Daily Archives: August 30, 2016

UWF regulations for sex offenders on campus

By Claudia Carlson

Staff Writer

The University of West Florida does everything possible to keep students, faculty and staff safe at all times. This includes providing everyone at the university with a list of registered sexual offenders on campus.

Sexual offenders who work or are students at the university are required to disclose information and register with the University Police Department. The UPD must also disclose this information to the UWF community. There are five registered offenders on campus at this time, according to the university website.

“I had no clue that there were sexual offenders on campus,” Molli Straw, a UWF senior, said. “Though I feel an education is something that all people should be able to attain, and no one should be denied. I also always wonder how they got into this situation, if they were in a relationship with a minor and he or she consented, but then the minor’s parents got involved. If a sex offender is working or going to school, they are bettering themselves either way.”

A Google search will help find the registered offenders on campus, and fliers with information about the offenders are available on the university website. Offenders register through a site with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Students are able to access the registry in three different ways. First, through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement with the link shared above. Second, through the UWF Police site. The third way is to contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement by calling (888) 357-7332.

The fliers with the information about the sexual offenders include all of their physical information and attributes, their address, vehicles registered to their name, a photo, adjudication (formal judgement) date, crime description and when the offender registered.

Something not included in the flier is the offender’s position on campus, whether they are a student, faculty or staff member.

“Information [about an offender’s position on campus] is not provided on the site. However, if you are a UWF student, you can login to your myUWF account, go to the campus directory, and look up the person listed by name, and it will identify a person as a student, faculty, or staff. The persons listed on the site, currently, are students or have recently been students,” Chief of University Police Department John Warren said.

The University is taking many initiatives to ensure the safety of everyone on campus.

“We have a full-service, on campus police department; safety escort services, blue light boxes and several crime prevention programs,” Warren said.

In all residence halls this semester there are cameras for the safety of the residents, though the whereabouts of these cameras cannot be disclosed to the public.

“I don’t feel that sex offenders on campus impact my education or me personally in any way,” Straw said. “If anything, I think they are building a better future for themselves and trying to get past the mistakes they made,”

For more information visit any of the links above or visit the campus police department.

Clinton’s education policy has yet to acknowledge the dangers of neoliberal education reform

By Josh Hart

Opinions Editor

Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room. Hillary Clinton’s education policy does include the tenet that, by 2021, families with an annual income of up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state, four-year public universities, a plan that has drawn both praise and condemnation from some economists and politicians.

As enticing as the idea of free college is in a society in which 66 percent of graduates from public colleges accumulate loans with an average debt of $25,550, the reality of Clinton’s education policy, particularly in regards to the ways in which K-12 education could potentially affect both students and teachers who are interested in the college experience, is much more murky.

The insecurity comes, not as a result of a specific policy or suggestion made by the Clinton camp, but by a pattern of inaction. Clinton has yet to stiffly renounce a certain breed of education reformists who demand stricter teacher accountability and more money for charter schools.

This type of education reformation is the spiritual successor to 2001’s No Child Left Behind Act, an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 that scaled up the federal role in holding schools accountable for student outcomes, effectively swamping the American school system in a sea of standardized testing and funding anxiety on the local level.

The primary legacy of No Child Left Behind, the shift towards greater emphasis on standardized testing, is largely seen as a grave mistake. Obsessive standardized testing negatively impacted the ability of incoming college students to “think critically,” according to Sean Wernert, Faculty Academic Advisor at the University of Notre Dame. Indeed, George Bush’s former education secretary, Margaret Spellings, referred to No Child Left Behind as a “toxic brand” in American politics, largely because of the effects of rampant standardized testing.

The last eight years has seen President Obama and former education secretary Arne Duncan aligning themselves more closely with education reformism with their Race to the Top initiative. An initiative that echoes No Child Left Behind in its performance-based evaluation for teachers and a renewed emphasis on standardized testing. After nearly 16 years of education policy based on this style of reformism, the time for a return to a system that doesn’t stifle the learning process is long overdue, yet the Clinton presidential campaign is remarkably silent regarding education reform.

The language Clinton uses to describe her K-12 education policies is remarkably vague. She has made a key statement about making college more affordable, has spoken about early childhood education and computer science investments, and has relentlessly criticized the school to prison pipeline, but has largely ignored the issues of school choice, standardized testing, and student accountability.

The 2016 Democratic platform opposes high-stakes standardized testing and teacher accountability tied to testing, but Clinton’s website does not currently put forth any kind of stance on the aforementioned issues.

This lack of engagement is simply not good enough. With too many schools failing to prepare our students adequately for the future and too many families being given a ‘take it or leave it’ choice of underperforming neighborhood schools, simply offering financial relief to families will not completely tend to the dire state of American education. To fail to take a hard stance on something as pivotal as education reform so late in the campaign is indicative of a presidency of tepid meandering, of lukewarm inaction.

UWF acquires Pensacola Museum of Art in summer deal

By Mary Jo Gruber

Staff Writer

On July 1, 2016, the University of West Florida officially took ownership of the Pensacola Museum of Art from what is commonly referred to as a gift agreement. The university is now responsible for the care and endowment of the P.M.A’s impressive collection of artwork, as well as its educational programming.

“The acquisition was prompted by a conversation about preserving the unique cultural assets of the city and what role the University may be able to play in that,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, the vice president of university advancement.

The P.M.A has been an asset to downtown Pensacola for over 63 years, and the building’s history stretches even further back. The building, which would later become the P.M.A, began as Pensacola’s first permanent jail. In 1906, the city made plans to build the two-story structure in Spanish Revival Style, and it housed the city jail, courthouse, Police Department, and shore patrol.

Today, the P.M.A is home to a vast collection of pieces including European glass art and African art. The P.M.A’s Permanent Collection boasts works from Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and several others. The museum also offers a variety of educational experiences including adult art workshops and children’s summer camps.

“Over time, we will slowly but surely develop the museum as we move forward. One of the key pieces of that is focusing in on taking advantage of new opportunities and enhancing the museum in terms of increasing major exhibits,” said Kelly.

This change in ownership also comes on the heals of the recent changes to downtown Pensacola’s Gallery Night. These modifications, such as preventing area restaurants to serve alcohol before 8 p.m. during the event, suggests the focus is to be shifted back to the educational aspect and the artwork.

“UWF is the perfect home for the museum, which will play an even greater role as Pensacola continues to evolve as a dynamic cultural hub in Northwest Florida. Student involvement in UWF Historic Trust has been a successful long standing initiative, and this will be another opportunity for our students to study curation and art administration in a brand new way,” said Kelly.

The new agreement between the university and the P.M.A is sure to further art appreciation not only for University students, but for the locals as well.