Daily Archives: September 6, 2015

Argos Return and Unite!

Iqueena Hollis

Staff Writer

Hundreds of students and a variety of campus organizations gathered at the annual Argopalooza festival in the UWF Field House to end the festive week of Argo Arrival.

This year’s event was hosted by Brandon Robinson, an active member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and featured a number of performances by student groups such as Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the UWF Dance Team and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Each year, students are able to sign up for any of the organizations offered that range from academically-driven groups such as honor societies, to outdoor groups such as the surfing or hiking club.

A wide range of student organizations were in attendance, such as March of Dimes, Circle K, a variety of Greek organizations, as well as the Residence Hall Association, the UWF Fencing Club, the Haitian Student Organization, the Hispanic Student Organization and many more.

I really appreciate that so many different student groups came out tonight,” said Sarah Jones, a third year student at the university. “It shows that we have a diverse campus that offers something for everyone.”

This year’s event also featured a T-Shirt Swap where students who brought in a T-shirt from any other college or university were able to swap it out for a special edition Argonaut T-shirt.

Light refreshments were provided by the student organizations in attendance.

I enjoy attending events like this on campus,” said Bruce Beckett, a third-year student. “It’s important that we promote things like this so people can become active members of the university and realize that college has a lot more to offer than just a formal education.”

For a list of all active student organizations and other ways to get involved on campus, logon to ArgoPulse, an online tool that students use to get involved and stay up-to-date with campus events and opportunities.




Student author breaks the publishing barrier

Amanda Gerow 

Staff Writer

Melanie Lane poses with her novel “Slam: Based on the Diaries of Mel Leavitt and a True Story”. Photo by: Amanda Gerow

Melanie Lane poses with her novel “Slam: Based on the Diaries of Mel Leavitt and a True Story”.
Photo by: Amanda Gerow

For most students, just writing a two-page essay can sometimes seem like a daunting task. So, the feat of writing three novels in a year can almost sound like a really good joke. Tacking on the challenge of accomplishing all of this before the age of 20 just adds to the disbelief.

However, for UWF senior Melanie Lane, this is no joke. This was her goal, and in the spring of 2015 she finished her first novel, “Slam: Based on the Diaries of Mel Leavitt and a True Story.”

Lane says her love of writing started with grade-school creative writing assignments and later grew into a deep passion that drove her to enroll in a college-level creative writing class when she was only 17.

“When I talked about my dream of being an author and publishing novels one day, a few of my classmates said I wasn’t ready and I was too young,” Lane said.

As it turns out, age and the ever-abundant opinions of bystanders did not pose a threat to the determination and drive Lane had when it came to writing.

Lane, who had also begun to pursue interests in slam poetry, kept detailed diaries of her own life. These diaries soon became the storyline for her novel. The history major was now using her own past to create a new tale.

In the book, the main character Mel dreams of becoming a slam poet. For those who do not know, slam poetry is an up-and-coming performance art that mixes hip-hop and poetry. With the character’s parent’s disapproval and a pack of problematic peers, all seems to be a loss for the novel’s heroine until she remembers her own inner strength and the power she has with the help of written word.

Lane wrote her entire first novel in one week. Then came the next step: publishing. Lane says she went through a few places to get her work published. However, due to having the passion of a Pulitzer Prize winner but the budget of a college student, Lane had to find some new outlets.

“I learned from a friend about something called CreateSpace, which is a free, online self-publishing company run by Amazon,” Lane said.

CreateSpace gives authors the chance to publish their work and have a chance at success without having the hassle of jumping through hoops for big-name publishing.

Lane says she hopes to see her second novel published by the summer of 2016. Right now, people can purchase their own copy of “Slam: Based on the Diaries of Mel Leavitt and a True Story” on Amazon.

At 19 years old and with the help of CreateSpace, Lane published her first novel. Lane said she knows nothing comes without the dedication and desire to accomplish a goal. She also said she knows there are other young writers out there, even at UWF, who are looking for their own next steps into the world of publishing.

“Never give up. Keep your eyes and mind open, because there are a lot of opportunities out there. If you have the want to do something, good things will happen,” Lane said.

Do Police Lives Matter? Yes, but that’s not the point.

Josh Hart

Staff Writer

On Aug. 28, Houston Sheriff Deputy Darren H. Goforth was shot in the back of the head while refueling his patrol car. He died instantly.

The outpouring of grief was instantaneous, as it should have been. People shouldn’t be shot execution style. In fact, people shouldn’t be shot at all.

In all likelihood, Goforth was a decent guy. Like any other person, he probably enjoyed many things. He had a dog. He had a wife. He had two kids. They’re going to miss him very much. The point is that he was a person, and I hope that what I’m about to say about the movement inspired by this man’s death is, in no way, interpreted as me devaluing his passing. He was a person.

Police Lives Matter, the rallying cry made immediately popular following Goforth’s murder, is attempting to politicize the death of a person whose career choice made it impossible, in 2015, to politicize.

Police Lives Matter is a parody (and not an affectionate one) of Black Lives Matter, an activist movement formed in the wake of the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Why Black Lives Matter is credible, and why Police Lives Matter is not, is that there is no institutional bias towards the murder of police officers. There is no culture that ignores or excuses the murder of police officers.

Black Lives Matter activists are not saying that other lives do not matter, they are questioning the ethics of a society that makes black lives and livelihood an afterthought.

The statistics supporting this are staggering, and endlessly mulled over in the press, but these are particularly disturbing:

Black drivers were over twice as likely as white drivers to be arrested or detained during a traffic stop.

Black Americans killed by the police are twice as likely to be unarmed.
Well over 100 unarmed black people were killed by police in 2014.

Compare this to recent statistics showing that violence against the police is steadily dropping, reaching its lowest level since World War II. More than 30 percent of the deaths recorded in the study were nonviolent.

Black Lives Matter is about fairness in a macro sense, about surviving a culture that might not want you to do just that.

Police Lives Matter is, perhaps unintentionally, bogarting this attention, this desire for fairness, and applying it to a group of people that don’t need the extra help. Police lives are respected by a majority of the populace. If black lives were shown the same respect, the simple statement that they are worthwhile would have attracted any controversy.

So yes, police lives matter. In fact, all lives matter. But those words now carry the weight of political discourse and to use them in any other sense cheapens the activists’ intent.

These words could move mountains and change regimes, but their true purpose is to put out a building that is rapidly burning. Don’t train your hose on a building that’s not on fire. Don’t ignore the burning because the flames make you sweat.

RIP Officer Goforth.

Not your average student

Cassie Rhame

Staff Writer



Charley and Sheila Pritchett, senior audits at UWF Thame


There is an elderly couple in your class at UWF, and they are not there to teach.

Charley Pritchett plays the trumpet, served in World War II, has taught several college courses, and has attended UWF as a senior audit for 15 years now. Oh, and he is 89 years old. His 79-year-old wife Sheila Pritchett has been by his side at UWF since the start, and has her own impressive list of past achievements.

“We don’t have time for naps,” Sheila said, which sums up the couple’s energetic and playful personalities.

Both have degrees dating back to the 1960s and ’70s, and have consistently taken courses at several different universities for most of their years.

“Quite often you wonder, how good is an education? It introduces you to all sorts of new things, and we learn so much all the time,” Charley said.

Charley and Sheila have taken 35 different courses at UWF since the year 2000, ranging from Women in the Muslim World to Human Sexuality.

It seems unorthodox that an elderly couple would want to sit in on a sexuality course, but the Pritchetts say they learned a lot. Both shared a few stories about this class, but were particularly excited about one involving condoms and allergies.

“This was a night that everyone was handed a rubber penis,” Charley said. All of the students were given condoms to practice putting onto the fake sex organ, but to the Pritchetts surprise, the condoms were raspberry-scented, causing Sheila’s severe allergies to perfume to result in a minor asthma attack.

“It was just like out of a comedy,” Charley said, referring to himself and the teacher chasing Sheila out of the classroom.

The duo of 50 years said they believe living near colleges, and taking courses most of their lives has kept their minds strong. “We even at a point were in school at the same time as our children,” Sheila said. They are referred to as the kids of their retirement community, Azalea Trace, just off campus.

“We like our brains to keep going. We still have a lot of energy, and we don’t have time to slow down,” Sheila said.

Mass Communication’s professor, Dr. Gloria Horning, said that when Charley introduced himself on the first day of class, the class gasped when he mentioned he was approaching 100.

Both attend most of the sports games on campus, and said that being involved is exciting for them. “We love being around younger people, and is that why our minds are still here? Well, I think that maybe it is,” Charley said.

“We get so much from you young people,” Charley said. Sheila added that she never wants to be the old couple that just sits around all day.

“I believe they are inspirational to all the students and to myself. We should all inspire to their goals of being life long learners,” Dr. Horning said.


Jerry Maygarden, Junior at UWF

The Pritchetts may be the oldest, but they are not the only unconventional students at UWF. Sixty- six-year-old Jerry Maygarden came in as a junior, and has begun his first semester as an art major.

“The real energy comes from the people in the class. I enjoy being around young people. It is challenging and thought-provoking,” Maygarden said.  

Maygarden had the same opportunity as the Pritchetts to take classes for free as an audit, but said he likes the challenge of getting the degree, so he enrolled. Unlike the Pritchetts, he must turn in assignments and take exams.

Maygarden has served as mayor of Pensacola, been a city councilman, and also has been a member of the Florida House of Representatives. He received his master’s in c ommunication arts from UWF back in 1974.

The former p olitician returned to UWF because of his appreciation for art, and said he loves to paint. “I want to find a deeper appreciation of things I can fill my day with,” Maygarden said.

Back when Maygarden first attended UWF, the university was a two-year school instead of a four-year. He said this is the biggest change the university has seen since his return, but he also said he feels it is much less intimate than it used to be. The advisers were made up of faculty from the departments at the time, which he said made the experience more personal.

“I don’t like the idea of growing old and not being able to reinvent myself,” Maygarden said.