Daily Archives: November 15, 2015

“Fallout 4” first impression: Newest in game series gives players more control

Wade Manns

Opinions Editor

“War… war never changes.” Those are the first words we hear out of every installment in the “Fallout” videogame series. And when we hear them, we know we are in for a wonderful story, a tale of post-apocalyptic madness, mayhem and sometimes mirth. The fourth iteration of this series is no exception; I’ve spent two hours with this game and I wish to share with you my first impressions.

From the moment I gained control of the player character, I got the feeling that this was going to be an adventure that, more than the others, I’ll have control over. I noticed this right away in the revamped character creation tool, which let me click and hold directly on the face to alter various characteristics, from the size of cheekbones to the length of the chin. Later on, as I was wandering through the nuked countryside of the Commonwealth (the Fallout universe’s name for the area around Boston), I discovered a unique gas station and the ability to open up a new, complex series of menus centered on building things, creating my own settlement. I don’t have a use for this right now, but I get the feeling I will later.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The game, unlike all the others, begins on the very day of the Great War, Oct. 23, 2077. (The logistics of a war occurring in one day are beyond the scope of this article, but suffice to say it entailed China dropping a whole bunch of nuclear bombs on us.) I got a front row seat to almost being nuked ourselves, as I, along with my wife and baby son, sank slowly into Vault 111. Something happens, I won’t spoil it, and I awakened 210 years later into the hell that is the Wasteland.

Like the rest of the 3-D offerings in the series, “Fallout 3” and “New Vegas,” I can project my violent tendencies onto the world with a unique method known as V.A.T.S., or the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System. Time slows down and I get the chance to make accurate shots on my enemies, to cripple, behead or, depending on my chosen weapon, even totally pulp or disintegrate them. This extreme violence is one of the trademarks of the series, and this game displays it with an all-new iteration of The Creation Engine, first used in the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Though I’ve only just scratched the surface of the game in two hours of play, I can tell it adds a great deal more character to the character that you play, who is now fully voiced, than the previous games. Also, at least my robotic butler Codsworth (who sounds like a stuffy British type, but is about as nice as a chrome-plated automaton can be), but potentially many more characters, calls me by my chosen name (my middle name Andrew, one of the 1,000 pre-recorded names for this feature).

Though I cannot vouch for the console versions, performance in the PC version is good on my dual core processor, despite it claiming that it needs a quad core. But as always with most of these games, it’s the graphics cards that do most of the work, and mine is pretty beefy. There are, unfortunately, a few hardcoded key binds that may result in somewhat awkward menu accessing starting out, but I got used to this quickly.

So if you are a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction in general, or the “Fallout” series specifically, even if you have an older computer, you can continue your love of the series easily and learn once again that war… war never changes.

Vital info:

Game: “Fallout 4”
Developer/Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: Open-world RPG
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4

Website: http://fallout.bethsoft.com/

UWF community garden grows food for thought and consumption

garden-april-harvest

UWF community garden’s April harvest.
Photo courtesy of UWF community garden’s Facebook page.

Amanda Gerow

Staff Writer

The University of West Florida maintains a community garden that allows students, faculty, staff and the community to maintain the garden and learn about sustainable food systems.

The community garden was created in 2009 in order to cater to individuals who are interested in learning and teaching the proper ways to cultivate sustainable food systems. The garden also carries a partnership with Pensacola’s local food bank, Manna Food Pantries.

In order for the community garden to thrive, it depends mostly on donations and volunteers. It is located directly behind the UWF water tower adjacent to parking lot B. The garden is currently maintained by the Garden Club.

“SGA has provided funds to help support the garden, as well as the Honors College and many community members,” said Chasidy Hobbs, advising coordinator and instructor for the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Anyone who is interested in getting involved with the community garden is welcome. All a person needs to do is express interest in joining the Garden Club. There are a handful of workdays throughout the semester, and anyone is free to attend any or all of them.

“We grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, and pollinator attracting plants,” Hobbs said. “Anyone who puts in time and effort to help grow the food gets to eat the food.”

Not only does the garden allow those who volunteer to eat the food, it also donates any leftover food to Manna Food Pantries, Loaves and Fishes and Ronald McDonald House. The community garden is planning to begin giving extra food to the Argo Pantry soon.

A compost collection was held on Oct. 30 to collect any uneaten fruits and vegetables from anyone willing to donate them. The participation in the compost collection is important for the garden so that the scraps can be used to grow more produce instead of going to waste in a landfill.

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the community garden can check out the website or Facebook page, or email Chasidy Hobbs at chobbs@uwf.edu. If you are interested in growing food in one the beds, contact Gregory Tomso at gtomso@uwf.edu.

“Everyone is welcome, no experience necessary, only a willingness to get dirty and learn!” Hobbs said.

 

The mission of the UWF Community Garden:

  • To build community at UWF and in the surrounding region.
  • To promote food sustainability and security by creating an alternative to the industrial system of food production.
  • To teach UWF students, faculty, staff and other how to grow food locally and organically.
  • To encourage healthy eating by increasing access to fruits and vegetables.
  • To increase respect and concern for the natural world.
  • To help students develop leadership and community-building skills.

FANdom Con: A convention ‘by the fans, for the fans’

V, Joker and Harley

Cosplayers attending FANdomCon.

Tom Moore

Contributing Writer

It started with a dream, in a college dorm room at UWF. As with so many dreams, it was from these humble beginnings that the phenomenon that is FANdom Con was born.

Linda Barnhart, Andy Caulfield, Raven Martinez and John Ricks, all from the Tampa area, shared a love of anime, comics and cosplay. They started a student club, and called it “ConQuest,” because they were on a quest for a convention. What they got was so much more, it surprised even them.

Starting in the fall of 2008, ConQuest grew exponentially each year, because the number of college students who read comic books and enjoyed anime.

“It was our freshman year,” said Barnhart, co-founder of FANdomCon. “The first con we put on, we had $300. That was barely enough money to cover the wristbands for the nearly 700 attendees.”

Caulfield said, “Fortunately, since it was free to UWF students, we were able to book the conference room, the Panel Rooms and have access to the UWF Commons for free. This and the fact that we had our ConQuest club members volunteering for registration and hosting the panels allowed us to put the con on for nearly nothing.” he said.

Now, six years later, FANdom Con has become a bit of a phenomenon along the Emerald Coast. Cosplayers, gamers, fans and vendors joined photographers, cosplay and celebrity guests at the biggest con to date last weekend at the Emerald Coast Convention Center in Ft. Walton Beach.

“What I love about FANdom is I can talk to these people,” said Nick Martin, senior at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, and avid con-goer. Martin has been attending FANdom Con since year two and says it has a special place in his heart.

“I have to say, these guys do a great job every year bringing us fans together, and catering to all us geeks out there,” Martin said. “My first costume was a steampunk rocket tech, so I had a rocket on my back and carried a steel poker. By the time I was done with day one, my back and arm ached. The rocket was solid oak, and the poker was aluminum. They were heavy.

“I didn’t bring them the next day, but it did make me realize that trying on a costume for a few minutes to see if it fits is much different than wearing it all day,” Martin said.

Since the code of Fandom con is “By the fans, for the fans,” it has been the policy of the founders that no fan should have to pay for an autograph by the celebrity guests who are invited to attend the event. This has made it a bit more of a challenge to get guests, because some feel that they should be able to charge for their autograph. But, expert game designer and celebrity guest Tom Green said, “We have our roots in the fandom. No matter how big we get, no matter how successful we are, or no matter how much money we make, underneath it all, we are still just members of the fandom.”

And more than anything else, it is that energy that keeps the fans coming back, year after year.  The “by the fans, for the fans,” dynamic has bred the unique experience that all the attendees have come to expect from a convention. Whether it’s meeting new friends, reconnecting with old ones, or just to have a good, clean weekend of family fun, FANdom Con has something for everyone.

T.J Roberts started attendning FANdom early on. When “Anime South” con in Destin was discontinued in 2010, Roberts stumbled upon FANdom in its second year.

“My favorite part of the con is because I get to be with ‘my own kind,’ ” Roberts said.  “Fandom con has given me the opportunity to do it all. I have volunteered, attended panels, hosted panels, and helped plan the activities.

“My favorite thing about Fandom Con is running the panels and getting to talk to all the different people. But no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you do on the outside, here at FANdom Con, you can be proud of who you are, and let your geek flag fly!”

You can view of video montage from the weekend here, and find more information on the con on their website.

 

City Hall filled with red in support of Human Rights Ordinance

HRO1

Student Government Association President for UWF, Daniel McBurney, speaks on behalf of the Human Rights Ordinance in discussion at City Hall on Monday.
Photo by Cassie Rhame.

Cassie Rhame

Staff Writer

Pensacola City Hall was filled with passionate advocates Monday as it held a workshop discussing the adoption of a Human Rights Ordinance proposed by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).

The proposed ordinance “would prohibit discrimination in work and public accommodations based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and military status,” according to the Facebook page. Sponsored by Councilman Brian Spencer, the proposal brought in heavy debate.

Advocates and non-supporters alike sat outside the conference room for three hours awaiting the discussion. More than 100 people flooded the halls, and council was forced to move this portion of the workshop to a larger room.

Once the human rights portion began, the room was satiated with red as supporters dressed in the color to show their approval of the ordinance.

“I came in support because the more people you have, the more impactful it will be,” said Christian Sutton, UWF advertising coordinator of the Gay-Straight Alliance and pre-law sophomore.

Currently, Florida law protects against discrimination, but the issue, as those who support the ordinance said, comes with its lack of being fully inclusive. The prime change that would come into effect with the proposal is the expansion of the definition of public accommodation.

The definition of public accommodation is vague with a limited list of protections and does not cover all public places.

“People can technically be discriminated against by public places like hotels, restaurants and bakeries,” ACLU coordinator Sara Latshaw said during her presentation.

Latshaw also said that close to 60 percent of Floridians currently are covered by an inclusive Human Rights Ordinance similar to the one being proposed. A specific number was not given of the amount of complaints received by the ACLU for discrimination, but Latshaw said most stem from housing.

Even though Latshaw admitted an increase in complaints had not occurred in Pensacola, she also stated a problem with prejudice is always present. She made sure to clarify that religious organizations and institutions would be protected in the ordinance.

“This [ordinance] allows us to better track where the issue lies and lends itself to clarity,” Latshaw said.

“I am mostly concerned with job discrimination and living situations,” said Emily Williams, UWF graduate in gender studies. “I haven’t run into a lot around here, but I just want this passed to make it easier for people who do come across it.”

“Fair housing passed in 1983, which is why it only covers physical disabilities,” Councilwoman Sherri Myers said. “This means people with mental disabilities can be discriminated against. We need to make sure we have an inclusive process that protects those who can file a claim.”

Myers, who has advocated for human rights throughout her career, was in support of the concept, but said she had concerns regarding the private cause of action portion.

“I see things that are lacking in this … one is fines. What are the penalties?” Myers said.  “I want effective enforcement.”

The proposal would also add sexual orientation to be protected individually as opposed to being broadly covered under “sex” explicitly as it is now. A sexual orientation claim that does not involve harassment, for example, currently is not guarded against.

Many public members shared personal testimonies of being denied service by hospitals and homeless shelters for their sexual orientation.

Although those dressed in red were overwhelming in number, not everyone was there to show support.

The first member of the public spoke ill of the ordinance and compared the red clothing to “the blood shed by Jesus Christ.”

Harry and Merry Beatty from Navarre came nearly 40 miles to speak against the proposal. “The good Lord has the final say,” Harry said. “Just because the world is changing doesn’t mean I need to go with the conformity.”  

The most concerning factor of the ordinance as expressed by the opposing public was the introduction of unisex bathrooms in these places of accommodation.   

“I got several calls today, and most of them were concerned with bathroom use,” Councilman Larry Johnson said. “I do not believe being transgender makes someone a pedophile or predator … I support this ordinance.”

The opposition tried to make clear that they are not against the transgender community, but are simply concerned for the children. Many expressed anxiety at the possibility of pedophiles dressing as a transgender to gain access to the opposite sex’s bathroom.

Supporters in red were angered by this fear, and said they feel it is simple discrimination.

Much of the disapproval came from those like the Beatty family as well, worried about the clash between religious freedom and sexual orientation. “It’s unnatural,” Merry said. “I don’t want to be forced to go against my beliefs, and I would not hire someone like that.”

Pensacola public figure and former priest Nathan Monk stood before the city council and shared his disappointment in those opposing the ordinance.

“If you say that you don’t hate someone while punching them in the face, it’s hate,” Monk said. “Fortunately for everyone here, your religion has absolutely no bearing on the law.

“I have full faith in our council that they will make the right decision … people like those on my left, who have failed time and time again just like you will fail now,” Monk said.

Daniel McBurney, UWF student body president, and Devin Cole, president of the UWF Gay-Straight Alliance, attended in support of the ordinance, as did UWF professor of psychology Susan Walch.

“I’m here for social justice,” Walch said. “I think this is a step towards making Pensacola a place that is inclusive of everyone and respectful of humanity.”

The ordinance will be voted on as early as next month, but has more discussion and work to be done. To follow the progress, follow the ACLU’s Facebook page.

You can view a video of the workshop on the City Council’s website.

 

Food trucks are great for the community, but opponents have city council scared to act on ordinance

 

People gather in lines for food trucks.
Photo courtesy of manahawkinfleamarket.com.

Tristan Lawson

Staff Writer

Pensacola’s City Council has been debating and postponing the proposed food truck ordinance for about three years now. The most recent council meeting, on Thursday, was the second reading of what is the closest they have come so far to successfully passing an ordinance that would allow mobile food vendors to operate in Pensacola.

However, restaurateurs, restaurant property developers, and multi-million-dollar restaurant groups appeared and voiced their opinion of the proposed ordinance and successfully scared the crap out of our timid city council.

At the meeting, the unruliest and blatantly disrespectful people were people opposed to the ordinance. One person in attendance was forcibly removed by police for shouting at the city council. Opponents often scoffed at speakers’ arguments, shook heads at councilmembers’ comments, and used obvious body language to signal their disdain for the proposed ordinance. While all claimed to be in support of the free market, entrepreneurship, and the American dream, after the behavior they displayed and their constant opposition to the ordinance in any form, one is left to wonder if they really understand what those things mean.

“Unfair,” “unjust,” “probably illegal” and “should be forbidden” were among the many phrase the opponents used to speak of the ordinance and the concept of food trucks in general. Many scare tactics and outlandish theories came out of the woodwork during this open forum. Apparently the clearly written ordinance that only applies to food trucks and mobile food vendors would also open the doors to mobile retailers, mobile tattoo trucks and even mobile bong shops! This is not only false, but if the people opposed to the ordinance would have taken the time to read it, they would know that nothing in the ordinance allows this.

One statement made by the owner of Seville Quarter was perhaps the most telling thing said, revealing the true intentions of established restaurants in downtown Pensacola in preventing this ordinance passing. “They are looking for something to give them rights,” he argued. “They will become stakeholders.”

This conversation is not about food trucks. This conversation is about maintaining control and the status quo for the interests of large and extremely wealthy restaurant groups and owners in the downtown district. It is about dominance over a market, and it is about preventing people from entering the game. Essentially they are fighting against all of the things they claim to be for: the free market, entrepreneurship and the American dream.

They claim not to be afraid of competition… so why fight the ordinance? They are afraid; they are terrified, and I will tell you why.

If you want to open a restaurant in any part of the country, you had better have a few thousand dollars. A hood vent system alone will set you back anywhere from $18,000 to $36,000. The cost of small wares, dishes and silverware can add up quickly, and restaurants’ budgets for these items sometimes run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Opening a restaurant is not cheap, and it is a risky business where it is very common to not even make a profit for the first few years of operation. The margins are small and the work is demanding.

However, restaurateurs are not infallible. Many of the problems in restaurants are caused by mismanagement and unrealistic expectations by owners who do not fully understand the logistics of operating a restaurant and have even less understanding of what their employees go thorough to get the job done.

So what does all this mean? Well, despite what wealthy restaurateurs and multimillionaires who just want to play with their money by investing in restaurants want you to think, food trucks are a good thing. A GREAT thing… for the community and the local economy.

Competition has been the root of some of the most progressive innovations to ever happen in our country. Not only does it push chefs to cook better food, source locally, and appeal more to the tastes and desires of their patrons, but it also adds new ideas to the culinary melting pot of our community. It pushes management to improve service standards and provide a better experience to their customers. It also pushes more competition between brick and mortar operations.

Competition also applies to the workforce, and with more restaurants and more foodservice options come more jobs and demand for higher wages. And since many college students depend on service jobs to make money while in school, this is something to pay attention to. Your boss will have to promote you and give you a raise when your manager quits to open his or her own business.

Many of the restaurants in our city are corporate-owned or franchise businesses where much of the profits go out of the local economy to a corporate headquarters to be distributed amongst shareholders. Food trucks purchase their product locally, live locally, and are working-class people who flip that dynamic on its head by redistributing their profits back into the community by buying local fish, shopping for fresh local produce, and going directly to the customers in our community who need good, affordable, healthy food.

Another thing to consider is what many people in the restaurant business complain about: stagnant wages, inconsistent hours, no job security, no benefits and no opportunities for advancement. Food trucks provide restaurateurs the ability to get started in the business without selling their house or taking a loan that will take 20 years to pay off. It provides chefs, bakers, and baristas with the chance to be their own boss and be in control of their own destiny. And there is nothing more American than that.

Even if none of this applies to you, options are good. Food trucks are an affordable, convenient and modern way to get great food. Many of the most progressive and cutting-edge cities in the United States have a vibrant food-truck community… and they are not restaurant deserts. They are also home to some of the best restaurants in the country who employ the best chefs and some of the highest paid wait-staff.

Basically, not only are food trucks good business, they are good eats. So when this issue comes up at the next city council meeting, make sure you show up and tell the guys in the designer suits and expensive Italian leather shoes that you want them to shut up and stop crying, and tell the guys in work shirts, checkered pants, and clogs to keep up the good work and don’t stop fighting!
Chef T. is a UWF student and a working-class culinary professional proudly serving the community for 12 years.

Mental health advocate Kevin Hines to speak at UWF

Kevin-Hines-photo-Cracked-Not-BrokenEmily Doyle

Staff Writer

The University of West Florida is set to host keynote speaker Kevin Hines, who will tell his story “Cracked, Not Broken – The Kevin Hines Story” at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Commons Auditorium.

At age 19, Hines was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Two years later, he attempted to take his life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

When Hines returned to good health after being mentally and physically damaged from the jump, he devoted his life to spreading the message of living “mentally well.” He has spoken to high schools, colleges, military, health communities and law enforcement agencies hoping to inspire people with his story.

“After watching him present at a conference last spring, I felt greatly inspired and wanted to provide that experience for our faculty, staff and students,” April Glenn said, a licensed mental health counselor with UWF Counseling and Psychological Services in a news release. (Taken from UWF news release issued Nov. 5.)

“Cracked, Not Broken” is being partially funded by the UWF John Byler Nuckols Memorial Fund. Byler is a former anthropology student at UWF who committed suicide in October 2010 during his senior year. The fund has raised money for suicide prevention and awareness.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, visit the UWF Counseling and Psychological Services website for information on suicide prevention and support. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 through the phone line 1-800-273-8255 or through their website.

Wedgewood: Human life worth more than money made from human garbage

Josh Hart

Staff Writer

The citizens of Wedgewood pulled off an upset victory against corporate greed early this month, successfully persuading the county to shut down the Rolling Hills C&D (Construction and Demolition) Landfill. You see, the citizens of Wedgewood don’t exactly enjoy the proximity to the landfill. It’s filled their neighborhood with dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide, poisoned their groundwater and dramatically lowered the value of their property.

The Pensacola News Journal covered the event in significant detail. Their first story, written by Thomas St. Myer, clearly takes the side of the victims, the citizens of Wedgewood. Their second story, also written by Myer, examines the economic impact of the closing of the landfill, offering obvious sympathy for demolition companies that have been inconvenienced.

No disrespect to Myer, and I actually do appreciate his attempts to be impartial, but I simply don’t care about the economic impact of ending an instance of economic oppression. I only care about ending the economic oppression.

And that’s exactly what the situation in Wedgewood is — economic oppression.

The neighborhood of Wedgewood existed before the Rolling Hills C&D Landfill existed and will exist after the landfill is gone. It has encroached upon Wedgewood, and, by exposing the residents to dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide, has increased the incidences of headache, dizziness, upset stomach, and lung infection.

Living near a landfill also might increase the risk of low birth weight, birth defects and certain types of cancers.

As previously mentioned, the placement of the landfill has also lowered the property values in Wedgewood, and, in an already limp housing market, this doesn’t bode well for anyone trying to leave Wedgewood.

“I feel trapped. Very trapped,” Mina Sanchez, Wedgewood resident, said. “I just can’t sell this place. I think all the fumes are giving me sleep apnea.”

So, forgive me if I’m not interested in the economic woes of the purveyors of a system that worked to keep the citizens of Wedgewood trapped in a state of perpetual fear and unrest. The demolition companies involved should humbly acquiesce in dumping their material somewhere else out of respect for those affected in Wedgewood. They were given a voice in the Pensacola News Journal, but it’s not a voice we necessarily should bother paying attention to.

UWF athletics weekly roundup

cross country

UWF’s Tim Wenger (right) leads the charge in a recent race. The junior from Inverness, Florida has qualified for the NCAA Division II national championship. It is the first time an Argonaut runner has qualified for the race since 2006.
Photo courtesy of UWF Athletic Communications.

Jason Dustin

Sports Editor

The University of West Florida women’s volleyball team wrapped up the regular season in convincingly, the men’s cross country team took a step forward, and women’s soccer clamped down in the NCAA Division II South Region tournament.

Men’s basketball

Four points were the difference between the UWF men’s basketball team opening the season with two wins versus two losses.

The Argonauts lost on Friday to Benedict College, 72-69, as part of a conference challenge tournament involving the Gulf South Conference and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which was hosted by Valdosta State University. Junior guard Mario Stramaglia led the Argos with 23 points. The Birmingham, Alabama, native was 4-for-5 in three-point attempts.

The Argos almost recorded their first win of the season on Saturday, on the road against Fort Valley State University.  The 82-81 overtime loss was highlighted by a monster game from UWF’s Austin Somerfield. The junior forward from Greenville, Michigan, led the team with 35 points and 18 rebounds, while logging 45 minutes.

The men’s next game, and home-opener, is 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23 against Spring Hill College at the UWF Field House.

Women’s basketball

The women’s team opened the season 0-2, as well. The Lady Argos traveled to host University of Tampa to participate in the season-opening Spartan Challenge Tournament where they lost 77-52 and 72-65 to the No. 20 UT and Rollins College, respectively.

Belle Bistrow posted UWF’s single-game high for the tournament. The freshman guard from Jacksonville scored 15 points in the loss to RC.

The Lady Argos’ next game is away against Spring Hill College on Nov. 24. UWF’s 2015 Field House debut will be at noon on Nov. 28 when they meet Young Harris College.

Men’s cross country

UWF junior runner Tim Wenger has qualified for the NCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country Championships, according to a UWF Athletic Communications press release.

By virtue of Wenger’s fifth-place finish at the South Regional Championships, he became the first Argo to qualify for the national race since 2006, according to UWF Athletic Communications.

Women’s soccer

Daryl Bell scored the lone goal of UWF’s first-round 1-0 victory at the NCAA Division II South Regional tournament, which was hosted by Barry University, in Miami. The goal was all the Lady Argos defense needed as it held Nova Southeastern University to one second-half shot on goal, and only six for the game.

UWF’s Alissa Festagallo, a junior from Fort Pierce, assisted Bell.

UWF meets host BU on Sunday for the region’s championship. If victorious, it will advance to the NCAA Division II Super Regional Tournament, which will be hosted by the highest-seeded participant.

For more UWF athletics information visit goargos.com.

Argo volleyball closes out regular season with a bang

Volleyball image

Photo by Kenny Detwyler.

Kenny Detwyler

Contributing Writer

The No. 22-ranked University of West Florida volleyball team swept Gulf South Conference opponents this weekend: North Alabama and Alabama Huntsville 3-0 at home on both Friday evening and Saturday afternoon to wrap up the regular season.

Friday’s win over North Alabama clinched the team’s spot in the GSC and moved them to the top of the conference. The heavy hitters from that match were UWF seniors Autumn Duyn and Colleen Starrs. Duyn had eight kills and a team-high 16 digs on the night while Starrs added eight digs and three service aces. Both players were honored before the game for their contributions to the UWF volleyball program.

The Argos won each set (25-16, 25-19, and 25-17) with 41 kills, six aces, 10 blocks, and 37 assists.

The Argos’ successes led into Saturday, when the ladies dominated yet another opponent. UWF took on Alabama Huntsville at home for their regular season closer. The Lady Argos came out strong, with excellent blocking and strong assists. The players who came out on top in this game were junior Corisha Smith, who had an impressive 15 kills with only one attack error on 26 swings. Smith also was effective from the service line with four aces in the win. Junior Kathryn Torre had 11 kills with two attack errors on 25 swings with three blocks.

The Lady Argos swept these opponents as well (25-19, 25-19, and 25-15), with the team earning 48 kills, nine aces, nine blocks and 45 assists.

“Any time you can sweep opponents at this time of the year, you’ve got to perform really well,” Head Coach Melissa Wolters said. “I thought that last night and tonight we performed well in different ways, they played loose and had fun.”

Following a successful regular season, the Lady Argos are now turning their attention to the Gulf Southern tournament, which is being hosted here at UWF. The ladies fell short of a conference title last year, but Wolters and her team have high hopes for this year’s matchups. “We hope to win it. We fell short last year, and we’re hoping to get it back,” Wolters said. “We’ve made changes over the last 11 months. It’s a mindset and a hunger, and they have different drive after letting it slip away last year. We’ll train hard this week. We have to make sure they’re mentally prepared as well as physically prepared.”

It appears the players share a similar sentiment. “We going to go all in, we’re feeling pretty confident,” junior Holly Mattmuller said.

The Lady Argos’ next opponents will be determined pending other conference results. The Lady Argos finish out their season ranked 22 in the nation, with a record of 27-5 and 19-1 in the GSC.

For the conference schedule and other information, visit the volleyball team website.

Seeds of Hope Walk to bring awareness to suicide victims and prevention

active minds logoIqueena Hollis

Staff Writer

The annual Seeds of Hope 5k Walk will take place in Pensacola on Saturday, Nov. 21, to bring awareness and support to the local community about suicide victims and prevention.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to noon and will begin and end downtown at Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government Street. There is no fee for UWF students and volunteers, but for outside community members, tickets may be purchased online for $15.

Each year, this 5k walk is held in remembrance of the people who have committed suicide, those affected by the deaths of loved ones and the people who may have contemplated or attempted suicide.

“Seeds of Hope is our annual 5k walk that brings the community together for a day of remembrance,” said Amber Johnston, secretary of UWF Active Minds. “We want to raise awareness that there is hope for those struggling with these thoughts; to show them that they are not alone in this battle and that they are surrounded by support and tools to help them survive.”

Light refreshments will be served, and participants who registered for the event before Oct. 20 will be given T-shirts that list the names of suicide victims.

For more information on the UWF Active Minds, visit their Facebook Page, or the Counseling and Psychological Services website. For information on the 5k, contact Jessica Mager, the event organizer, at jrm88@students.uwf.edu.