‘Intellectual freedom’ at Florida schools. Can you pass this quiz? | Editorial
Only those with The (Far) Right Stuff stand a chance on this one.
Clockwise from top left: Osceola and Renegade at an FSU game; Disney World; Gov. Ron DeSantis; Albert and Alberta Gator, the UF mascots.
Clockwise from top left: Osceola and Renegade at an FSU game; Disney World; Gov. Ron DeSantis; Albert and Alberta Gator, the UF mascots. [ Times files ]
This article represents the opinion of the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.
Published May 12

Faculty and students at Florida’s public universities recently completed a voluntary survey to gauge the political climate on campus. The Republican-controlled Legislature mandated the annual survey to promote “intellectual freedom.” But few are buying what lawmakers are selling. Only 3 percent of the universities’ population took part, likely because they see this exercise for what it is: A joke.

In the same spirit, we offer some questions for consideration in next year’s survey:

1. How strongly do you agree with this statement? “Racial discrimination is no longer a problem in America.”

a. Very strongly.

b. Some of my best friends are Black.

2. What does “woke” mean to you?

a. Understanding the U.S. history of discriminating against marginalized communities and its impacts on social equity.

b. What I didn’t do until 2 p.m. because of last night’s kegger.

3. Does Florida State’s Seminole mascot instill guilt?

a. No. C’mon, dude gets to ride a horse to midfield and throw a flaming spear.

b. Well, yes, the real-life Seminoles were never defeated, but the FSU football team seems to lose nearly every weekend.

4. Do you believe that any Floridian who works hard can get ahead in this state?

a. Yes.

b. No. (If you answered “no,” that’s just fine, absolutely A-OK. Oh, but do check your email for your new mandatory assignment, “How to be a better patriot.”)

5. The best books* …

a. Are those that tell you what you already know.

b. Confirm that war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.

c. Prove that 2+2=5.

d. Show that censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance. (Editor’s note: Apologies. That last bit of liberal propaganda just slipped in. The Thought Police have sent the offending party to the appropriate reeducation camp.)

6. Is it better to call the Democrat Party:

a. The Democrat Socialists Party.

b. Commies.

c. A and B can be used interchangeably.

d. Or just call them losers.

7. Do you believe a woman should retain autonomy over her body?

a. No.

b. With some exceptions.

c. Can you repeat the question?

8. Do you believe a man should retain autonomy over his body?

a. Yes.

9. How strongly do you agree with this statement: “Undocumented immigrants should be denied access to public education.”

a. Very strongly.

b. They already know too much about the Constitution compared to citizens.

c. Aren’t they called “illegals”?

10. What disturbs you most about the Walt Disney Co.?

a. Standing up for civil rights.

b. Admission prices.

c. Long lines.

d. Lyrics to “It’s a Small World.”

11. Do the University of Florida mascots — Albert and Alberta Gator — make you:

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a. Feel guilty about our treatment of the environment?

b. Wonder why gators are walking on two feet?

c. Admire how Alberta applies lipstick with such short arms?

d. All of the above.

12. Now for some Economics 101. How much should Floridians pay in taxes overall?

a. Nothing.

b. All of the above.

13. When Florida switches to a new accrediting organization to recognize the obvious quality of a state university education, should it:

a. Weigh the football rankings more than classroom performance?

b. Make sure that political interference by Tallahassee is recognized as a clear public good?

c. Penalize universities whose pesky professors keep speaking truth to power?

14. The point of your college education is:

a. To punch a meal ticket to make as much money as possible?

b. To make lifelong connections that will ensure you never fail even if you don’t try that hard?

c. A and B.

d. To learn to think critically to become a responsible, informed citizen? (If you answered D, really, what are you, a philosophy major?)

15. True or false, philosophy majors actually make plenty of money, on average?

a. You’re kidding, right?

b. Believe it or not, they do. (This part is no joke. They actually do. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, they’re like the stealth STEM degree, in the top five of mid-career earnings.)

16. Rate Gov. Ron DeSantis’ leadership over the past three years:

a. Fabulous.

b. Really fabulous.

c. He’s a cross between Clark Cable and Winston Churchill, in all the right ways.

d. He’d look good on Mount Rushmore.

e. Why isn’t this great man already in the White House?

* With apologies to Eric Arthur Blair, aka George Orwell.

Answer key:

1. B; 2. B; 3. A; 4. A; 5. A; 6. C or D; 7. A; 8. A; 9. A; 10. A; 11. B; 12. B; 13. B; 14. C; 15. A; 16. E.

How many did you get right?

14-16 – You’re married to Ron DeSantis.

11-13– Congrats! You’re a card-carrying #FloridaMan.

8-10 – Not bad, but you need to brush up on your Newspeak.

3-7 – What are you, woke?

0-2 – Watch it, Commie!

Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Editor of Editorials Graham Brink, Sherri Day, Sebastian Dortch, John Hill, Jim Verhulst and Chairman Paul Tash. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news.


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