, often

struggles to resonate with younger voters. Many young people feel disconnected from Biden, criticizing his lack of dynamic presence and charisma. This has led to a lack of enthusiasm among the youth, who are seeking more inspiring and relatable leaders. According to a recent New York Times poll, only 48 percent of individuals aged 18 to 25 have a favorable view of Biden.

This disconnect has contributed to toxic discourse in American politics, as young people feel alienated and unheard, deepening the political divide and hampering efforts to unify the nation. While Trump is a leader who can ignite mass flame for the youth for the wrong reasons, Biden seems unable to ignite even a spark.

This failure to captivate the younger demographic leaves a vacuum in political engagement, leading to frustration and apathy. Without a compelling left-wing or moderate figure to rally behind, young people have defaulted to attacking Trump. The constant attacks on Trump have led to his faction becoming even more radical, leading them to attack back, creating an extremely contentious and toxic dynamic.

If Biden could simply connect with and inspire young voters by addressing their concerns and demonstrating genuine engagement, rather than struggling to read from a teleprompter, he could mitigate some of this division and foster a more positive political environment.

The shortcomings of both leading candidates have significantly contributed to the current division within the United States. Trump’s refusal to take responsibility and his divisive rhetoric have polarized his followers, undermining trust in the judicial system. Meanwhile, Biden’s inability to connect with younger voters has led to a lack of enthusiasm and engagement, further deepening political divides.

Together, these issues have fostered a contentious and toxic political environment that contradicts the core American values of unity and democratic discourse.

Max Rappoport is a UF tourism, hospitality and event management junior.

views expressed here are not necessarily those

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MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2024

Books to Burlesque: Gainesville’s Guide to Pride

Five places to indulge in the colorful cheer throughout June

Though the first week of Pride Month flew by, Gainesville is still jam-packed with festive activities throughout the rest of June. Here’s a guide to five events throughout the city to celebrate Pride Month.

Hipp Pride Week at the Hippodrome Theatre

From June 10-16, the Hippodrome Theatre will host its first-ever Hipp Pride Week. The theater will hold a variety of events to celebrate.

The week begins with the first anniversary of “Scene Queens,” a drag and burlesque show meant to promote local artists, at 8 p.m. June 10. Nyq Smith, the front-of-house manager at the Hippodrome, is a drag queen producing the show.

Putting their bias aside, Smith said they are most excited for “Hipp Unplugged,” a staged reading series. June 11 will feature the play “Dike”and play “Saint Brigid” will be held June 12, both at 7 p.m and by Hannah Benitez

On June 13, Hipp’s basement sessions will feature a Pride edition, a space where local artists test out new sounds to grow their audience and mingle. The event welcomes LGBTQ+ musicians, crafters and

visual artists to showcase and sell their work. June 14, a curated selection of LGBTQ+ movies and documentaries will play in their art-house cinema.

Smith was one of the few people who kicked Hipp Pride into motion, they said.

“We found that it would be a great opportunity for the Hippodrome to stand firm on some of our founding pillars, which is that all people are welcome,” they said. “It is a project that touches very close to my heart.”

The week will end with “Story Time With A Mermaid” June 15, a children’s story hour meant to welcome and include all ages into the celebration.

The Lynx Pride Celebration with Pride Community Center of North Central Florida (PCCNCF)

The Lynx is holding a monthlong book drive concluding with a celebratory PowerPoint party June 28. The recently opened bookstore wanted to fill in the gaps in the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida’s free library, said Gina Marks, The Lynx’s events and community relations manager.

“We really want to get out into the community and be a space that helps make books and information accessible,” Marks said.

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Anyone can buy a book from PCCNCF’s list or a book important to queer identities for 15% off to donate to their library.

In just a day and a half, 50 titles were already donated, Marks said.

“I knew people would be excited. I just didn’t realize the scale,” she said. “We’re blown away.”

At the end of the month, volunteer staff from both organizations will present PowerPoints about books important to them as queer people. The celebratory night is a thank you to the community and wraps up with a hand-off of the donated books.

Harn Museum of Art’s Museum Nights: Art and Pride 2.0

On June 13, the Harn hosts its second annual Art and Pride Museum Night from 6 to 9 p.m. The event, which includes tabling, interactive art activities, guided tours, and a performance by drag queen Inertia Darling, invites all to rejoice with and learn about the LGBTQ+ community.

“Guests will have a chance to serve fashion, celebrate themselves, their communities, loved ones,” said Errol Nelson, the student engagement manager at the Harn. “We encourage folks to come out, dress out and display whatever pride looks like to you.”

‘Muses,’ museum university student educators, volunteer to provide hands-on activities. The museum’s docents will give tours with short presentations and conversations articulated around the themes of different colors on the pride flag. Community partners like the Pride Student Union, PCCNCF and the Equal Access Clinic will table to educate about themselves and what resources they offer.

“While we will be recognizing LGBTQ+ individuals in our connection and in our community, we hope that that’s applicable to everybody across the board,” Nelson said. “Just that human connection is something we really prize at the Harn.”

Black and Proud: A Juneteenth Burlesque and Drag Show at Brennan’s Irish Pub Phoenix Midnight has been doing burlesque performances for ten years and producing for almost eight years. Dubbed the Congolese Tease, Midnight is producing a drag and burlesque show at Brennan’s Irish Pub at 9 p.m. on June 15.

When asked what makes this celebration different from other Pride events, she responded “melanin.”

“I think, personally, when people think of Pride, they think white, cis men,” she said. Not only does she feel Pride events lack burlesque, but

Terapias con caballos para niños. Read more on pg. 7.

a lot of burlesque lacks Black people, she said.

“We’re here, we’re queer, we’re seasoned and we have washed legs,” she said.

Except for the show’s special guest Barbarella Brown, she said it will be an all-black cast and crew. Performers will include Kelly T. Kelly and Shauntel Black, who regularly perform at Gainesville’s University Club.

Besides the main event of drag and burlesque, the night will include black-owned companies vending and even a raffle.

Goldenrod Parlor’s Gender Euphoria Extravaganza Goldenrod Parlor is a gender-inclusive hair salon valuing creativity, community, individuality and sustainability. On June 30, the salon welcomes the community to an afternoon of free, gender-affirming haircuts.

The self-care day aims to support the LGBTQ+ community. Individuals can book in advance for their free haircuts. In addition, chair massages and pride flash tattoos will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. While that event runs from 12 to 4 p.m., they will be collecting gender-affirming care items for donations throughout the month until June 29.


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El Caimán


La Equinoterapia: Un camino hacia la sanación de niños con condiciones especiales



Por Jose Carmona

Esritor de El Caimán

Los caballos y las personas siempre han estado unidos, esta conexión especial ha dado lugar a la equinoterapia, una terapia alternativa que utiliza caballos en el tratamiento de diversas discapacidades, mejorando la salud física, mental y emocional de los niños.

La equinoterapia se basa en la interacción profunda entre el animal y el niño, aprovechando los movimientos del caballo para

estimular diferentes áreas del cuerpo y del cerebro, además de la transmisión de calor corporal del animal y los impulsos rítmicos que este genera.

Leonardo Grisolía, 44, un destacado equitador venezolano, ha dedicado su vida a los caballos. Desde niño, se ha involucrado en el cuidado, monta y doma de estos nobles animales. Con gran destreza, Leonardo dominó el arte del rejoneo, ocupando el primer lugar en México.

En 2003, decidió enfocar su carrera hacia la equinoterapia, entrenando caballos y ofreciendo clases de equitación, todo con el objetivo de utilizar la terapia equina como un camino hacia la sanación para niños con condiciones especiales.

“Es un proyecto nuevo, estamos haciendo unión con otros amigos para poder llegar a más personas,”

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afirmó Grisolia.

Jesús Mora, 25, diseñador gráfico y aficionado a los caballos desde temprana edad, se ha unido a Leonardo en su visión. Jesús ayuda en la logística de las terapias, encargándose de llevar los caballos, ensillarlos y asistir a las sesiones.

"Los caballos siempre han sido parte de mí," dijo Mora.

Su interés en la equinoterapia nació de una amistad en el deporte y el deseo de ayudar a los niños. El describió la satisfacción que siente al ver a los niños mejorar gracias a la conexión con los caballos.

“Ver la mejoría de los niños después de cada sesión nos brinda paz," afirmó Mora.

Leonardo Grisolía, 20, hijo Leonardo Grisolía y estudiante de ciencias animales en Santa Fe College, también forma parte del equipo. Desde Venezuela, ha estado involucrado en el proyecto familiar,

Bell Golfer heads to U.S. Open. Leer más en la página 11.

enfocándose en el manejo de los caballos.

Aunque busca un enfoque diferente al de su familia, estudiando inseminación y genética equina, Grisolía hijo valora profundamente las conexiones y el impacto positivo que la equinoterapia tiene en los niños.

"Es un círculo muy cercano, se crea una familia", dijo Leonardo.

El equipo de equinoterapia de los Grisolía busca expandir sus conocimientos y llegar a más hogares con su libro "La Terapia Equina: Un Camino Hacia la Sanación para Niños con Condiciones Especiales".

Leonardo Grisolía, padre, espera que este libro, escrito con el aporte de sus amigos y su propia experiencia, sea una guía útil para quienes deseen conocer más sobre los beneficios de la equinoterapia.

Actualmente, las terapias se realizan en Lake Wales, Orlando,

ademas de tener instalaciones en Ocala. El equipo está en proceso de unir fuerzas con otros amigos para llegar a más personas.

"El norte sería tener unas instalaciones más profundas", explicó Leonardo padre, soñando con un lugar que ofrezca hospedaje para personas de otros estados.

El proyecto también busca expandir sus beneficios a Venezuela, donde las ventas del libro serán donadas a fundaciones en Mérida. Los Grisolía invitan a más personas a colaborar con esta iniciativa, esperando que más padres puedan acceder a los tratamientos para sus hijos.

“Es un proyecto de muchos años que terminé el año pasado, está lleno de experiencias tanto mías como de mis mentores”.

Síganos para actualizaciones

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Museum Nights

Thursday, June 13, 6 – 9 pm

Art + PRIDE 2.0

Experience our annual Pride Celebration with a community runway hosted by emcee Inertia, scavenger hunt, art mural, bracelet making and more. View exhibitions and enjoy free refreshments.

Wine Down

Thursday, June 27, 5 – 9 pm

Wine down at 6 pm with indie rock band The Forum. Free wine, beer and dessert bar.


Club de Escucha+ en Gainesville conecta a la comunidad hispana a través de experiencias compartidas

Los miembros se reúnen dos veces al mes para discutir el podcast

En el corazón de Gainesville, Estefanía Pinto Ruiz, una colombiana apasionada por la cultura, ha transformado su amor por los podcasts en un movimiento comunitario.

En enero de 2023, fundó el Club de Escucha+, un lugar donde los hispanohablantes pueden practicar español, compartir experiencias y discutir episodios del podcast de NPR Radio Ambulante. Estos clubes de escucha se llevan a cabo en varias ciudades alrededor del mundo, ofreciendo un espacio para que los miembros de la comunidad se reúnan, escuchen episodios y participen en conversaciones reflexivas sobre los temas tratados.

Miembros del club compartieron cómo su participación en el club ha impactado sus vidas y conectado la comunidad hispana en Gainesville.

María Gutiérrez, una peruana que ha vivido en Gainesville por tres años, encontró en el club un espacio para conectarse con personas de su misma lengua y aprender sobre las culturas de otros países latinoamericanos.

Gutiérrez compartió cómo el club ha fomentado un sentido de solidaridad y comprensión entre sus miembros. Ella relató una experiencia memorable donde sus suegros, después de escuchar histo -

rias sobre Colombia en el club, decidieron explorar el país durante una escala de su viaje a Perú. Gracias a la conexión establecida en el club, obtuvieron recomendaciones y contactos que hicieron su visita más segura y enriquecedora.

“Nuestra amiga Estefanía… nos dio el contacto súper bueno de un conductor, que les ayudó a mis suegros estando solitos”, dijo Gutiérrez. “Los hizo sentir súper seguros, los hizo conocer el país”.

Ella destaca que el club le ayudó a superar sus problemas personales y a sentirse parte de una comunidad solidaria y comprensiva.

“El poder salir a hablar con ellos y socializar me sacó mucho de mi depresión que tuve posparto,” mencionó.

Gutiérrez señaló que uno de los aspectos más valiosos del club es el ambiente de respeto y tolerancia que se fomenta en cada reunión. Los miembros son animados a compartir sus pensamientos y opiniones sobre los episodios de podcasts discutidos, promoviendo un intercambio enriquecedor de ideas sin conflictos.

Christian Rodríguez, también de Perú, mencionó que el club le permitió encontrar una comunidad hispana en Gainesville, algo que le faltaba desde que se mudó a la ciudad. Para él, el club es un lugar seguro para practicar y mejorar su español, además de conectar con personas de diversos países y edades.

“Soy de Miami y mi mamá habla español, pero no tengo la oportunidad de hablar español todos los días. Entonces, es un espacio seguro y que me pueden corregir y ayudar”, dijo Rodríguez.

Rodríguez mencionó que uno de los desafíos iniciales fue la visibilidad del club. A través de esfuerzos de promoción y la dedicación de Pinto Ruiz, el club empezó a atraer a más miembros, creando una comunidad diversa de personas de diferentes países y edades, que encuentran en el club un espacio seguro para compartir y aprender.

“[El club] me ha dado confianza en hablar español un poquito más”, dijo. “Todavía estoy un poco inseguro… pero es un espacio seguro para hablar español y sí creo que me ha dado confianza en hablar”.

Rodríguez también enfatizó que el club es un espacio inclusivo y accesible. Los miembros solo necesitan escuchar un episodio de un podcast y pueden optar por participar activamente en las discusiones o simplemente escuchar, lo que hace que la experiencia sea flexible y atractiva para todos.

El impacto del club no solo se refleja en las experiencias de los miembros, sino también en la perseverancia de Estefanía Pinto Ruiz para superar desafíos iniciales. Al principio, Pinto Ruiz enfrentó el desafío de la baja asistencia, pero su per -

severancia y promoción en medios locales lograron que el club creciera. Las reuniones, realizadas el segundo y cuarto viernes de cada mes en Curia On The Drag y Fourth Avenue Food Park, son un crisol de ideas y experiencias donde se valoran el respeto y la apertura al diálogo. Con planes de mudarse pronto, Pinto Ruiz busca un sucesor para continuar con esta valiosa iniciativa. Su esperanza es que, incluso si las reuniones se vuelven virtuales, el espíritu del club siga vivo y vibrante.

“Me gustaría al menos seguir haciéndolo virtual, siento que igual muchas de las personas que asisten presencialmente tal vez también se conectarán virtual”, dijo. El Club de Escucha+ está abierto a todos los hispanohablantes, sin importar su nivel de español. Los interesados pueden unirse al grupo de WhatsApp para mantenerse informados y participar en las actividades del club.

“Son bienvenidos las personas que quieran … también hemos tenido gente que no habla el español perfecto”, dijo Pinto Ruiz.

La pasión y la dedicación de Pinto Ruiz han transformado el Club de Escucha+ en un espacio indispensable para la comunidad hispana de Gainesville, ofreciendo un hogar lejos de casa y manteniendo vivas las raíces culturales de sus miembros.


Madison McClelland // Alligator Staff

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

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

3. What golfer incredibly holed out a bunker shot for birdie to win the 1986 PGA Championship by two strokes over Greg Norman?

4. Of Hank Aaron's 755 career home runs, how many were pitched by fellow Hall of Famer Tom Seaver?

5. What two drivers are tied for all-time wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona sportscar endurance race with five apiece?

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?


6. What boxer knocked out former heavyweight champion Ken Norton 54 seconds into the first round of a May 1981 fight at New York City's Madison Square Garden?

7. In ice hockey, what term describes when a player controlling the puck uses a fake move to elude a defender or goalie?

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After transformative sophomore season, Parker Bell heads to first U.S. Open




After watching the scoreboard in the closing stages of his round, Florida sophomore golfer Parker Bell knew he stood in a good spot to qualify for his maiden U.S. Open, but it almost came back to bite him.

As he prepared for his shot on the 16th tee box at the Dallas Athletic Club, Bell was well within the cutline of 3-under and was 5-under on the day. He knew all he had to do to secure his spot in the U.S. Open was get into the clubhouse.

On the short par 3, Bell put his tee shot in the water, making a double bogey. All of a sudden, he was in danger of missing the cut, and one more mistake would drop him from the playoff and out of the open.

However, Bell kept his composure and held it together. He brought it home, getting up and down for par from about 80 yards out on his 36th hole of the day to advance into a playoff for the final qualifying positions.

“The old me probably would have spiraled out of control and thought the world had just ended and probably would not have made it,” Bell said. “It felt really good to come out on top because there's been a couple of tournaments


this semester and moments when the stakes were the highest, [and] I didn’t come through.”

At 20, Bell is set to join an exclusive list of Gators who played in the U.S. Open. Bell never foresaw this possibility for himself, especially not at such a young age.

Bell did a lot of work off the course to help the mental side of his golf game. In a sport where athletes never want to get too high or low, this narrative held true when he took on the final holes in his final qualifying round.

“I've been working with a mental coach the last couple of months,” Bell said. “He's kind of really got me focused on my target and what I'm trying to do with the golf ball and just saying that to myself in my head.”

In his final qualifying round, Bell battled against some of the toughest golfers in the event, including Masters champion Sergio Garcia and PGA Tour veterans like Joel Dahmen, Kevin Streelman and Abraham Ancer. On top of that, Bell was tasked with playing 36 holes in one day.

“When I looked at the field, I was like, gosh, this probably would have been the biggest tournament I’ve ever played in,” Bell said. “At the end of the day, they’re human too. They put their shorts on one leg at a time, just like me.”

Bell wasn't phased. He beat Garcia in the playoff to solidify his spot.

In his two seasons at Florida, Bell attributes his player and personal development to the quality of golfers, coaches and people around him.

“When you're playing with guys that are better than you, it's gonna force you to get better,” Bell said.

Courtesy of the UAA

Florida sophomore Parker Bell stripes his tee shot on the third round of NCAA Regionals on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

Fifth-year Gator John DuBois saw Bell’s game grow immensely since his initial arrival at UF.

“Parker has been playing really solid, and I love to beat Parker,” DuBois said. “We’re close teammates… His development has come a long way. I caddied for him last summer for a couple of events, and we kinda joked about some of the things he did and where he was mentally.”

UF head coach J.C. Deacon witnessed Parker’s progress the most in the last 12 months. Deacon spent nearly every round walking with the sophomore this season. He’s proud of the golfer he became and how much his mental game improved as well.

Deacon is extremely proud of his progress

and is even prouder that Bell can acknowledge his own growth. He said Bell’s incredible work ethic on and off the course was paramount to his progress and led him to this moment.

“When it comes to Parker, you probably gotta go back to day one and his freshman year,” Deacon said. “He probably physically or mentally wasn’t ready for this level. Parker was still very immature, and he just had so much to learn… He got surrounded by some great teammates and some guys who pushed him really hard, and Parker has come so far.”

One year ago, Bell made a deep run into the U.S. Amateur Championship and fell just short, losing in the semifinals. Getting the taste of almost playing his way into the U.S. Open was the fuel he needed to grow in the game of golf. With his first trip to Pinehurst approaching, Bell can’t wait to soak it all in and live out his dream with his cousin and long-time caddie right by his side.

“As a kid, you dream about playing in the Masters and in the U.S. Open,” Bell said. “Those are probably the main two tournaments you dream of playing in, and I don't know if I ever would have thought I was going to do it at the age of 20.”

Bell will have quite the introduction to the historic Pinehurst No. 2, as his June 10 practice round will be played with world No. 1 and twotime major champion Scottie Scheffler.

“I still don't know if it's quite set in yet,” Bell said. “Maybe when I get there, I'll finally realize, damn, I actually made it here.”


Gators win NCAA Men’s Outdoor Championships for third-consecutive year


The Florida men’s track and field team grabbed a blue Powerade cooler as head coach Mike Holloway finished another impressive campaign. The team poured it over Holloway’s head as the program celebrated another championship season.

The No. 3 men’s and No. 5 women’s teams traveled to Eugene, Oregon, for the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships.

Florida struggled at first when freshman Parvej Khan failed to qualify for the men’s

1,500-meter during the preliminaries.

However, it responded with strong performances by junior Parker Valby and senior Grace Stark in the June 6 preliminaries. By June 7, Florida trailed Auburn by five points as it lined up for the men’s 4x400 for the day’s final event.

With a third-place finish, the Gators men’s track and field team was named the 2024 NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Champion for the third straight year.

“Every time something went wrong, somebody stepped up and got it done,” Holloway said. “[I am] very proud of everyone who put the uniform on today.”

On June 8, the men’s team became triple consecutive NCAA DI Outdoor Champions for the first time in Florida’s track and field history. The next day, the women’s team kept Florida’s momentum flowing to place runner-up.

Valby and Stark both took home three individual titles for the Gators.

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Valby is the first Gator in program history to win the women’s 10,000-meter. She won her fifth NCAA Individual Championship with a time of 31 minutes, 46.09 seconds, a new meet record.

Then, Valby set new collegiate and meet records in the women’s 5,000-meter with a 14:52.18 time. She is the first woman in collegiate history to win five NCAA distance titles in one academic year.

“Our team won last time we were here, so obviously [we were] looking to repeat and just enjoy the journey,” Valby said June 5. “It’s been quite a whirlwind.”

It’s been a long year for Stark, recovering from two surgeries. She fractured a bone in her leg and tore her meniscus at the 2022 Outdoor Championships.

“You kind of always wonder with an injury that seems almost like a career-ending [one] if you're ever going to be the same,” she said May 3. “If you're ever going to be close to being back to where you were.”

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However, Stark dominated the 100-meter hurdles. She ran a personal best of 12.47 seconds. Her performance crowned her the second NCAA Individual Champion and first outdoor individual title in her career.

The men’s team did not claim an individual title.

The men’s relay teams made the podium in its two events and collected 11 points. Senior Jevaughn Powell finished third in the 400-meter, setting a personal record with the fifthfastest time in Florida history. Senior Robert Gregory followed in second in the 200-meter to tally eight more points for the Gators.

Junior Malcolm Clemons earned a bronze medal with a season-best 26-5 distance in the long jump. Senior Kai Chang placed fifth in the men’s discus throw. Senior Sean Dixon-Bodie placed eighth in the triple jump.

The women’s squad racked up points on the final day. Senior Flomena Asekol placed fifth in the 1,500-meter race with a 4:08.91 time.

Senior Elise Thorner finished sixth

in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Senior Claire Bryant took home the silver medal with a season-best distance of 22-1 1/2. Sophomore Anthaya Charlton placed fourth with a 21-7 1/2 distance.

Sophomore Alida van Daalen earned a bronze medal in the women’s discus with a distance of 204-10. She also finished in sixth place in the women’s shot put.

“We’re a team, we’re family,” Holloway said. “We talk about a standard, and we fight to win every single day, and that’s what you saw this week.”

Although Florida’s track and field regular season wrapped up with the NCAA Outdoor Championships, both current and former Gators athletes will compete at the USA Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, between June 21 and 30.


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