Category Archives: Opinion

Opinion: Valentine’s Day is an overemphasized holiday

By Taylor Hall
Staff Writer

Roses, chocolates, and big stuffed bears. Valentine’s day is the kick in the head that makes you “prove” your love to your significant other. But is a date on the calendar really a reason to spoil one another?

Guns on campus: creating more problems than solutions

By Tom Moore
Staff Writer

On Feb. 3, the Florida House of Representatives passed two gun laws – one, which passed by a 80-38 vote, allows permit holders to carry their weapons openly in public. The other would allow permit holders to carry concealed on college campuses.

The vote was welcomed by gun owners across the state.

Trump’s ‘travel ban’ finds both support, resistance

By William Watson
Staff Writer

On Jan. 27, President Trump signed an executive order imposing a 90-day ban on immigration from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

There is some confusion over the specifics of the so-called “ban”; however, it was something he did mention during his campaign.

Let freedom ring: our First Amendment freedoms, specifically

By Tom Moore
Staff Writer

As a responsible newsman, I take the protection of the Constitution and Bill of Rights seriously. There has been so much emphasis in the news lately on the Second Amendment – the right to bear arms – that the average citizen seems to forget the protections we all enjoy under the First Amendment.

Meryl Streep attacks President-Elect Donald Trump during Golden Globes speech

By Taylor Hall
Staff Writer
Meryl Streep graced the stage last Sunday at the Golden Globes ceremony in Hollywood as she accepted the Cecille B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. Without saying his name once, Streep shared her opinion of President-elect Donald Trump.

Opinion: Fake news is everywhere

By Emily Doyle
Staff Writer
I know this is going to come as a shock, but not everything you read on the Internet is true.

Throughout this election, something even more terrifying than the candidates happened: false news popped up everywhere, and people ate it up like turkey on Thanksgiving.

Opinion: Why we’re right to be afraid of Donald Trump

By Josh Hart
Opinions Editor
Let me be as clear as I can. Donald Trump’s victory means our next president will be a non-politician who proposed a catalog of campaign promises he probably won’t be able to keep; a foreign policy novice whose consistent threatening of foreign government and grandiose vows to renegotiate historical alliances has revealed his immense arrogance and lack of knowledge ; a crude, cruel braggart who mocks and endangers people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, the physically disabled, and even prisoners of war.

Opinion: Reaction to Trump’s sexual assault claims creates unsafe environment for female college students

By Josh Hart

Opinions Editor

On Oct. 7, the Washington Post leaked a tape featuring presidential candidate and creamsicle-orange crypto-fascist Donald Trump bragging about his ability to “grab women by the pussy” whenever he wants because of his wealth and celebrity status. In the weeks following the tape’s release, over a dozen women have come forward claiming that he sexually assaulted or harassed them. During the third and final presidential debate, Trump denied all allegations, maintaining that they were caused by the women’s desire for fame and the Democrats’ desire to derail his campaign. He has attempted to deflect blame by attacking Bill Clinton for his history of predatory sexual behavior, though, it should be noted, Bill Clinton is not currently running for the highest office in the land. It should also be noted that I am, in no way, defending Bill Clinton. Disgust at predatory behavior should be bipartisan.

In just a few weeks, the Trump campaign has done its damnedest  to undo years of slow progress. In the most public arena, sexual assault is, once again, being treated like a political bargaining chip. Sexist stereotypes of money-hungry, lying women squealing “rape” in order to take from the wealthy and infallible, have once again become common parlance among people, primarily men, who either don’t want to admit that they live in a culture that demeans and silences women or gleefully partake in this culture. Although Americans around the country have reacted in disgust to Trump’s comments, his campaign’s response—as well as the reaction of some media outlets—will probably convince women to be quiet about their own assaults. For sexual assault survivors, this is both an insult and a devastating attack in the fight against predators, the fight against people like Donald Trump.

Trump has shown the characteristic gall to go on the attack. In response to a New York Times article in which two women claim Trump made unwanted sexual advances, his campaign staff stated “this entire article is fiction…a completely false, coordinated character assassination.”  When asked about the allegations during the third debate, Trump accused  Hillary Clinton of “getting these people to step forward. If it wasn’t that, they get their 10 minutes of fame.”

These statements don’t just delegitimize the women who have come forward with stories of assault and harassment by Donald Trump—they delegitimize every sexual assault survivor’s experience.

This is of special pertinence to college students. That means you, the reader. The sexual assault statistics on the average university campus, where you probably spend a significant amount of your time, are simply appalling. RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest Network, reports that 11.2 percent of all students experience rape or sexual. Only 20 percent of female student victims age 18-24 report the crimes to law enforcement.

Make no mistake. I could not state this any clearer. If you are brushing off Donald Trump’s history of sexual assault, if you are brushing off Bill Clinton’s history of sexual assault, or anyone’s history of sexual assault, for the sake of political expediency, you are effectively excusing the potential experiences of people in your community. What could possibly be more callous than ignoring the pain of the people around you? What could be more cruel and thoughtless and stupid than ignoring the efficacy of words whenever they are cited as being harmful to the potential recovery of someone who has been victimized, but accepting the efficacy of words when they engage the political machine?

Skepticism is important when it comes to political scandal, but skepticism, like every other kind of thought, also requires nuance and context. When a presidential candidate openly states on tape that he gropes and grabs women’s genitals without their expressed consent, and then women come forward claiming he did in fact do those things to them, some version of common sense needs to kick in for the people who want him to be the public face of our nation. This isn’t about objectivity—it’s about evaluating all the facts and reporting on them accordingly. This is an issue where Trump’s version of events cannot be allowed to dominate the discourse. Not all facts are created equal. All people, including women on college campuses or anywhere else, are created equal and should be allowed to come forward when assaulted or abused. A vote for Trump is a vote for silence, a vote for the destruction of female autonomy, and a vote for blatant refutation of all that is known to good and best and true.

Opinion: Bob Dylan remains mysterious after Nobel Prize win

By Josh Hart

Opinions Editor

Bob Dylan, until 2016, has been a figure of contention and division.

In 1966, Dylan, existing as an amphetamine-addled prophet in the Age of Aquarius;  divided the world between the cool and the uncool, the hip and the unhip, and the beatific and the sorrowful. In 1979, Dylan, in an intense religious fervor, divided the world into the saved and the unsaved, the saved and damned, the servers and the served.

In 2016, it seems that the world has united in praise of Bob Dylan, of the brilliant modernist literature that he ever-so-deftly intertwined with folk archetypal writing. He’s the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. The powers that be, whom Bob Dylan has spent most of his career smirking at, have awarded him with a marker of approval, of legitimacy.

In a Dylanesque maneuver, the bard of troubling times has done almost nothing to publicly acknowledge his victory. The Nobel Prize is not mentioned on Dylan’s website. The Nobel Prize committee can’t find Dylan. Some speculate that Dylan’s playing guitar on stage for the first time since 2012 at a recent festival was a form of celebration for his Nobel Prize.

I reached out to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, publisher of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and a friend of Dylan’s, to ask about how Dylan feels about his victory.

“It’s complicated,” Ferlinghetti said. “I’m not sure how he feels about it. I’m not sure that anyone could know. He’ll keep it mysterious, like he does for just about everything.”

I’m not sure that his fans would want it any other way.

Viewpoint: Coming home to UWF

By Claudia Carlson

Staff Writer

I transferred to UWF last spring of 2016 from the University of Mississippi. I was not happy at Ole Miss, but transferring to UWF was a scary process for me, I’m sure many who have transferred before know what I am talking about.

Ole Miss had been my dream school ever since I was a sophomore at Pensacola Catholic High School.  I’m from Pensacola, so there has always been a stigma around attending UWF for college, at least for me. I’m not saying that I ever thought UWF was a bad school, I just simply never considered it as an option. I didn’t even apply to UWF my senior year of high school.

My whole life, everyone around me made it a point to voice how important it was for me to get away, to get out of Pensacola for college. Of course, I never even considered going to UWF, I felt like I would disappoint everyone around me.

Fast-forward to my freshman year at Ole Miss. I was nervous, a little homesick and I didn’t know anyone. Those are all normal feelings for a freshman girl who just moved six hours away from home. The thing is, I thought those feelings would subside after sometime, and they did, just not completely.

Throughout my time at Ole Miss I felt happy, but I didn’t feel comfortable. I joined my “dream” sorority, which I also thought would make things better, but I always felt like I didn’t quite fit in. Again, I thought all those feelings would go away. They never fully did.

I attended Ole Miss for two and a half years, and every single time I would drive back to school after coming home for a weekend—which I did way too often—I would cry half the drive back to Oxford. Something just didn’t feel right.

It wasn’t until September of 2015, the beginning of my junior year, that I finally decided to transfer. I remember sitting in one of my classes and feeling so trapped about having another two years left at Ole Miss. It was a miserable feeling. After class, I called my mom sobbing, begging her to let me come home after the semester was over. Like the amazing mother she is, she said of course I could come home, and we would make it work. My father was another story, but he finally came around, and we are all happy with my decision now.

I applied to UWF immediately, attended a transfer workshop and made an appointment with an advisor… three times. I was really excited for this change and new opportunity, but also terrified. Ole Miss was all I knew, and I was about to change everything.

As I mentioned, I have just started my second semester at UWF, and I can honestly say it was the best decision I have ever made. I love all of my classes. I have formed a relationship with all of my teachers that I truly treasure. I’m not afraid to go up and talk to them, or even go to class. Everyone I have met during my short time at UWF has been so nice, which I can honestly say was not always the case at my other school. I feel comfortable and like I belong here, which is all I ever wanted.

I just want to share with everyone what I wish I would have known sooner; there is nothing wrong with doing something for you, something to make you happy, even if it may disappoint someone you care about. Also, UWF is an incredible school. GO ARGOS!!