Daily Archives: March 6, 2016

Express yourself through ‘Her Campus’ — online magazine coming to UWF soon

By Mackenzie Kees

Opinions Editor

her campus

Graphic courtesy of Her Campus website.

her“Her Campus” is an online magazine written for college students, by college students. Universities all over the world are involved with Her Campus, and now, thanks to one student’s hard work, the University of West Florida can be counted among the colleges with a localized chapter.

Abigail Megginson made this new chapter possible by reaching out to the Her Campus team to become UWF’s campus correspondent. “I had been a Her Campus fan for a few months,” said Megginson, a junior majoring in journalism and political science. “I loved the content, whether it was adding comic relief to my day or encouraging me through another person’s advice and personal story.”

“I was browsing the website one night last semester, probably procrastinating, and I found out that universities and colleges had their own Her Campus websites with localized content that was specific to that campus. I checked to see if UWF had a chapter I could write for. They didn’t.”

Megginson got to work on the application to start a chapter at UWF. “The process for starting a chapter was a bit daunting at first, so it took me a while to actually apply. But I knew the benefits it would bring to UWF and all its students, so I’m so glad I took that first step and decided to go through with it,” she said.

Her Campus was founded in 2009 by three Harvard undergraduates: Windsor Hanger Western, the magazine’s president and publisher; Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, the CEO and editor-in-chief; and Annie Wang as the CPO and creative director. The online magazine was originally created as an entry in Harvard’s business plan competition, the i3 Innovation Challenge, and would eventually grow into a global community of journalists after going on to win the contest’s investment award.


Here’s a look at FSU’s chapter Her Campus homepage. On March 22, UWF’s site will go live, and it’ll look something like this.
Photo courtesy of Her Campus.

The online magazine Her Campus resembles popular aggregate websites such as BuzzFeed and Pinterest. For students interested in writing for UWF’s upcoming chapter, an assortment of article topics is available to choose from in a wide spectrum of fields.

Her Campus is open to all college students with an unparalleled passion for writing. “You do not have to be female to join,” Megginson said. “The content just has to fulfill the goals of Her Campus as a website geared toward college women.”

Megginson said awareness of the group is continuously growing with at least 20 women currently showing a strong interest in joining. “I see recruitment for Her Campus UWF as an ongoing process,” Megginson said. “There really are no deadlines for joining. All a student needs to do is contact me saying they’re interested, and I can speak with them more about how they would fit into the team.”

The UWF chapter of Her Campus is set to launch on March 22. That’s also when the website homepage for Her Campus UWF will go online. On that day, Megginson will host a Launch Party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside of the Commons by the solar-powered picnic tables for all students interested in participating. Along with free stickers and information on Her Campus, pizza and games will be provided, courtesy of a generous contribution made by the Resident Hall Association.

If you’re interested in learning more about Her Campus, you can visit the website here. For information pertaining to the new UWF chapter, contact Megginson at abigailmegginson@hercampus.com.

“This is going to be a fun organization. Her Campus is smart and sexy. My vision is for us to become a big presence on campus and empower women, and students in general, to achieve their goals and express themselves through the Her Campus UWF publication,” Megginson said. “I can’t wait to see where it takes its members.”

Social justice group works with Take Back the Night to light up campus

By Sara Agans

Staff Writer

 Social Justice Movements students want your input on where new lights should be installed on campus. Graphic courtesy of the GoFundMe page for the Social Justice group.

Social Justice Movements students want your input on where new lights should be installed on campus.
Graphic courtesy of the GoFundMe page for the Social Justice group.

A group of students enrolled in the social justice movements course, taught by Gloria Horning, UWF visiting lecturer in the Communication Arts Department, is teaming up with Take Back the Night to raise money for new solar-powered lights on campus.

“The premise behind the class was to show students in the Communication Arts Department various communication tools that can be used, especially in the non-profit world of making social justice issues understandable to the general public, because we all know that we have to speak to our target audiences,” Horning said. “Sometimes we miss the target audiences because we go straight to government, but it’s really about the people being involved, and I think students are the best to start this.”

Horning was given the opportunity to teach this class, which was the brainchild of the chair of the Department of Communication Arts, Kurt Wise. As part of the class, Horning had students pitch ideas on what they wanted to do for their target audience. The students came up with several ideas.

“One of the ideas is Take Back the Night, but they are doing something different than what the organization is already doing, and that’s the key,” Horning said. Take Back the Night is an international, non-profit organization with the mission of ending sexual abuse, sexual assault and dating and domestic violence.

“The fundraising event was inspired by the Take Back the Night organization,” said Isabelle Murphy, UWF junior majoring in English literature. “Initially we were hoping just to work with the Wellness Center and help advertise for the campus event, but that has since evolved into an entirely different project. We are currently working towards installing solar lights on campus.

“We chose solar lights for a couple of reasons: They won’t cost the campus any extra in electrical fees; they are generally small and easier to set up than land-wired lights; each of the lights will cost about $75 after tax and mounting equipment charges.”

Murphy and the few other members of the group have been working with UWF Facilities Maintenance to set up the project.

“We’re hoping that by lighting up the campus – particularly in the dark areas between buildings and other commonly traveled areas – we can help cut back on the number of assaults that occur on campus,” Murphy said. “We set up a GoFundMe account for donations, at a goal of $1,000, which would buy at least 10 lights plus the plaques we want to buy for those organizations that donate enough for an entire light. So far we have two lights and are receiving more interest from organizations each day in hopes of reaching our goal by the end of March.”

“Our personal mission is to aid our campus in preventing sexual and violent crimes through the implementation of solar powered lights,” said Zachary Smith, UWF junior majoring in advertising. “There are many places around campus that are either dark or completely unlit. We have hung up maps around campus and asked the student body and staff members to mark places on the map that they felt were not safe.”

By the end of the semester, this group hopes to spread awareness on campus of not only Take Back the Night, but also the threat of sexual assault on college campuses.

“If an individual or organization donates the full $75 to purchase an entire light, we will honor them with a plaque, which we will present to them or place near the light,” Smith said. “The wonderful ladies of Zeta Psi Eta are actually the first Greek organization on campus to be awarded with a plaque.”

“This fundraising event is incredibly important for our campus, and it affects every single student,” Smith said. “We are relying on our students and campus organizations to make the purchase of these lights possible. No donation is too small to make a difference, and we are incredibly thankful for all the support for this project.”

The Save a Life, Buy a Light fundraising project deadline is March 31, 2016.

Single-score game results in a win for UWF baseball

By Grier Wellborn

Sports Editor

 Senior third baseman Jimmy Redovian races around the bases to his teammates after scoring a home run in the ninth to win the game for the Argos on Wednesday night. Photo by Grier Wellborn.

Senior third baseman Jimmy Redovian races around the bases to his teammates after scoring a home run in the ninth to win the game for the Argos on Wednesday night.
Photo by Grier Wellborn.

After posting the third shutout of the season against No.18 Valdosta State, and defeating the nationally ranked Blazers with a walk-off hit in a close three-game series, the University of West Florida baseball team sought to beat Stillman University on Wednesday night. The Argos have won nine one of the last 10 games against the Stillman Tigers, but have not faced them since 2011.

The Argos’ 8-6 record seemed to give them the upper hand against Stillman, who started the game against UWF with a 2-14 record. But for a game in which the Argos seemed to have a major advantage, both teams remained scoreless until the ninth inning.

The all-freshman pitching lineup dominated the mound for the Argos in Wednesday night’s game. Troy Brown recorded his second start of the season by pitching the first three innings only yielding one hit, leaving the Tigers scoreless. UWF also ended the third inning scoreless.

“I started the season kind of rough, but I’m finally getting back into things,” Brown said.  Brown said he felt the freshmen pitchers did well by not allowing Stillman any runs. “There’s always stuff that we can work on, so we’ll only get better from here.”

Freshman Garrett Peek took the mound at the top of the fourth and recorded two more scoreless innings. The Argo offense was unable to score in the fourth and fifth.

Freshman Gray Dorsey followed Peek at the hill at the top of the sixth. With the Tigers on both first and second base and only one out, it seemed as though Stillman would score. Dorsey escaped trouble by striking out the next two batters. The score remained 0-0 at the bottom of the seventh.

Following Dorsey, freshman pitcher Cole Crowder entered the game at the top of the eighth, and would close the game for UWF. Again, the Argos seemed to be in trouble in the eighth when the Tigers took third base with only one out. Crowder struck out the next batter, and a fly ball was caught by junior outfielder Jean Figueroa for a third out.

Both teams went into the ninth inning, still scoreless. Crowder held the Tigers in the top of the ninth recording the ninth strikeout of the game by freshman pitchers. The Argos were given another chance to score in the bottom of the inning.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, it seemed as though the game might extend into a 10th inning. Senior third baseman Jimmy Redovian’s time at bat decided the game. Redovian hit his first home run of the season (the second in his UWF career) in the bottom of the ninth, to help win the game for the Argos 1-0.

“Luckily I was able to get a pretty good swing on the pitch and get it out of here,” Redovian said. “But we’re definitely going to need to play better this weekend; come out stronger, come out faster but it does feel good to get a win here.”

Though the game resulted in a win, Redovian was not pleased overall with the offensive play throughout the match.

“We have got to be ready to go from the start no matter who we are playing,” he said. “Especially this week in conference play, we have to be ready from day one.”

The Argos, now 11-7 in the season, continued conference play over the weekend at North Alabama where they swept the Lions in the double header on Saturday, but lost the third game in the series on Sunday.

The UWF baseball team will return to Jim Spooner Field on Wednesday, March 9, to face off against Spring Hill College for the second time this season.

For a complete season schedule, visit goargos.com.

The Force can be with you, too, with lightsaber training

By Tom Moore

Contributing Writer


The form that Anna Faulkner uses for light saber training are based in real-life techniques.
Photo by Tom Moore.

Buzzzzz! Zap, zap, zap. And a dazzling display of lights. Lightsabers crash together, as dark figures in hooded robes that shroud their features duel it out to the death. The mighty blades clash, again and again in a dazzling display of blue and green.

But wait — this is 2016, and the galaxy is the Milky Way, and the planet is Earth.  This may seem to be the wrong place and time, but the two figures are real, as are the lightsabers.

The figures belong to husband-and-wife team Desso and Anna Faulkner, and they conduct lightsaber training at Hitzman Optimist Park from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday. They have been training hopeful Jedis for nearly two years now. Combined with yoga, they say the training is a great way to increase strength, flexibility, and all around physical fitness.

“It’s a lot more fun than a treadmill or stair climber,” Anna Faulkner said. “I get to work on my strength, cardio and stamina, and get good, balanced workout, while indulging in one of my favorite movie sagas of all time.”

The training is free, and all the information about it can be found on their Facebook page. If you haven’t built your own blade, light sabers can be found online. “Just go to the ‘build your lightsaber’ section at the top of the page, and follow the on screen instructions,” Anna Faulkner said.

“A basic dueling blade can be had for as little as $80, give or take,” Desso Faulkner added.

“If you are just starting out, wear loose clothing, comfortable shoes, and gloves to protect your fingers and hands. Also, men, wear a male guard.  I always do,” Desso Faulkner said. “I learned that one the hard way.”

The form the Faulkners practice is Form 3, or “Soresu,” the Way of the Mynock, which is stylistically similar to aikido in that it’s more of a defensive and nonaggressive style. It’s also the same form (but not the only) practiced by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” movies.

“A year and a half ago, Desso and I wanted to improve our workout routine, and started offering lessons in lightsaber training,” Anna Faulkner said.

“It’s all about forms,” she said, displaying a dizzying set of foot and blade work. Granted, there weren’t the leaps, spins and kicks of the movie, but what she lacked in choreography, she made up for in sheer style and grace. It was reminiscent of the scene in the “Phantom Menace” prequel, when Qui-Gon and Obi wan were fighting Darth Maul.

“Kids, don’t try this at home,” she said, eyes twinkling. “This is after nearly two years of teaching this form, and I am far from a master. I work hard every day to keep my core strong, and myself in the right head space so I can do this.”

Despite her warning, kids are trying it at home, and enjoying it. Enrollment is up, and keeps rising, in no small part to a Pensacola News Journal article last month.  Expounding on the new types of cardio workouts that were becoming popular, the News Journal stumbled upon the Faulkner’s unique workout as an opportunity for a way to add LARPing [Live Action Role Playing] to your repertoire of more conventional workout routines.

The control, the technique, even the form is real. The art is loosely based of the ancient martial arts of Kendo, which uniquely lends itself to the exercise.

“I did not adapt it,” Anna Faulkner said. “Desso and I use the forms, or ‘katas,’ that have been developed over the past eight years by the Tereprime Lightsaber Academy, which adapted it from the training Mark Hamill began in the middle of ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ and the techniques he mastered in the ‘Return of the Jedi.’ That is the foundation upon which all the other was built, and what has become lightsaber form and technique we have today,” she said.

This is because Kendo, unlike other types of the martial arts, was developed to add the use of a wooden staff or sword to its katas, or forms.

“It’s perfect for Jedi training because blade work is already built into the training,” Desso Faulkner said. “All you have to do change out the sword or staff strokes to that of the light saber.”

So, the Star Wars Universe may be a time long ago in a galaxy far, far away, but Jedi and Sith can be trained right here in Pensacola in the Hitzman Optimist Park by Jedi Masters Anna and Desso Faulkner.

Clock runs out on UWF Women’s basketball season

By Kenny Detwyler

Contributing Writer

 UWF women’s basketball team was eliminated from the GSC Tournament after a close game with the Lee Lady Flames. Photo by Kenny Detwyler.

UWF women’s basketball team was eliminated from the GSC Tournament after a close game with the Lee Lady Flames.
Photo by Kenny Detwyler.

The University of West Florida women’s basketball faced off against Lee University’s Flames in an intense Gulf South Conference tournament match-up Tuesday night at the Field House.

Ultimately, the Lady Argos fell to Lee by one point, with a final score of 63-62, thus ending the Lady Argos’ season.

The battle for victory was one that was hard-fought by both teams, with neither team taking more than six-point lead at any point in the second half.

The Lady Argos’ scoring drive was led by sophomores Toni Brewer and Courtney Meyer, who put up 12 and 11 points, respectively. Junior Katie Bobos put up 10 points. UWF led in rebounds, 47-32; but was edged out in field goal percentage 40.3-37.3.

Lee’s victory was no blow-out by any means, and was heavily contested up until the end. In the final minute of play, the Lady Argos, down by four points, scored a three-point field goal. There was a foul on UWF; then, to UWF’s satisfaction, Lee went on to miss both free throw attempts in the final seconds of the game.

That stroke of luck made a Lady Argo victory seem a lot more feasible. Junior Alex Coyne took possession when the game resumed; however, her distance from the goal and pressure from the clock turned what could have been a game-winning shot into a season-ending miss.

“They started to make good shots, and we couldn’t score on the other end, then we lost our momentum,” Brewer said.

This game marked the Lady Argos 14th appearance in the GSC tournament and the fourth straight appearance under head coach Stephanie Lawrence Yelton.

“We didn’t play a perfect game, but we played pretty close to one,” Yelton said. “We played well defensively. Lee has a very strong offense with a lot of scoring threats, and I thought we did a good job of shutting them down. I looked at this game as a win, even though it didn’t show up that way on the scoreboard.”

Although this loss closes the books on a 17-10 season, the Lady Argos are excited about what lies for them next season.

“I’m very excited, if you think you saw something tonight, just wait for the future,” Brewer said. “I feel like we’re going to do even better things.”

“I’m looking forward to getting this young team in the gym,” Yelton said. “They have to have some tenacity to improve themselves individually, and if they don’t, then we’re going to be sitting here next year saying the same thing.”

For detailed game statistics and more information on women’s basketball, vis

UWF handball team competes in national championships

By Kelsi Gately

Staff Writer

 The UWF handball team flew to Minneapolis for a four-day championship last week. Photo courtesy of www.ushandball.org.

The UWF handball team flew to Minneapolis for a four-day championship last week.
Photo courtesy of www.ushandball.org.

UWF handball members do more than just slam a rubber ball off the walls of a handball/racquet ball court. On February 23, the team bundled up and traveled to the University of Minnesota for the four-day 64th USHA National Collegiate Championships. Out of more than 150 players representing more than 25 universities from across the country and Ireland, UWF came in eighth place.

The National Championship is the biggest event the club has attended this school year. On average, the club participates in five tournaments per semester.

“We did pretty good,” said Michael Mathis, senior engineering major and vice president of the handball club. “Average for how we usually compete, but did well for having a lot of new players.”

Alex Grochowski, senior exercise science major and president of the club, said the team as a whole placed eighth overall, and individuals placed runners-up in several divisions. They are still waiting for final results to come in from officials.

“Compared to other sports I’ve played, handball is weird and unique in its own way,” said Spencer Watral, freshman biology major. “I lost in semifinals, but it was a fun and competitive experience.”

Members meet for practice 6-8 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; and optional practice from 3-5 p.m. on Sundays in the HLS building. Team members are willing to help teach the game if you’ve never played before. The team’s purpose, according to its Facebook page, is “to introduce as many students as possible to the ‘Perfect Game’ that is handball.”

First-year international student and exercise science major Orestis Christoforou was expecting it to be similar to water polo, which is what handball is in Greece. He said the game hasn’t been easy to learn over the past week that he has been playing.

“I like it enough to keep playing,” said Christoforou.

For more information on the handball team, email Michael Mathis at mbm15@studnets.uwf.edu. You can also visit the team’s Facebook page.

‘Centennial Faces’ shines light on African-American portraits, history

By Claudia Carlson

Staff Writer

A traveling exhibit from the Museum of Florida History has found a temporary home at the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum until late April.

The “Centennial Faces” exhibit showcases photographs of African-Americans living in Tallahassee around 1885-1910 by Alvan S. Harper. Each of the 49 portraits in the exhibit was shot with a glass plate negative. This technique shows exquisite detail in the portraits. Only a fraction of the 2,000 photographs originally taken are featured in the exhibit.

African-Americans in the late 1800s and early 1900s were prominently subjected to a life of slavery. What makes Harper’s portraits so unique is that they show just the opposite. In his portraits, you will see African-Americans dressed in remarkable clothing that signifies an affluent lifestyle.

According to an information booklet at the exhibit: “The subjects of his pictures are well-to-do or are from the upper-middle class. They are dressed in beautiful, ornate dresses or fine, carefully fitted sober attire. Their faces shine with dignity, self-reliance, and optimism. Even during the period of slavery, there had been a small number of African-Americans who had made it through the social and economic barriers erected by that system to a certain measure of prosperity. They seem far away from the hardships known to have existed among the great majority of African-Americans who lived in Tallahassee during this period.”

The exhibit is set up in such a way that the viewer can appreciate all the photographs. There is not much else in the room, there are no distractions, so visitors are able to use give it their full attention and get to know the people in the portraits.

When a visitor enters the exhibit, a laminated book relays all the information about the exhibit and Harper himself. There are also printouts that visitors may take around the room that give details about each portrait.

In the middle of the exhibit are also photocopies of The Colored Citizen, a newspaper published in Pensacola from 1914 until the late 1950s. The T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum incorporated this into the exhibit to add an element of local Pensacola history. The University of West Florida Historic Trust Archives has 44 copies of the newspaper in its files, and the John C. Pace Library West Florida History Center has seven copies.

“We do a lot of Florida-based exhibits at the museum,” said Wanda Edwards, chief curator. “One of the nice components we have added to the exhibit are the newspapers from the African-American community to show turn-of-the century information that happened in Pensacola.”

The exhibit will be at the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum until April 25, and UWF students get free admission by showing a student ID.

For more information on the museum, including hours and directions, visit the Historic Pensacola website.


CAB’s Oscars party cancellation sparks conversation: A culture blur in an ‘anti -racist’ world.

By Kaitlin Lott

Staff Writer


Two weeks ago, members of UWF’s Campus Activity Board (CAB) released a statement saying that the Red Carpet Award Show Watch Party scheduled for Feb. 28 had been cancelled. It read: “As UWF students, we have chosen to stand in solidarity with other campus activity boards across the country who are canceling their viewing parties in support of the diversity debate happening nationwide. We encourage you to learn about this national conversation surrounding Hollywood, awarding processes and multiculturalism.”

This year, there were no people of color nominated for the top 20 awards at the Academy Awards. However, at the awards show itself, there was no shortage of racial jokes to release a heavy load of the tension. Oscar host, comedian Chris Rock, made a point to mention how the Oscars was a white awards show, and if the Academy had voted on this year’s host, then Neil Patrick Harris would probably be on stage instead of him.

Not only did Rock acknowledge and expound upon the fact that the Oscars had a massive white-out, but he also spared no feelings for those who chose to protest it. He made sure to express that the Oscars have had years without black nominees, implying that this is not anything new; but what is new is black people being empowered to protest the lack of nominees. Comically suggesting that the Oscars should create black categories to avoid protest, he touched on perhaps why this is such an issue as a nation. Rock compared the fact that there are women’s and men’s categories, explaining how Robert DeNiro does not worry about competing with Meryl Streep.

Personally I thought this was a good touch to lighten the mood. Racial tension is now an issue in all aspects of American life. Now, it seems, whether being watched too closely at the clothing store, having to validate who you are to the police, or having to fight to be noticed by a board of predominately older white members of the Academy, being a minority is taking its toll.

However, I’m not sold on the idea that CAB cancelling the event benefited our campus.

There were a large number of educational lessons and values that could have been learned by watching the Oscars; cancelling was perhaps the wrong move. Rock brought culture, wit and humor, which was a valiant effort in educating not only the Academy on racial issues but the nation as a whole. There is a large call for learning about other cultures in America, not only black ones. When the phrase “lack of diversity” comes into conversation, a majority of the population references those individuals as African-Americans, but in reality, the Oscars did not acknowledge anyone of color from Indian to Hispanic.

As an African-American attending a predominately Caucasian university, it is clear that there is a divide in the understanding about the opportunities given to the majority vs. minority members, but I think there has been epiphany by minority groups that has led to protesting award shows like the Oscars. We are now engulfed in a world that is more pro-change attitude than ever before. Being black, it is hard to see rules change and laws pass, while still having to fight for the rights we were granted years ago.

Women’s rights have progressed, gay rights have been pushed through Congress, but there is a magnitude of issues that still trail behind us. Minorities are simply not given the same opportunities. Muslim men and women are looked at with a side-eye on an everyday basis; Hispanic men and women are constantly being criticized for “jumping the border” or not having a green card; and African-Americans have been stripped of their own heritage, being looked down upon for centuries. Within our own county, Sheriff David Morgan released a statement last year stating that “We have unfortunately in the black community embraced a thug culture, one that aggrandizes again foul language, shooting cops, abusing women…,” because as many people perceive, only black people can have these attributes. The Oscars not having any minority nominees is another way of agreeing with the words of Sheriff Morgan and others who do not see the deeper lining in this award show. See Sheriff Morgan’s statement here.

Many of us see equality but are blind to the prejudices that sneak up on us every day. CAB cancelling the watch party may have not been the answer to solving the problem of racism or getting minority nominees for next year’s Oscars, but what CAB did accomplish was initiating the conversation of why it is so important that we discuss the issues of diversity and cultural understanding.