Daily Archives: October 11, 2015

Argonauts enjoying in-season success, preseason recognition

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Sophomore Sarah Carrion was the top finisher for the UWF women’s cross country team at the Watson Ford Invitational in Jackson, Mississippi on Friday, Oct. 9. The meet was the final regular-season contest for both the men’s and women’s teams. which will travel to Danville, Alabama on Saturday, Oct. 24, for the GSC championships.
Photo courtesy of UWF Athletic Communications/Emmele Photography

Jason Dustin

Sports Editor

The University of West Florida volleyball team maintained form, Argonauts soccer teams shut out Shorter University, Caleb Carmichael’s runners tackled Choctaw Trails, women’s basketball reaped recognition and football prepares for its Blue Wahoos Stadium debut.

No mercy

UWF Volleyball followed its statement win against formerly undefeated Valdosta State University with two Gulf South Conference road wins in Alabama.

Head coach Melissa Wolter’s team has won 12 consecutive sets, following their opening-set loss to Valdosta State University.  UWF defeated the University of Alabama in Huntsville 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-18), on Friday, Oct. 9, in Huntsville and travelled to Florence, Alabama the next day and trounced the University of North Alabama 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-16), as well.

The Argos are 17-2 overall and 10-0 within conference (http://www.goargos.com/schedule.aspx?path=wvball).

The team’s momentum has generated interest.  UWF home-game attendance has more than doubled road-game attendance, 2877-1026, according to UWF Athletic Communications.

UWF travels to Carrolton, Georgia to compete in the 21-team South Region Crossover, hosted by the University of West Georgia on Oct. 16-17.

A most pleasant visit

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Jorge Chirinos.
Photo courtesy of GoArgos.com

Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams defeated Shorter University, 1-0 and 2-0, respectively, at home on Sunday, Oct. 4.

The men won on Jorge Chirinos’ first goal of the season. Freshman Sofie Broch-Lips, of Aarhus, Denmark and senior Amber Pennybaker, of Indianapolis, scored for the women. Kaley Ward assisted on both goals.

The men are now 7-2 overall, 2-2 in the GSC. The women are 7-3 overall and 3-2 within conference.

Both teams play at home on Sunday, Oct. 11.  The women face the University of North Alabama, at 12:30 p.m. The men follow with a nonconference matchup against Concordia College at 3 p.m. The teams will travel to the University of Alabama in Huntsville on Friday, Oct. 16, to continue GSC play.

Birds of a feather

The men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Jackson, Mississippi and fared well as they completed their regular season with third and fourth-place finishes, respectively.

Top finisher for the men, at Mississippi College’s Choctaw Trails, was junior Nick Merrett, who finished 17th. Merrett led a pack of five Argo male runners that claimed spots 17-21 in the Watson Ford Invitational, according to a UWF Athletic Communications’ press release.

The senior-less women were paced by sophomore Sarah Carrion and freshman Renee Cox who finished 12th and 18th, respectively.

The next meet for both teams is Saturday, Oct. 24, at the GSC championships in Danville, Alabama.

Preseason noise

The Women’s Division II Bulletin’s preseason poll ranked UWF 24th. The Argos were the sole GSC representative.

In addition, two UWF women’s basketball players were selected to the GSC preseason all-conference team– the only team with multiple selections. Sophomore forward Toni Brewer and senior guard Jasmine Wigfall were first-team choices, and GSC coaches tabbed UWF guards Alex Coyne, a junior, and freshman Katie O’Neal among the conference’s top newcomers.

The team begins practice Thursday, Oct. 15, according to a UWF Athletic Communications’ press release.

Another milestone

The football team will make its Blue Wahoos Stadium debut Saturday, Oct. 17, at 11 a.m.

Visit www.goargos.com for more information.

 

50 shades of play

10 types of plagiarism

Photo courtesy of turnitin.com

Tom Moore

Contributing Writer

In our cut-and-paste generation, nearly everything is online. But just because it comes from master Google does not mean the material is infallible. But if you turn that work in as your own, it is considered plagiarism. And it is as bad a cheating on an exam.

The dictionary defines plagiarism as “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.”  Plagiarism is also associated with theft and piracy.

Many students may already know this, but what everyone may not know is that there is a plagiarism “spectrum.” So, today we are going to talk about the 50 Shades of Play… plagiarism, that is. Well, maybe not 50, but the 10 that are at the top of the plagiarism spectrum.

  1. Clone

Simply cutting and pasting is on the top of the spectrum. It’s called “cloning,” and it works great for plumping papers with filler material for those 15- to 20-page papers right before finals. Because it is the most blatant form of plagiarism, it is considered the No. 1 offender on the plagiarism spectrum, unless cited properly by the author.

     2. Ctrl-C

This offense is similar to cloning, except only one source is cited, and that source is used to basically write the paper or essay for you. This is considered No. 2 in severity of offense, because, if you were going to let someone write your paper for you, their name should be on it, not yours.

3. Find-Replace

Sometimes, people will feel really original, so they find an article, paper or essay they like, change around some words here and there, maybe add some different phrases, and call it their own. This may sound acceptable, but it was still originally written by another author. It’s third on the plagiarism spectrum because there still is the problem that the main concept and idea came from another author.

4. Remix

So you might tell yourself: well, my story is on this topic, so I am just going to pick and choose different words and phrases from different sources on the same topic. After all, with so much information out there, I’m just using the resources available. Nope! This is called “remix,” and it’s the fourth sin. Unless each work and article is cited, it’s still plagiarism, plain and simple.

5. Recycle 

This is when a student borrows generously from his or her previous work without citing it to be so. Even if it is your original work, you still should cite it as such.

6. Hybrid

There are some enterprising students who do not fully understand the concept of what and how to cite, so there might be sources cited perfectly, but some that are not cited at all. This is called “hybrid,” and it brings up a good rule of thumb: if you are not sure what to cite and what not to cite, cite it.

7. Mashup

Some of these are similar but still worth mentioning. Sometimes it is tempting to mix up different copied materials from multiple sources with your own. Once again, this is not your own original work. A better way to proceed is just to state your idea, then mention the article as a source of information for that article, and simply cite it.

8. 404 Error

Sometimes it’s hard to find supporting documentation for a particular point of view. So, why not just make up a source? Nope. This is highly frowned upon. It is called a “404 error” from the error on the web when articles cannot be found because they do not exist.

9. Aggregator

Unfortunately, some papers end up being nothing but a long string of cited work with few of the student’s original ideas. While it is technically not illegal, a professor will probably force a rewrite due to the sheer amount of unoriginal work. Just save yourself time, and write it correctly the first time.

10. Retweet

Sometimes it can be tempting to use the textbook as a major source, if not the only source, for a paper, article or essay. The professor chose the book.  It must be what they want. Yes, but paraphrase in your own words. Otherwise, it is considered a “Retweet.”  Simply regurgitating what is covered is not original at all.

This is a “cut-and-paste” generation, and these 10 types of plagiarism are an attempt to help you understand the full range of unofficial work that professors are looking for.

 

Argo pride is giving to Argo Pantry

Argo Pantry - (horizontal shot) Photo taken by G Battist

Argo Pantry.
Photo by Geri Battist.

Geri Battist

News Editor

As we approach Homecoming week, Oct. 19 through 24, filled with fun, food and festivities, let’s not forget one of the focuses of the Argo State of Mind – showing your Argo pride by giving to the Argo Pantry.

“Argo Pantry has provided a way for Homecoming to give back to the UWF student body,” said Jasu Uppal, UWF Homecoming executive director and a senior majoring in public relations and business management. “It makes perfect sense for Homecoming to partner with Argo Pantry, because both work to better the UWF community. Giving back and supporting your fellow Argonauts is the greatest way to show Argo spirit.”

According to the competition guidelines, UWF campus groups and organizations participating in the Blue and Green Challenge or the Spirit Week Competition will be collecting specific donations to “beef up” the Argo Pantry. This activity allows students, faculty and staff to focus on the aspect of giving back to the community.

The Argo Pantry first opened Fall 2013, spearheaded by Lusharon Wiley, senior associate dean of students and director of case management services. The idea of a pantry was birthed out of a shared conversation between Wiley and colleague Keya Wiggins, UWF psychologist with Counseling and Psychological Services. They had noticed how student visitors to their offices quickly devoured a simple granola snack because they didn’t have enough to eat. The need for a food pantry on campus became obvious. Taking action, both met with the director of Manna Food Bank and a few others on campus to brainstorm, and it grew from there.

“Today it has blossomed and is doing well,” Wiley said. “We were the sixth state institution in Florida to start a pantry.”

Food insecurity among enrolled college students is increasing at a rapid rate because of a change in college student demographics.

“There are more low-income, first generation and non-traditional students attending college,” said Wiley.

With the rise in tuition costs, even with a full-time job, some students face food insecurity.

Nate Smith-Tyge, director of the Michigan State University Student Food Bank, which opened in 1993, says they were the first on-campus food pantry in the country. MSUSFB reports that the opening of food pantries on college campuses has increased rapidly across the nation, up from four in 2008 to 121 in 2014.

The College and University Food Bank Alliance states that there are now 199 similar food pantries throughout the country.

Auburn University opened a food pantry in September 2012, to address the food insecurity among its students.

Two years later, Argo Pantry has seen an ever-climbing trend in student visits to the campus food bank. Fall visit trends show an increase from 14 visits in fall 2013, when it first opened, to 56 visits in fall 2014. Spring trends reflect the need even more, increasing from 15 visits in 2013 to 168 visits in spring 2015. Each semester has shown an increase.

“Students are using the pantry more and more,” said Wiley. “UWF has the most low-income, first-generation students of any state university in Florida.”

The upward trend in visits is both good and bad. It is bad because it means we have students dealing with food insecurity; but it is good because it means we are doing a better job of making students aware of the free food pantry service available on campus.

With the upward trend also comes the need to replenish the pantry. This is where Argo Pride comes into play.

You may have noticed signs posted outside some campus buildings saying, “Thanks for your support!” These signs are in recognition to six campus departments that have earned the designation of Campus and Community Partners. Wiley said it is committed giving that earns a group that designation.

Other faculty members and groups have shown their Argo Pride by giving Publix gift cards to put towards pantry item purchases. Some departments have internal competitions with food drives on a monthly basis.

Whether you are in need or want to contribute, check out the Argo Pantry complete list of pantry items.

For students experiencing food insecurity, stop in at the Argo Pantry, located in Building 21, between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students are allowed one weekly visit. It only takes a few minutes to fill out an application, and you will be walking out the door with a discreet bag of pantry items.

“The process is such that it keeps the students’ integrity intact,” Wiley said.

It is certain that students at UWF may have “full plates” with studies and assignments. Show your Argo pride – give to the Argo Pantry – to make certain UWF students also have full plates of food.

“The greatest thing about the Argo Pantry is that we can make a difference,” Wiley said. “We can do this for you (students).”

If you need assistance or know of a student in need, contact the Dean of Students office at (850) 474-2384 or email deanofstudents@uwf.edu or casemanagement@uwf.edu.

Be a part of the Troubadour legacy

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The 2014 edition of the Troubadour.
Photo by Tristan Lawson.

Tristan Lawson

Staff Writer

The Troubadour, UWF’s annual student literary journal, produced by the Department of English, is now accepting submissions for the 2015-2016 issue. For those hoping to break into the world of literature or creative writing, or who are just looking for a place to showcase their art, this could be an opportunity to be published.

In the archives located in the UWF library, one can find issues of the Troubadour dating back to 1993. Throughout the years, the magazine has been influenced by a new group of writers and artists each semester. Student editors, professors and designers work hard compiling content, laying out pages and designing the format. All of this hard work results in a small booklet showcasing the work and growth of writers and artists improving their craft here on campus.

John Fink is an English professor and serves as the adviser to the magazine, but says that all of the work is student-written and student-edited.

The Troubadour accepts submissions of art, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from undergraduate and graduate students at UWF. “The writers do not have to be English or Art majors. Any student can submit,” said Fink via an email interview.

Fink has overseen this creative writing project for more than 10 years. “Troubadour has existed prior to my time here. At least 15 to 20 issues have been published, at a rate of one per year,” said Fink.

The Troubadour is truly a UWF tradition, and many students enjoy the experience and opportunity.

“It was fun. I got one poem in and I was really excited about that,” said Brittany Soder, senior English and Communications double major. “My family was ecstatic. I had to bring three copies home that summer.”

“I was published a few different times in high school, and I wanted to keep getting those bylines for creative writing in college,” Soder said. “And this is just an easy thing to do. I mean, it’s not easy to get in, but it’s local to the university and university students, so it made sense to just do it.”

Fink said, “Many of the students featured in the journal have gone on to professional careers in teaching, law, medicine, etc.” So, not only is it a great creative experience, but also can be used as a vehicle to build a creative writing portfolio or to just get your work out there.

The deadline for submission is midnight Oct. 31, so students still have time to look through sketchbooks and journals to find the right piece to submit.

“I have a few stories I need to look over and maybe a few poems,” said Soder, who said she plans to submit some of her work again this year.

There seems to be a lot you can take away from the experience, and the rich history of student writers shows that the Troubadour is a champion for creative writing at UWF.

“Creative writing classes challenge writers to think creatively, independently, and complexly about the complicated world in which we all live, and creative writing as a discipline demands rigor, persistence, nuance, and grace — four characteristics which will serve students well in their personal and professional lives” said Fink.

Joy Ezell and her fight against big company pollution

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Joy Towels Ezell will speak to Wedgewood area residents about their battle against contaminated landfills in their communities.
Photo courtesy of Gloria Horning.

Emily Doyle

Staff Writer

Joy Towels Ezell, an active environmentalist and founder of HOPE (Help Our Polluted Environment), inspired University of West Florida students at the Student Environmental Action Society (SEAS) meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Ezell was just 7 years old when the Fenholloway River near her home in Perry, Florida, was polluted by the Buckeye Technologies mill. Now, at 68, she has committed her life to making the earth a cleaner place. Ezell has collaborated with more than 50 environmental groups over the years, and in addition to HOPE, founded Friends of the Fenholloway River, and was one of the founders of TRUE (Taylor Residents United for the Environment).

Gloria Horning, a UWF communications professor and environmental activist, is a longtime friend of Ezell and arranged for her to come speak on campus. Horning said, “Joy was one of four people I focused on when I was looking for individuals in the South that were making changes in the environment surrounding their communities. She is a force to be reckoned with — with a touch of Southern hospitality.”

Ezell spoke about the initial motivation that began her environmental journey after her son died in an automobile accident in 1991. Her son Trey always asked her to make someone clean up the Fenholloway River so he and his cousins could play in it. The river served as her first big environmental project. She challenged the Buckeye mill to stop polluting the water and land around the river and organized activist groups to stand by her. She continues the work today in remembrance of her son.

From there, she went on to appear on CBS’ 60 Minutes, CNN’s award-winning features on pulp mill pollution: The Smell of Money, and What Price White Paper?

Ezell told of how big companies target rural and poor areas to place mills and companies that release hazardous toxins into the air. “It’s a really sad situation,” she said, “because people in these areas are poor, they think that they don’t have enough money to do anything about it.”

Connor Wagner, president of SEAS, said “Joy Ezell benefited SEAS by teaching many of the members how real some of these environmental problems affecting people are.”

Though the Fenholloway River is just a mere 250 miles from UWF, that does not mean we are unaffected by pollution in our own backyard. Horning said, “Pollution is the number one battle for the health of any community – no matter where you live, we all have the right to play and work in a clean and safe environment.”

”I think we obtained the motivation and resources to start some enlightening projects and campaigns on campus,” said Wagner.

To find more information about SEAS or to get involved, visit the group’s website at http://uwf.edu/seas/.

 

Pen Air presents UWF students with free financial literacy program

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Tim O’Keefe.
Photo courtesy of uwf.edu

Amanda Gerow

Staff Writer

Pen Air Federal Credit Union presented one of its bi-annual financial boot camps to students in the College of Business on Wednesday.

The financial literacy course, sponsored by The University of West Florida College of Business Executive Mentor Program, detailed ways that students can begin saving for retirement. In past semesters, presentations have included proper ways to budget and how to manage credit.

Students that RSVP’d to the event received a complimentary lunch and a presentation informational packet.

Dean of the College of Business, Timothy O’Keefe, welcomed the students and introduced the speakers for the event.

Pen Air is a big supporter of UWF and the College of Business, and their partnership with UWF has allowed the College of Business to meet a couple of goals.

“They are giving us a chance to give financial literacy programs with the objective of teaching our current students to make good financial decisions while still attending college,” O’Keefe said.

These literacy programs are aimed at making sure that students have a head start in making sound financial decisions once they obtain a degree.

Pen Air also provides financial support towards education for College of Business students through an endowed scholarship with the UWF Foundation, Inc.

The financial boot camps are led by employees of Pen Air. The credit union creates, preps, and presents all of the presentations for these workshops.

Pen Air President and CEO Stewart Ramsey also spoke to students. In his opening remarks, he shared with workshop attendees the difference between a bank and a credit union, and why knowing the difference is important.

“Members of the credit unions are not just members, they are also part owners,” Ramsey said. “Some financial institutions don’t like us very much because we are a cooperative and aren’t subject to federal income tax.”

Because members who keep a minimum balance of $25 in their account are technically owners of the credit union, they also get to participate in voting when various offices open within the board of directors. In this way, members can help set a direction for the institution.

Pen Air Investment Specialist John Heckmann presented, “How to Save for Retirement.” In his presentation, Heckmann instructed workshop participants on how to properly plan for their retirement. He also addressed and disproved many financial myths, such as “college students are too young to have to plan for retirement” and “in order to save, students should have a serious job or be debt-free.”

To find out more about UWF’s Executive Mentor Program, visit their website, or contact them at executivementor@uwf.edu or 474-3239.

 

UWF announces the 2015 Homecoming Court

danandshayposterKenny Detwyler

Contributing Writer

Last Monday may have seemed uneventful to most students, but to a few select, the day took on a whole new perspective when UWF Homecoming announced its 2015 Court.

Following a selection process consisting of an application and interview, the following 11 students are: Musaed Alajaji, Adelyn Benz, Austin Burkhard, Dylan Clark, Marissa Frangione, Ryan Kasemeyer, Dominic Policicchio, Aimee Powell, Sierra Tatum, Grace Tennyson, and Elizabeth Wright.

Prospective members of the Homecoming Court were evaluated through an application and an interview conducted by a committee of student leaders. Committee member Melissa Pisarski shared what she looked for in the applicants: “I was hoping to find someone that had widespread involvement on campus and throughout the community.”

That is exactly what the committee did. The chosen Court represents a broad spectrum of student organizations, such as the Student Government Association, Kugelman Honors Program, Student Alumni Association, UWF Men, National Residence Hall Honorary, and Greek Life. A few hold high leadership in their organizations, including Frangione, who is president of Panhellenic Council, and Wright, who is a Lead Resident Assistant within the department of Housing and Residence Life.

The Homecoming Court expressed their excitement about being selected. “I was shocked and beyond excited,” Tatum said. “Shocked because I couldn’t believe that I had actually been picked, and excited because I get to experience this amazing opportunity.”

The feeling was mutual for Alajaji. “When I found out that I was picked to represent the student body during Homecoming, it was the best feeling ever. Being part of the Homecoming Court is a privilege.”

The Court is only one aspect of Homecoming Week activities. The week of Oct. 19 through 24 will be one of numerous school spirit events, all of which the Court is required to attend.

“Cannon Fest is by far my favorite Homecoming event, and I look forward to it every year,” Wright said. “It is a fun, casual event, which really allows students to interact. I am most excited for the Homecoming concert featuring Dan & Shay. I love that band, and I can’t wait for the concert.”

Powell said, “Last year’s concert was a fantastic show, and I’m sure this year’s will be just as great.”

Burkhard expressed his excitement for soccer. “I am most excited for the Homecoming game because of the school spirit.”

Even with all of the excitement of the Homecoming activities, the Court has not forgotten about the honor and responsibility that comes along with representing the University.

“The University of West Florida is filled with ambitious students and dedicated leaders,” Tennyson said. “I feel honored to represent the student body and am looking for the opportunity to spread Argo Pride.”

“I feel like all of us men and women on the court have worked very hard to be where we are now,” said Frangione. “I hope that by being on court, we are able to make our student body proud to represent them and everything us Argos stand for. I hope my legacy is left at UWF and people see I am so proud to be a UWF Argonaut.”

Students have the opportunity to vote on the juniors and seniors from the Court who will be crowned Mr. and Miss UWF at the soccer game on Oct. 23. Voting will be done through Argo Pulse.

The Homecoming Court will be formally introduced on Oct. 17 during the UWF Football scrimmage at Maritime Park.

For detailed Homecoming information, including dates, times, and activities, visit

http://uwf.edu/offices/homecoming/.

4th annual LGBT film fest hits UWF

stamped posterIqueena Hollis

Staff Writer

Dozens of LGBT advocates came out to support the fourth annual “Stamped: Pensacola LGBT Film Fest” this week to help raise awareness for the community.

The free event was held over four days at various locations from Pensacola to Gulf Breeze, starting Wednesday and ending Saturday. Friday night’s event was held on the UWF campus, at the Center for Fine and Performing Arts, and featured such short films as “Tomorrow,” “Pretty Boy,” “Late Expectations,” “Stay With Me” and more.

A few outreach groups for the LGBT community such as Active Minds, S-Tr-ive (or Strive, Social Trans Initiative) and UWF Counseling and Psychological Services were in attendance. Also present were representatives from the Children’s Home Society of Florida and Safe Port Counseling Center.

“Forty percent of the at-risk kids who are out on the streets with no home are part of the LGBT community,” said Wendy Achores, program supervisor of Children’s Home Society of Florida. “We are here to bring awareness to the people that are part of this group so that we can generate more safe and loving homes for the children who need them.”

The event on Wednesday, entitled “You Gotta Be: A Night of Acceptance,” was held at the Tree House Cinema in Gulf Breeze and featured the short films “RSVP” and “In The Turn.” Thursday’s “At Last: A Celebration of Marriage Equality” event was held at the Vinyl Music Hall and featured such films as “Falling Angels,” “A Private Matter” and “First Clue.”

“People think that once marriage equality goes through, all the problems for the LGBT community go away,” said Alana Brasher, volunteer for the American Civil Liberties Union. “They still have to go through other struggles like harassment and discrimination.”

On Saturday, the event “Short Shorts: Lights, Luaus, and Leis” was held at The Yard in East Hill and featured such films as “Lady of the Night,” “Dirty Paws” and “Why Not?”

All 23 films shown over the course of the four-night event were submitted to a decision committee who handpicked these films out of more than 230 submissions from all around the world.

Among the LGBT supporters were a number of individuals who identify with this group and who had personally experienced many of the struggles acted out in the films.

“I was kicked out of my parents’ house and my family disowned me when I revealed to them who I was,” said Delia Melody, a transgender woman who also advocates for trans awareness. “I felt so alone until I met with people from Strive and got myself some help. I’m so happy that Pensacola has a strong support system for people like me.”

To stay up-to-date with next year’s event and for more information on LGBT advocacy, please visit the Stamped website.

 

 

Planned Parenthood in political, religious crosshairs

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Photo courtesy of thenation.com

Cassie Rhame

Staff Writer

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), originally called the American Birth Control League, is a non-profit organization that has been around since 1921. So why all the sudden controversy?

Since the start of the debates for the 2016 election, the topic of defunding the PPFA has been at the top of Republican candidates’ platforms, and its popularity is on the rise since the U.S. Senate took its first vote to defund it back in August. This vote was the first step to the now-occurring debates on the bill.

Undercover videos were released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress back in July “to expose the business of selling pieces of unborn children for profit,” which is what brought the clinics into the political battle. The videos have been under investigation ever since, and the PPFA responded that the videos were edited for the purpose of misleading viewers, and that fetal tissue donation is legal and for medical research – not for profit.

Many are unaware of exactly what the PPFA does, which could be one reason for the division.

“If you don’t have the money or the insurance, you can go there (PPFA),” junior psychology major Sydney Austin said. “Insurance is expensive, and these clinics are to make sure girls are healthy.”

The PPFA has approximately 700 clinics in the United States and abroad, and provided care for 2.7 million patients in 2013 (the latest data available). It gives the option of affordable birth control and inexpensive testing for women’s and men’s health-related issues for even the uninsured.

The website for the PPFA states, “The mission of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. is to ensure the right and ability of all individuals to manage their sexual and reproductive health by providing health services, education and advocacy.”

To read more about exactly what the PPFA does, visit their website.

“The arguments I hear for it to be shut down mainly revolve around abortions,” senior exercise science major Madison Reid said. “While, yes, abortions are a large part of Planned Parenthood’s revenue, only about 3 percent of their money goes toward abortions, while the rest goes to things like contraception and STI/STD testing, which should be inexpensively provided to women.”

This chart shows the percentage for each service provided at Planned Parenthood clinics in 2013.

The opposition comes primarily from pro-life advocates and conservatives who do not trust the services the PPFA provides. Many say the clinics are simply a gateway to abortion and should be defunded due to its affiliation with these services.

“Everyone has a misconception that Planned Parenthood is all about abortion, and I wish people were more educated about it,” sophomore biology major Nan Saisoi said. “It does a lot for women’s health, and defunding it will not end abortions.”

“It is just a big ‘screw you’ to women if it were to be defunded,” Austin said.

This “misconception,” as Saisoi calls it, was validated as many students answered, “Well, I think babies deserve the right to live,” when asked their opinion on the PPFA and its suggested defunding.

“I should not be paying for a place that commits itself to ending babies’ lives,” said a Catholic UWF student who wished to remain anonymous. “We should not be giving all this money to an organization that is purely evil.”

“It is about making sure the baby and mother are healthy, and this should make even pro-choice people happy,” Saisoi said.

President of the PPFA Cecile Richards did not back down when it came to defending her institution for the first congressional hearing on the issue. Watch here.

“It’s a shame to think that there are people in this country who are so committed to ending women’s access to both birth control and safe and legal abortion that they’ll really resort to any means to try to entrap people and twist the truth in order to reach their ends,” Richards said. “But again, we believe, and why I’m here voluntarily today, is that the facts are on our side.”

This is a touchy topic for many, and there are those who put full faith in the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. Pro-life advocates believe their tax money has been providing for abortions and the selling of baby parts for profit, while others do not believe the authenticity of the videos.

So what would happen economically if the defunding of the PPFA were to happen? According to Slate, an online current affairs and culture magazine, “Simply put, Planned Parenthood offers extremely cost-effective care compared to other government-funded providers, and each dollar spent on contraception saves taxpayers multiple dollars down the line.”

“The amount of money that could be lost by pushing Medicaid patients into other clinics is substantial,” Slate writer Amanda Marcotte said.

The defunding of the PPFA will be debated on more in the coming year, and because of the Senate vote, will be introduced on the 2016 ballot.

For anyone who would like to add their voice to the issue, there are petitions for both sides.

How non-lethal is ‘non-lethal’? The myth of safe electroshock weapons

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Photo courtesy of stungundefenseproducts.com

Josh Hart

Staff Writer

In 2013, graffiti artist Israel Hernandez-Llach was killed after being shocked in the chest by a Taser, fired by a member of the Miami police department. He was 18. The officer faced no criminal charges.

Hernandez-Llach is a part of the more than 500 people in the United States killed by Tasers utilized by police officers since 2001. That’s roughly 10 percent of the more than 5,000 people killed by the police since September 2001.

Despite this, the Taser is routinely touted by the police as an alternative to deadly force. The titular company says that Tasers “exist to save lives.” The ACLU disagrees, however. They emphatically deny that Tasers are a non-lethal alternative.

Certain police departments refer to Tasers as lethal weapons in their internal memorandum. A document presented to City of Mountain View, Calif., police department advising them on their use of Tasers recommends that they treat the weapon exactly like they would a gun.

Gemma Rodriguez, Denver Police Department officer of five years, had this to say about brandishing Tasers in the field:

“It’s a gamble every time you fire the thing. That many volts isn’t safe for anybody. I already have a gun. I don’t need a slightly less effective, electrical version of a gun.”

This brings up a good point. Tasers are a gamble. They are not a foolproof alternative to a firearm. This cripples the effectiveness of the police force and places the public at significant risk.

Few instances in which a person needs to be restrained by police necessitate the potential for death. There needs to be a real alternative to deadly force. The police need to be able to do their job; the public needs to be able to be restrained without the cruel possibility of death.