Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Andrew Meyer's Letter to the Independent Florida Alligator

From the New York Times:

All Scores Settled in ‘Don’t Tase Me, Bro’ Affair

The Andrew Meyer seen in YouTube clips does not apologize. He rants at Senator John Kerry, struggles with police officers trying to escort him out of the room, implores them to “don’t tase me, bro,” and, quite disturbingly, wails in pain as they do it anyway.

But his lawyer, Robert Griscti, told the University of Florida campus newspaper that Mr. Meyer began drafting apologies immediately after his release on Sept. 18. Indeed, Mr. Meyer penned three separate apologies (available here) as part of a deal to avoid criminal charges, The Gaineseville Sun reports.

October 25,2007
The University of Florida Community
C/O The Independent Florida Alligator

To all my non-tased bros in the UF community and the non-tased members of Gator Nation the world over,

Because of my conduct and the resultant tasing, this last month has been a public trial for every bro who represents the University of Florida. For that, I want to sincerely apologize. I never wished to cast a negative light upon our fair University. I merely wished not to be tased, bro, as is evident from my repeated screams in the viral YouTube clips that started all of this.

At the John Kerry forum, I stepped out of line. There were rules in place to ensure that the forum was run in an orderly fashion, and I did not follow them. I think we all know what came next. I mean, that clip is everywhere.

In society, as in life, there are consequences (i.e. tasing me, bro) for not following the rules. In this instance, not following the rules, and the tasing of me that resulted from it, has imposed consequences for many more people than just myself, people who have seen this school, and perhaps their degree, tarnished in the eyes of others through no fault of their own. Granted, it's not as if they, or their "tarnished" degrees got tased, like I did, but that is very much beside the point.

For that again, I am truly sorry. As all of you who attend here know, The University of Florida is a fabulous institution, a place where many of the finest young minds in Florida come to be educated, grow as people, get tased, and ultimately begin to look forward towards their own careers.

No, okay, sorry, that was a joke. They don't really come here to get tased. I just wanted to see if I could slip that in there without getting tased. Please don't tase me for saying it. Or for using the word fabulous. I swear, I'm not gay. Don't tase me, bro.

Despite what the media has portrayed, I can not imagine a better environment for honest and open discourse, and the way that the UF community responded and really came together throughout the firestorm, without a single other incident involving student-tasing, proves that.

Student Government, which has provided thought-provoking and taser-inducing speakers throughout my time at UF, responded to the incident in the best fashion possible—they provided an open-mic platform on the Plaza of the Americas, complete with fake "taser detectors" at all the entrances as a goof on me. During a heated public debate, SG showed that they are committed to the students of the University of Florida. Yay for heated public debate where no one gets manhandled by the cops, right?

I would also like to personally thank all of the students of this great university. Your interest in this matter, whatever your position, is indicative of the true spirit of this university. UF is a free and loving and caring place, and your awareness and involvement has made me prouder than ever to be a Florida Gator, although if I breathe in too deeply to yell at football games, it still hurts a little. And speaking of football games, I'd like to single out Tim Tebow and thank him just for being the fabulous guy he is.

There is one last person and entity that deserves my utmost praise. To President Bernie Machen, and all of the UF Administration that has had to react to this situation, I thank you for your calm and just leadership during this time. I thank you both for allowing me to return to class, and for not tasing me, bro. Not tasing me, bro, proved once and for all that UF cares about the direction it is going in, and wants students to be a part of the decision making process.

And finally, I have one last apology to make. To everyone who came to see John Kerry speak, and to all concerned Americans who enter forums of public discourse in the hopes of perhaps getting tased and becoming a YouTubrity like me, I’m so sorry that I lost my cool in that auditorium and stole your opportunity from you. I went there to ask an important question; the question of voter disenfranchisement in America cuts to the heart of our democracy, and my failure to act calmly resulted in this important town forum ending without the discourse intended. It also, as you well know, resulted in several hundred volts coursing through my nervous system. I'm no biologicalist or anything, but that's probably not good for you. And for that, I am truly sorry.

Andrew "Quit Calling Me Taser Boy, Bro" Meyer

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