UWF acceptance policy stirs controversy on campus

Construction for the new training facilities has already begun and is off to a strong start thanks to a record high number of incoming freshman. Photo Courtesy of Business Instead of Brains Inc.

Construction for the new training facilities has already begun and is off to a strong start thanks to a record high number of incoming freshman.
Photo Courtesy of Business Instead of Brains Inc.

Constance Snoring
Staff Writer

Bernice Wu, mother of University of West Florida freshman Sommore Payne, marched down to the Board of Overseers meeting with other parents on Wednesday night to demand changes to a previously unknown stipulation in UWF’s admissions policy.

UWFs admissions policy requires all undergraduate students to help build current and future athletic facilities.

In return, they will receive a 10 percent discount on tuition (not including housing) and a free We Proudly Serve Starbucks tall latte.

The university is in the process of adding more attractions to University Park as a means of bringing more revenue to UWF.

As of now, the park includes an 18-hole disc golf course, but is in the process of constructing a hookah lounge, a boxing facility, a football stadium and more.

The purpose of development at University Park is to enhance the campus experience for current and future UWF students and to engage UWF supporters and the local community.

While at home for spring break, Wu’s daughter mentioned to her that the university was “having its undergraduates build buildings.”

“When I found out the university was having my 18-year-old child do construction work for the school because it’s the university’s policy to attend, I was floored,” Wu said. “I was like ‘oh hell no.’ Who does this?

“I didn’t read this in the admissions material.”

The requirement is indeed in the admissions packet, and according to UWF Admissions Counselor Rufus Drool, it has been that way since 2001.

Bill Ding, President of Business Instead of Brains, Inc. (BIB), a partner with the university, agrees with the policy.

Ding believes that having students help build facilities, especially the new football stadium, will teach teamwork and give them the skills and confidence needed just in case they need to fall back on more of a hands-on career in the future.

He also says that construction companies are looking for female construction workers.

“I mean I love the school, but it does suck having to dig ditches and carry huge bricks around,” Payne said. “I know my mom hates the idea of it, but I guess that’s the cost of education these days”.

Wu, following her discussion with the State Board of Education, said that it was in the process of looking over her complaint.