The Alligator’s Opinions pages offered readers the opportunity to express their own points of view … the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

march 19, 1982
vol 75 no 129

Greek Homophobes

alan ferguson

no ifs, ands, or butts

Even Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity wisecrackers bare their opinions about the recent controversy over the pending removal of the UF Lesbian and Gay Society from its Reitz Union office. UFLAGS is scheduled to be evicted from its office today, but members plan to appeal to the Board of Regents.

january 9, 1981
vol 75 no 129

Bad neighbors

albert diaz

not so welcome home

Bob Metnick had painted the mural outside of his dorm room with pride. When he left Weaver Hall at the end of fall quarter, the blue and white Israeli flag he had painted as part of a hall project was intact. But when Metnick returned this week, his mural was covered with a giant swastika, its blood-red paint dripping dramatically into black. Across one of the arms of the Nazi symbol, the words “YOU WILL DIE” were scratched with a key …

november 10, 1980
vol 74 no 36

Suicidal tendencies

sandy felsenthal

cocked and loaded

Devil’s Brigade veteran Don Harrell examines the gun he used in WWII, and that he continues to possess, even though his wartime injuries almost drove him to kill his mother and himself. (story by Kyle Kulish)

After publication, a letter-to-the-editor writer, a third-year law student and Vietnam veteran, said the gun was cocked and dangerously (suicidally)  directed toward Harrell’s face. Ian Roy argued that publishing the picture was dangerous to any other depressed veteran who might who might be contemplating suicide.

september 30, 1981
vol 75 no 27

UF Mellodrama

dave hogerty
Convenience Is In The Eye of The Beholder (here)

Shooting turned into mellodrama

Editor: We are totally appalled by the lack of tasteful journalism shown by your staff writer Dave Hogerty.

In his Sept. 30 article entitled “Convenience is in the eye of the beholder,” he displayed a writing angle commonly referred to as sensationalism. “Eifert lay back on the floor as the warm blood flowing from his chest formed a crimson pool around him …”

Hogerty turned an unfortunate incident into a melodramatic episode characterized by exaggerated description and morbid details.

Are your readers looking for a soap opera in print, or a factual documentation of events?

As journalists, we understand the need to create interesting stories, but must this be accomplished by creating bloody pictures to entice the morbid curiosities of your readers?

J. Singerman (2UF)
M. Parnes (3JM)
D. Altman (3JM)

Mellodrama is in the eye of the beholder

Editor: Dave Hogerty’s story on the shooting of Dan Eifert (“Convenience is in the eye of the beholder,”) Sept. 30 Alligator was exceptionally good. It did what background news stories are supposed to do: recount the who, what, when and why of the incident in an informative yet human fashion. I therefore disagree with the criticism lodged by Singerman, Paines and Altman. In their letter of Oct. 2 (“Shooting turned into melodrama”) The story was not “melodramatic.” On the contrary, it was real life and death. It put the reader right there in Eifert’s unfortunate shoes and described what it feels and looks like to be shot point-blank with a .38 pistol. If that was “soap opera” I have foolishly missed years of General Hospital. Unlike the soaps, this really happened. More importantly through the eyes and mind of Dan Eifert and the literary artistry of Hogerty, I felt as though I was there.

The description of the shooting, the progression of events, leading up to the completion of the telephone call, and the observations of Eifert regarding the possibility of death, were spellbinding, not “morbid.”

Unlike the previous letter writers, I am not a journalism major. However, it seems to me that in a piece which is not a news story of first impression, a little deviation from the bland facts is warranted. Once again, good job, Eifert, for surviving, and Hogerty for telling us about it.

Kevin Daly (6AC)


april 1, 1981
vol 74 no 103

Fighting dogs, nothing but cruel 

stan badz

something to howl about

Pete Sparks, the untitled dean of American dog Fighting,” ships the championship pit bull terriers he breeds, like the (unnamed) one above, all over the world. Chickens, mules, rabbits and a pony also keep the longtime breeder company on his Bradford County farm. See related story and photographs page 13.

Editor: We cannot imagine the sort of suspension of moral and ethical principles that must have taken place when reporter Stan Badz wrote the article titled “The Dean of the Pit” (April 1). To imply that there is some socially redeeming value in raising fighting dogs is to ignore the consequences involved.

Dog fighting is not only inhumane, it is illegal in all fifty states.

Cruelty is in herent in dog fighting. Young dogs are often trained by taunting them with kittens or stray cats. To build endurance, the dogs are often forced to run for hours on treadmills, edged on by various baits — such as racoons or bloodied wigs — dangled before them. After sufficient training, the dogs are sent into the ring. They are expected to show aggressive behavior and lose when they no longer “scratch.” To scratch, the dog must cross an imaginary line in the pit, and resume fighting. A dog fails to scratch if it is dead, unconscious, terrified, in pain, unable to move, or has jumped out of the ring.

Despite the endurance training, more than 50 percent of all dogs involved die either in the pit, or shortly thereafter from fight wounds and internal injuries.

As long as newspapers such as yours continue reporting on dog fighting in such a casual manner, this heinous crime will perpetrate itself and spread. We strongly urge you to stop glamorizing and promoting this illegal and bloody “sport,” and hope in the future you will take a position against this barbaric activity.

Cynthia L.  Bear (3AG)
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Laurence Getford

january 27, 1979
vol 72 no. 44

Preachers’ rhetoric ‘barbaric’

dave hogerty

Editor: Anyone walking in the vicinity of the library or GPA will often stumble upon a large circle of people gathered around one or sometimes several orators. The people drawing the crowds appear to be preaching the gospel, or what they interpret to be the word of God.

Many people choose to walk on by, but those who stay to listen will notice some interesting things being said.

The first thing I noticed was their preoccupation with sex, not just ordinary love-making, but fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, and various derogatory associations with a fairly common act.

I don’t believe I have ever heard one person, claiming to be spiritually enlightened, hurl so much offensive speech in all my life!

One will also notice that they condemn those who have religious beliefs other than their own (i.e. accepting Christ). If what they say is true, then the most contemplative Buddhist, the most devout Muslim, or the most pious Jew, are on a one-way road to damnation. I find this, to say the least, unacceptable.

I also find their views on women disturbing. I have heard them state that “whoring women” were the cause of many of the problems students experience today. In a series of charming tales told by “Disco Cindy” (as she is popularly referred to), we hear the tragic story of several freshman males, entering college with hopes of promising careers, only to be led into sin by these monstrous females.

I was disgusted by the graphic descriptions of their demise, and shocked by the implication of the story.

When these preachers are not cruelly displaying their sexism, they are telling us women about our “natural inferiority” to men, and the necessity of our remaining at home, and having our lives revolve around our husbands. Is this why we’re attending UF?

Worst of all, female students passing by or listening in have had fingers pointed at their attire and have been called whores directly to their faces by these “zealots.” This is utterly barbaric, I should like to know how the K.K.K. would be received on campus if they hurled compariable accusations at blacks and Jews. If they said blacks were naturally subject to the white man’s will, or if they called Jews whoremongers, I think we might have a riot at the Plaza of the Americas.

I am not debating anyone’s right to free speech, but shouldn’t these questions be addressed?
Finally, for those who think they are winning converts to a benevolent God by this behavior, may I suggest you think again? I could no more see a little child spontaneously climbing into Jed Smock’s lap, than I could believe a doe would embrace a leopard.

Alexandra Henderson (UF sophomore)


march 13, 1981
vol 74 no 100

Vanilla and chocolate don’t mix 

dave hogerty

ice cream couple

Jane Grant and Chauka Fleming enjoy the sun and ice cream as they relax outside the ice cream shop on The Renaissance Fair on University Avenue.
When taken, I thought it just another slice-of-life moment seen on any college campus in America. Maybe I was naive, moving to Gainesville after growing up in a smallfrom a small town near Cape Canaveral, but I was surprised to read more than one (anonymous) letters written to The Alligator in response to the picture. I was reminded that North Florida is part of the Deep South, and there were a number of students at the University of Florida, who didn’t appreciate the mixing of Vanilla and Chocolate ice cream. One writer made it clear the letters had nothing to do about ice cream when he called Jane Grant (the woman in the picture) a “nigger-loving whore.”


february 17, 1983
vol 76 no 109

ron thompson 

hot off the presses and into the bushes

This soggy stack of Wednesday’s Alligator was found stashed in the bushes near Tigert Hall. As many as 6,000 copies were hidden or trashed on the first day of spring’s Student runoff election.


alligator contents
the alligator staff

1989Bill Hicks
Viciously Honest (“Patriot”/”American Scream”) “The Gospel According To Bill Hicks” (GQ)


“Airborne Ranger”
1989 Friendly As A Hand Grenade
((( “i don’t want to go to iran” )))

dave hogerty

Worse For Wear

January 20, 1981 An  American flag, on a front porch on the River Road in Rockledge, Florida, shows all the wear of having flown continuously for the 444 days fifty-two Americans were held hostage in Iran, after a group of militarized Iranian college students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran November 4, 1979.

dave hogerty

November 4, 1979 — The American Embassy in Tehran, Iran is stormed by militant Iranian college students, and 53 Americans are taken hostage.