Alligator – When political protests broke out on Turlington Plaza after the U.S. presidential election, Nick Runde said he wanted to unite students.
“I had the idea of just going in the middle of the group and doing a bottle flip, because that would be the only thing that would unite the groups,” the 19-year-old UF civil engineering freshman said.
Runde said he had never interrupted a protest, but when he got a text during class Monday that a large group was forming on Turlington around people arguing about religion, he knew it was time. His friend brought a speaker and filmed Runde walking into the middle of the group as he promised to “break the tension” and flipped a quarter-full gallon of water. It landed.
This dude Nick Runde…that’s my dude. People fit into one of two camps in my book – are you a person who spends your time in college protesting shit? Or are you a Nick Runde who walks into the middle of the fight and does a sweet water bottle flip then blasts rap music and goes nuts? Or I guess there’s a third camp which just kind of apathetically goes about their day to day life ignoring everything around them, which is the one I fit into. But you get my point.
“I didn’t know it was going to land,” he said. “I practiced like twice before I actually went out and did it.”
People have been coming up and asking him if he’s the guy in the video, he said. Even his mom watched it.
When UF applied kinesiology and physiology junior Rubi Peña saw the video, she said it brightened her day.
“It was a funny way of getting everyone to remember, ‘Hey, we’re still young, we’re still happy, so focus on the good things,’” the 20-year-old said.
Always gotta pay homage to the originator: