Daily Archives: November 18, 2014

UWF’s plan for Ebola outbreak

Kenneth King
Staff Writer

In response to the latest Ebola epidemic in the West African region, the University of West Florida has taken preventative measures and outbreak preparations to ensure the safety of the UWF community.

UWF’s Environmental Health and Safety Department along with Student Health Services have constructed a plan in accordance to guidelines presented by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Director of Environmental Health and Safety Department Peter Robinson, went through the university’s plans in case of an Ebola outbreak.

“We would notify the campus,” Robinson said. “We wouldn’t keep it a secret. If someone had Ebola, the Department of Health would take over. We would get with the Department of Health and get into social distancing.

“This is when you have to cancel parties, celebrations, sport games, and other large events. If you’ve got a large group and a few people who may be sick, it would spread it,” he said.

The university has constructed an Emergency Operations Plan, which describes the roles of each department in case of an emergency. Each department has an individualized plan.

“This would only be used in case of an epidemic,” Robinson said. “If one person had Ebola, that person would be in the hospital. They would not be here. During the swine flu outbreak, we did have people stay in their residence and not coming out because they were sick.

“It depends on what it is. Something like Ebola we would not try to take care of here on campus. The Department of Health would be in charge.”

Assistant Vice President Rebecca Kennedy, who oversees student health and wellness services, student disability resources, and counseling, spoke with an epidemiologist from the Department of Health about Ebola and other illnesses.

Kennedy said that the epidemiologist spoke to them about Ebola, but stressed that the real issue the university should focus on was preventing the flu. According to Kennedy, the epidemiologist recommended inoculating students and initiating a hand washing campaign.

The flu was also more of a threat than the ongoing Ebola virus outbreak in Robinson’s opinion.

“Swine flu is a lot easier to get than Ebola,” Robinson said. “Everybody freaks out over Ebola, but the chances, especially here, are very slim. Whereas the flu, or something like that, you stand a much better chance of getting the flu any day of the week as opposed to Ebola.”

The Environment Health and Safety Department placed hand sanitizer dispensers in high traffic areas in response to 2009’s swine flu outbreak.

There were approximately 60.8 million cases of swine flu with 12,496 deaths in the United States according to a CDC estimate published in May of 2011.

Although cases of Ebola have also occurred in the United States—Dallas, TX, and New York City—travelers to those areas are not at risk of exposure to Ebola. The virus is not airborne and requires close contact with an infected person according to the CDC.

Ebola was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976 and has spread to other areas of Africa since then.

The origin of the virus is unknown, however, fruit bats are considered the likely host of the virus according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

There are currently 14,413 reported cases of the Ebola virus with 5177 of them resulting in death, as cited by the CDC and the WHO.

Click here for further details on the CDC recommendations for colleges and universities.

‘Feminist Iconography’ on display

"Hidden Weapons", created by Maria Morekis, was among one of the many pieces featured in "Feminist Iconography."Photo by Ashley Seifert

“Hidden Weapons”, created by Maria Morekis, was among one of the many pieces featured in “Feminist Iconography.”
Photo by Ashley Seifert

Ashley Seifert
Staff Writer

The plight and everyday struggles of women that have been captured in various mediums of art are currently on display in the University of West Florida’s Art Gallery.

For years, those in support of feminism have actively advocated gender equality in various capacities, and art is simply another way for individuals to express themselves in terms of the way they think about feminism.

Rebecca Namniek, co-president of the Women’s Studies Collective, said the artwork on display does just that.

“They explore feminist thought and paradigms of feminist thinking,” Namniek said. “I personally feel the purpose behind this exhibition is to bring together works that are likeminded and exploratory.”

Displaying works of art by students as well as individuals within the local community, “Feminist Iconography” embraces women’s histories and the ways in which they fought for equality not only in the workplace but in their personal lives as well. The mediums presented range from sculptures and paintings to installation and creative prose.

“Several of the pieces showcase domestic violence in some capacity,” said co-president of WSC, Taylor Willbanks. “But many also have to do with the objectification of womens’ bodies.”

Willbanks added that there are also two pieces that deal with the relationship between mother and daughter.

“In that way, I suppose you could say we have a little bit of everything to offer the public,” Willbanks said.

The opening reception took place in TAG on Thursday, Nov. 13 from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. and allowed the WSC to not only inaugurate the exhibition but to answer any questions people might have had about feminism.

Robert Longo and David Carson Appropriation" by Marie Fabozzi. Photo by Ashley Seifert

Robert Longo and David Carson Appropriation” by Marie Fabozzi.
Photo by Ashley Seifert

The room in which the exhibit was held was teemed with people, some of whom overflowed out into the wide hallway separating TAG from the Mainstage theatre. There were roughly 200 people in attendance, and despite the coming and going nature of the attendees, the number rarely dwindled.

“A lot of the artwork on display is very personal and contemplates their own relationship to feminism,” Namniek said. “To suggest that they all convey the same message, I think, would be a very difficult thing to say.”

Namniek added that every single piece explores various issues surrounding women’s lives and offers a hodgepodge of worldviews, most of which can be considered both unique and shared. She said that of the worldviews shown, every single one is presented in an artistic, tasteful way.

“A variety of perspectives are brought together relating to women’s studies or feminism, which I think is one of the reasons why this exhibition is so strong,” Willbanks said. “Rather than focus on one person’s artwork, the exhibit displays various artists who come together around a central issue. You’re given the chance to hear their voices in relation to their understanding of feminism.”

“Feminist Iconography” will continue to take up residence in TAG until Nov. 15.

CAB hosts annual lip sync competition

Competitors in the CAB Lipsync contest take the stage to hear the judges announce their decision. Photo by Aaron Jacobs

Competitors in the CAB lip sync contest take the stage to hear the judges announce their decision.
Photo by Aaron Jacobs

Aaron Jacobs
Staff Writer

The Campus Activity Board held its annual lip sync competition Thursday night in the commons auditorium.

The host of the competition was Devonte Wilson, vice president of the University of West Florida Student Government Association. Wilson got the competition started with his own performance of Hey Ya! by Outkast, which got the crowd in the packed auditorium worked up early in the event.

A panel of three student judges from different fraternities and sororities evaluated the six groups that competed for cash prizes.

Evolution, the final group to take the stage, took first place in the competition for their energetic dance performance to a mix of songs by Ciara. Evolution was a repeat winner of the competition, having taken home first place last year as well. The group was awarded $300 for their performance.

Freshman Max Preddy, who used the stage name The Dark Knight, performed Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls. Preddy was awarded $125 for his second place finish.

“I love the song…it’s one of mine and my best friends’ jams, so we know every word,” Preddy said. “I thought it would be a great opportunity just to like let loose and sing it.”

Teddy P & Neezy G, whose rendition of John by Lil Wayne and Rick Ross received one of the most enthusiastic reactions of the night from the standing-room only crowd, won third place and a $75 prize. Another crowd favorite was a group calling themselves Yobros performing Yolo by Lonely Island.

The lip sync competition is one of several events the CAB puts on for students throughout the year.

“It’s always been a big crowd pleaser, everyone likes to come out and share their talents,” said the president of CAB, Cameron Bates. “Shows like this give the opportunity for the students to be able to go out and show their talent all while entertaining the students. There’s always a prize behind it and a good amount of work to put into it.”

The final CAB event of the 2014 fall semester will be a showing of Guardians of the Galaxy in the commons auditorium Thursday, November 20 at 8pm.

‘Psycho Beach Party’ opens at UWF

Photo courtesy of UWF department of theatre's  Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of UWF department of theatre’s Facebook page.

Ashley Seifert
Staff Writer

Ripples of infectious laughter filled the University of West Florida’s Studio Theatre Friday night in response to the different faces Chicklet revealed as the play, “Psycho Beach Party,” progressed.

The seating capacity within the Studio Theatre, a space that had been renovated to look like Malibu Beach, complete with sand, surfboards and a beach bum’s shack, had been arranged to allow a maximum of 95 seated individuals. Of those 95 available seats, only four remained vacant.

Written by Charles Busch, “Psycho Beach Party” tells the story of a bonafide tomboy, Chicklet, who dreams of riding the big waves and as a result wants the great Kanaka to teach her to surf so that she may join the surfer population of Malibu. However, little does the Malibu Beach society know that the often-awkward teenager harbors multiple personalities. And if that isn’t enough, once unconscious beachgoers are waking up to find their bodies entirely shaved.

Despite the nature of the plot, the play is first and foremost a comedy and should be treated as such.

As soon as the lights dimmed and the story introduced its first character, it wasn’t long before laughter emerged, soft ripples at first that grew louder as scene after scene unfolded.

Katie Mack, the director of the production, said that as soon as the chair of the theatre department, Charles Houghton offered her an opportunity to direct “Psycho Beach Party,” she couldn’t say no.

“​There is so much to say about this play,” Mack said in an email. “At first glance, it’s a fun, campy farce of 1960s beach blanket movies. It’s young with lots of energy, great period music, fun clothes, and lots of ​sand.”

Mack said the thing she loves most about this play, however, is that it challenges the audience and its cast to read between the lines, to not judge a book by its cover, and to accept others, and themselves, for who they really are.

“Those may sound a little cliché, but they are universal lessons that we all need to be reminded of,” Mack said. “Acceptance of ourselves and others, regardless of our personal opinions and beliefs, is extremely difficult and necessary in building tolerance and peace in this world. These things start in small, every day actions, like acknowledging and appreciating our differences versus discriminating against people we don’t like or understand.”

Mack added that Charles Busch did an excellent job weaving those particular themes and lessons into a journey of farce and surfing.

Senior Annastasia Fiala-Gapp, who was cast to play Marvel Ann, said the thing she most enjoys about the play is the energy everyone brings and emits during the show.

“All the characters are kooky in their own way and it’s just an amazing feeling to have all of those present at the same time,” Fiala-Gapp said in an email. “It’s hard not to have fun during this show, and it’s definitely hard to keep a straight face while in it.”

Mack also noted the fun, carefree lifestyle that is often equated with a beach setting and how that fun has spilled over into the production.

“Who doesn’t like to go to the beach, enjoy the weather, and dance with your friends?” Mack said. “I hope the audience loves all the dancing, sexual innuendoes, and jokes we have in the show just as much as we do.”

“Psycho Beach Party” saw its opening weekend Nov. 14 – 17 and is scheduled to continue its theatrical run on Friday, Nov. 21 and go through Sunday, Nov. 23. On Fridays and Saturdays, the show starts at 7:30 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m., but on Sundays, it takes place from 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Attendees are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance.

Current students are admitted to see the show for free, but adults must pay $16, senior citizens and active military personnel are discounted to $12, faculty and staff must pay $10 and youth tickets are $5.