Daily Archives: October 18, 2015

The Golden Fleece: Compete for a chance to meet Dan + Shay

Fleece clue(1)

The third clue for the Golden Fleece Challenge.

Kaitlin Englund

Life and Entertainment Editor

The Golden Fleece Challenge is back, but with a new twist.

Each year, students celebrate Homecoming with the Golden Fleece Challenge. The challenge is a scavenger hunt modeled after the quest undertaken by Jason and the Argonauts in Greek Mythology.

This year’s Golden Fleece Challenge will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The winners of the Golden Fleece Challenge not only receive the coveted fleece, but are also awarded with a meet-and greet-with the Homecoming Concert artist, Dan+Shay.

In previous years, students watched the UWF Homecoming Twitter for clues that would lead them to the final hiding spot of the coveted fleece.

This year, however, students will receive a UWF Homecoming Passport, which has to be completed in order to win the Golden Fleece Challenge. Each clue will lead students to a different location on campus, where competitors will have to get their passport stamped. At each location, a member of the Homecoming team will provide competitors with a piece of the final password.

At 4 p.m., the final location riddle will be released, and students who have all of their passport stamps can use the pieces to the final password to find the secret location of the Golden Fleece.

To begin the challenge, students will meet at the Cannon Green at 11 a.m. to pick up their passport and receive the first clue. Then the UWF Homecoming Twitter and Facebook will release a clue every hour on the hour, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Competitors have the option to complete the hunt individually, or with up to two additional people. The fleece will only be awarded to the individuals listed on the winning passport.

To see the riddles, follow @UWFHomecoming on Twitter and like University of West Florida Homecoming on Facebook.

Check below for a Voyager exclusive: an early release of the third riddle. Solve the riddle and arrive at that location between 1 and 2 p.m. to earn a stamp in your passport for the Golden Fleece Challenge.

Golden Fleece Challenge Clues

Starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday, clues for the Golden Fleece Challenge will be released every hour on the hour on Twitter @UWFHomecoming and West Florida Homecoming on Facebook.

Special Voyager Bonus:
Golden Fleece Challenge Clue No. 3

“A place to be to sweat and to learn

To mold your mind and to make your legs churn!

Classes and games, all in the same

The title of my location has ‘Teaching’ in its name.”

UWF football kicks off at Blue Wahoos Stadium


Head coach Pete Schinnick talking to his players after the game.
Photo by Grier Wellborn.

Grier Wellborn

Contributing Writer

Instead of a baseball diamond, Pensacola Blue Wahoos Stadium was striped with yard lines in preparation for the University of West Florida football team’s third intrasquad scrimmage of its 2015 season on Saturday.

More than 3,000 bodies filed into the bayfront stadium to cheer on the members of the UWF football team as they faced off against themselves on Saturday afternoon. Fans and students arrived early to tailgate and participate in the Argo walk along Devillers Street.

UWF President Judy Bense joined captains from Team Blue, Team White and the referees in the middle of the field for the coin toss before the game.

A full four quarters of excitement and good play ended in a 26-25 win for Team Blue.

Considering both Team White and Team Blue alternated the lead in the game by an extremely small margin, the true playmaker of the game seemed to be the kicker, Austin Peffers, who kicked for both Team Blue and Team White. Peffers scored five field goals and four extra points in the 26-25 win for Team Blue.

Team White claimed the first points of the scrimmage when Peffers kicked a successful 34-yard field goal five minutes into the first quarter. Peffers would also finish the game with a 27-yeard field goal to win the game for Team Blue.

In the end, five touchdowns, five field goals, four extra points and a safety were all scored.

For players and coaches, these scrimmages are not about who wins or who loses; they are a means of practice, improvement and preparation for the 2016 inaugural season for UWF football.

Head Coach Pete Shinnick said he believes his team has come a long way since the first scrimmage of the year.

“In the first scrimmage, we were very basic and very simple on both sides of the ball,” Shinnick said. “ It’s not like we have everything in, or are completely where we want to be offensively and defensively, but now we’re calling things to find out what we can handle.”

UWF football will host two more intrasquad scrimmages this season at University Park Field on campus, on Oct. 24 and Nov. 7.

Players, coaches, fans and even the recruits would agree that the most exciting part of the game was not scoring touchdowns, intercepting the ball, or even the 85-yard run by freshman running back, Jaylon Hammer. The most exciting factor was playing on their bayfront home field for the first time. With scenic Pensacola Bay in the background, fans get to enjoy one of the best views in sports, while the players get to play on one of the most outstanding fields in the Minor Leagues.

“Coming to play at our actual home stadium for the first time brought a lot of hype,” said freshman quarterback Gunnar Ballant. “Just seeing all of our fans was pretty awesome.”

More than 100 fans gathered to cheer on the players when they arrived by bus at the stadium a few hours before gametime.

“We are so thankful that the city has given us the opportunity” to play at Maritime Park, Shinnick said. “The Wahoos have given us the opportunity to be down here because it is a great selling point.”

UWF will host five regular season home games at Wahoos stadium in the 2016 season.

The UWF football team will play their next scrimmage on at 11 a.m. Oct. 24 at University Park Field. For more information, visit the football section of the goargos website.


‘Three Postcards’ performance reins in dozens of play lovers

Three Postcards_piano

Photo courtesy of uwf.edu

Iqueena Hollis

Staff Writer

Dozens of students, family and friends came to see the Department of Theatre production of “Three Postcards” at three performances this weekend in the Studio Theatre in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

The musical drama, based on a book written by Craig Lucas, with music and lyrics by Craig Carnelia, takes place in a small, trendy restaurant in Greenwich Village. The main characters, Big Jane, Little Jane and K.C., are a group of friends who meet up for dinner and end up taking a trip down memory lane.

“The actresses were great,” said Carlisa Ward, senior at UWF. “I was really impressed by how they shifted into character so fluently when doing reflections and memories.”

“I can always tell that the students work really hard to bring us great performances,” said Lauren Hercules, also a senior at UWF. “They bring the characters to life, and I think that’s why I’m always so eager to come see the plays they have.”

But if you missed it, don’t worry; three more performances are on tap for next weekend: 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are free for students. Because of adult themes, this production may not be suitable for children. Also, because of the configuration of seating in the Studio Theatre, there is no late seating.

The theater department will also present “A Christmas Carol” on Dec. 4-13. Next semester, “Oklahoma!” will be performed Feb. 19-28, 2016. and “On The Verge” will be staged April 8-17, 2016.

Tickets prices for all CFPA plays are: Adults: $16; senior citizens/active military: $12; UWF faculty/staff and non-UWF students, $10; children, $5; and UWF students, free. Tickets can be purchased online here, at the CFPA box office or at the Commons service desk.

UWF sights & sounds

Video by Jason Dustin.

Get involved in UWF’s Homecoming activities this week


Photo courtesy of uwf.edu

Emily Doyle

Staff Writer

The UWF Homecoming Committee has an exciting week of events and activities planned for the annual week-long event. Here’s your day-by-day guide to all things Homecoming!

Monday, Oct. 19: To kick off Homecoming week, UWF is Transforming the Campus by encouraging students to dress in blue and green to show their Argo spirit. You also can walk around the different departments and see the window panes that organizations are creating to out-spirit each other in the Window Pane Competition. The winner for the competition will be announced at the pep rally on Thursday.

Tuesday, Oct. 20: The Golden Fleece Challenge will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You and a team of up to two more people will embark on an adventure around campus to find clues that will lead you to the Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece Challenge is held every year to honor the Greek legend Jason, who with his warriors the Argonauts, set out to recover a golden fleece to save Jason’s father’s kingdom.

Wednesday, Oct. 21: The Cannon Fest will be held on the Cannon Green from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Cannon Fest is a campus picnic where UWF organizations set up tents and interact with students. There will be music, Sonny’s BBQ and game booths to get everyone involved.

Also Wednesday, Oct. 21: The Cardboard Boat Races will commence at 8 p.m. at the UWF Aquatics Center. In this event, student and faculty teams will have constructed boats made solely from cardboard, duct tape and liquid nails. Then a chosen team member will attempt to paddle their team’s boat across the UWF pool faster than any other team. It is an exciting and humorous event that you will not want to miss!

Thursday, Oct. 22: The Pep Rally and Concert will be at 7 p.m. on the Cannon Green. The pep rally is a celebration of being an Argo and a chance to get excited and have a blast with your friends standing by your side. To conclude the evening there will be a concert by popular country artist Dan + Shay.

Friday, Oct. 23: The Tailgate event at the Soccer Complex joins together Homecoming Week with Family Weekend. Get together with your fellow Argos before the men’s and women’s soccer teams play a double header that evening at 5. People are encouraged to bring their best tent decorations, grills for preparing favored foods, and a smile.

Saturday, Oct. 24: To end Homecoming Week, there will be a Football Scrimmage at 11 a.m. at the University Park Field to help prepare our football players for their inaugural season in 2016.


UWF Singers and Chamber Choir hit all the right notes in their fall concert


The UWF Singers and Chamber Choir performing “The Road Not Taken.”
Photo by Kenny Detwyler.

Kenny Detwyler

Contributing Writer

The harmonious voices of the UWF Singers and Chamber Choir filled the Center of Fine and Performing Arts on Monday. The vocalists, under the direction of Peter Steenblik, presented their fall concert, entitled “Lullabies, Love Songs, and Requiems: a Poetic Journey.”

The UWF Singers are a group of 30 selected singers, while the Chamber Choir features an ensemble of 10 from that same group. They were accompanied on piano by Bolton Ellenburg.  

The concert featured the vocalists singing verses from a few of the most iconic names in in the world of poetry, such as Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Georg Friedrich Daumer, and Ogden Nash, all of which were set to music.

Featured in the concert were five sets of music, each with a different theme. This included songs such as a salute to the cities in the Panhandle and the Star Spangled Banner. An audience favorite was the finale performance of “Jabberwocky,” written by Lewis Carroll.

“The ending was amazing. It was a perfect way to top it off,” student Daniel Stiles said. When talking about the finale, student Eva Duga could only use the word “fantastic” to describe it.

The UWF Singers have spent many weeks preparing for the evening.

“From day one to the present, we learned a lot of music,” freshman Eric Keeton said, of singing his first concert with the group. “Seeing the different ensembles come together was very exciting.”

“Going from rehearsal to performance is always difficult, because the rehearsal space is always more forgiving,” said vocalist Jordan Harell.

If the thunderous standing ovation the singers received at the end of the show was any indication, the UWF Singers and Chamber Choir handled their transition from rehearsal to stage with perfection.

While the event was free to the public, the music department still operated under a ticket system. This was partly to gauge interest in events like this being held on campus.

“I think it’s important to support the arts, because music is one of those things that communicates to everyone,” student Meredith Stemen said. “The singers were being expressive and showing their emotions, and I could understand what they were singing about.”

The musical journey presented in the concert did not end on Monday. A highly anticipated continuation of the show will be performed on at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at Old Christ Church in downtown historic Pensacola.

For a schedule of concerts and events in the Department of Music, visit their website.


Back Porch Comedy gives out free laughs


UWF senior Ben Neergaard performs at The Big Easy Tavern for open mic comedy night.
Photo by Cassie Rhame.

Cassie Rhame

Staff Writer

In a tiny, hidden venue called the Big Easy Tavern, you’ll find free entertainment each Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m., in the form of an open mic comedy night.

The weekly night for laughs is hosted by a network of Pensacola comedians called Back Porch Comedy, and the unlikely venue is inside the Days Inn hotel at Palafox and Cervantes streets in downtown Pensacola.

The dive might be small, but it is described by patrons as having a laid-back and friendly environment. “I’m not much of a club guy, so this close-knit and relaxed bar is exactly my speed,” UWF junior exercise science major Madison Reid said. “Everyone is chill and just wants to have a good time.”

“The drinks are super cheap, and they always have specials going on,” communication arts sophomore Courtney Randall said. “I mean honestly — what more could you ask for as a broke college student?”

Each Tuesday’s show consists of special guests along with the open mic volunteers, some of which have been performing at the Big Easy Tavern for months. Being an open mic event, anyone is welcome to perform a brief set, as long as they are signed up by 9 p.m..

UWF senior studio art major Ben Neergaard has taken the stage a few times at the Big Easy Tavern, and advises any student interested in comedy to give it a shot.

“Being a comedy bar, people are prime and ready to expect to laugh,” Neergaard said. “It makes the nerves easier because most of the time, people are focused and not disruptive.”

Back Porch Comedy also hosts free comedy (not open mic) on Fridays at this same venue with headliners on tour as well as comedians from the Florida area. The headliners on Fridays have boasted an impressive list of names, including Ben Kronberg and Dave Stone.

Comic Wiley Farrar Jr. said the weekly event once suffered from an “identity crisis,” and went through a lull until Tony Burkett and Zach Van Gestel took over as hosts. Burkett said he took on the job because of his love for comedy and the lack of passion from past hosts.

“I’m just happy this is here in the last place you would expect — the Days Inn in Pensacola,” Gulf Shores comic Cris Fowler said. Fowler has been performing for the venue for several months now.

“Open mic is different because you get a lot of different types of people,” Fowler said. “Some people are just happy to have a mic in their hands to get the voices out of their heads.”

The comics, described as one big family, see the crowd as what makes the comedy special. There is said to be a rewarding quality to making people laugh, which is the fundamental purpose behind these comedy nights.

“For students, I think there is a chance to see amazing headliners and professionals,” Farrar said. “It is amazing comedy, especially being free.”

Farrar said he has been performing at the Big Easy Tavern weekly for about eight months, and calls it “an outlet for creativity for an art that is truly underappreciated.” “Each room has a separate energy and vibe… You get a real chance for magic moments here.”

To learn more about Back Porch Comedy, and to keep up with events, visit their Facebook.

TED Talk Tuesdays expose students to new ideas


Photo courtesy of uwf.edu

Amanda Gerow

Staff Writer

UWF Service and Citizenship kicked off the bi-weekly occurrence of TED Talk Tuesdays on Tuesday in the Argo Galley.

TED stands for technology, entertainment and design. The TED Talks are designed to incorporate these idea platforms and spread ideas through powerful talks by various individuals. The talks typically only last a maximum of 18 minutes.

TED Talk Tuesdays are the brainchild of staff and interns in the Student Involvement Office who wanted to focus on issues involving citizenship for students and, more importantly, issues that made students think about what they can do to help.

The event also stemmed from the Student Government Association event called “Write It Out Wednesdays” in the Commons. Students are faced with a topic on a whiteboard, and they can add their views and read the opinions of other students.

“We were asking questions on the whiteboards about issues that students may not be educated about,” said Tara Kermie, assistant director of University Commons and Student Involvement. “We thought TED Talks would be a great passive way as an opportunity to educate students on citizenship issues so they can become more informed citizens.”

The TED Talks for the rest of the semester will be at noon on Oct. 27, Nov. 10, and Nov. 24. To see the full calendar and more details check out the description on ArgoPulse.

“TED Talks are short. We knew we’d have a captive audience at lunch. Even if they aren’t completely paying attention, they are still absorbing the information,” Kermiet said.

Currently, staff in the Service and Citizenship office chooses the topics for the videos shown. The goal of the videos is to focus on citizenship to spark interest in students.

“Service and Citizenship picks the topics based on prevalent community topics and would love some student input,” Service and Citizenship Graduate Assistant Katie Cutshall said.

The videos from Tuesday were Human trafficking is all around you. This is how it works by Noy Thrupkaew and How we can make the world a better place by 2030 by Michael Green.

“It was really cool that the school is doing this,” sophomore Malcolm Griffith said. “I didn’t know what was happening, but TED Talks are great, and I learned a lot just because I decided to come to the Galley for lunch.”

Students are encouraged to stop by the Service and Citizenship office, Room 246 in the Commons, to submit video ideas or to talk about ways to get involved with the right resources to go out and make a difference in the community.

“We can help students find an avenue to make a difference no matter what their passion is,” Kermiet said.

Start-Up Weekend 2015 selects finalists

Start-up weekend.tom

Tom Moore at the 2014 Start-Up Weekend.

Tom Moore

Contributing Writer

This weekend, in conjunction with the Greater Pensacola Chamber and the Pensacola entrepreneurial community, UWF’s School of Business plays hosts to Startup Weekend 2015, a 54-hour event allowing participants to vet and pitch their business ideas. The participants’ goal is to be a finalist, and ultimately the winner, gaining support to make their idea a reality.

But it’s not all work. There is fun involved too. The sound of handclaps and cheering could be heard from the crowd Friday night in Building 76A, UWF School of Business. It was the kickoff “Rock Paper Scissors,” social mixer that whipped the crowd into a frenzy of shouting, stomping, clapping and finally chanting at a volume that would rival a Jerry Springer show.

This was just one of the many social mixers designed to raise the crowd’s spirits and help people get to know each other. Dean of UWF’s School of Business, Timothy O’Keefe, said it best when he took the podium.  

“The purpose of Start-up Weekend is to give students a taste of how what they are learning in the classroom can be applied to the real world,” O’Keefe said. “When we are sitting in a classroom, we often lose sight of the real world applications of what we are learning and why we are learning it.”

Once the crowd quieted down and everyone returned to his or her seat, it was time for the 60-second idea pitches. The criteria to pitch a business was very specific. The participants begin by stating their project number, their name, who they need on their team and what purpose their business will provide.

Within the first eight hours, 34 potential businesses were pitched, explained and voted on. After the final votes, the following six business are the finalists:


  1. “Dr. Know” – a database matching recent medical school graduates to the best hospital for their residency.
  2. “Level Up” for real-life – a mobile app listing businesses having community acclivities. App participants receive points from the businesses.  
  3. “Virtual Closet” – part database keeping inventory of closet contents and part algorithm matching cut, color, and summer or winter wear.
  4. Similar to “Pensacola.com” – mobile app helping people find activities they would find enjoyment in participating.
  5. “Virtual Eats” – database of healthy foods and virtual menus so meals can be perused virtually to allow for easy planning and purchasing of budget-wise healthy meals.
  6. “Item Return” – mobile app providing return information and refund status through the company database.

Participants and finalists spent the remainder of the evening forming teams, brainstorming ideas, devising strategies, and formulating the “game plan” for the rest of the weekend.  Sunday afternoon will be the deciding factor for six finalist teams, when they present their project to the judges.

Death isn’t a unianimous decision: Florida’s jury dilemma


Timothy Hurst.
Photo courtesy of northescambia.com

Josh Hart

Staff Writer

On Oct. 13, the U.S. Supreme Court will have begun hearing arguments in the case of Timothy Hurst, a Pensacola man convicted of tying up his former manager in the freezer of the Popeye’s in which they both worked and stabbing her to death. In 2012, a jury recommended 7-5 that Hurst be executed, but Hurst is challenging the process as unconstitutional.

Florida’s policy goes against a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the stated that juries should decide when the death penalty will be imposed and what made the decision appropriate. Florida is the only state where the jury doesn’t need to explain its decision to condemn someone to death. Florida is also the only state where a unanimous decision is not needed to recommend execution.

Hurst’s dilemma represents a serious problem with the inaction of the Florida death penalty. Namely, the fact that there is one.

Here’s some background: Florida was the first state to reintroduce the death penalty after the Supreme Court temporarily ended the execution process with the Furman v. Georgia decision of 1972, executing the first prisoner since Furman in 1979.

Since 1979, the state of Florida has executed 90 prisoners. Florida has the fourth-highest execution rate in the country, right behind Oklahoma, Virginia, and Texas.

In Florida, defendants must be found guilty by unanimous vote, whether they steal or murder. Yet, when it comes to deciding on the ultimate punishment, a simple majority is all that is required.

The state is saying that sentencing a person to prison time requires more careful consideration than sentencing a person to death. Human life is, for a reason that I simply can’t fathom, considered an afterthought.

Execution often is excused by supporters of the death penalty who often tout it as being a deterrent. This is widely refuted. Countless statistics, most of which are collected and published by Amnesty International, show that murder rates in states which do not enforce a death penalty are lower.

Obviously, I’m not implying causation regarding instances of crime, but if the death penalty really were a deterrent, it would show in the statistics.

The idea of using state-sponsored murder to deter crime makes little sense logically, anyway. Considering that America is a place in which ethics are, in the general public consciousness, determined by the state, showing the populace that some murder can be rationalized would only inspire civilian murderers to rationalize their own killings.

Returning to Hurst, we find that his case shows other discrepancies. The most glaring one is that, in Hurst’s initial trial in 2000, the trial that led to his death sentence, the defense was not allowed to present evidence showing that Hurst was significantly mentally disabled as a result of acute fetal alcohol syndrome.

This Supreme Court case offers a chance for Florida to treat the Hurst murder case with a shred of competence and to potentially revise their disturbing execution system.

There is no doubt in my mind that Hurst deserves life in prison. He committed an absolutely indefensible act, but his appeal is a chance for the Florida justice system to rectify a glaring omission in their sentencing.

I think Pensacola lawyer Nick Ortiz said it best: “A person’s life shouldn’t be cast aside as quickly as it can be in the Florida justice system. It’s fairly obvious. A car thief facing time in jail shouldn’t receive more consideration then a person facing death.”