Category Archives: Opinion

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!!

Review: ‘Chasing the Dragon,’ though doe-eyed and sappy, paints a frightening portrait of addiction

By Josh Hart

Opinions Editor

 

The subjects on the screen are chosen carefully: an Eagle Scout, a cheerleader, a corporate account executive, the mother of an infant child. The subjects on screen are a veritable cross section of mundane America. We are soon made aware of the fact that all of them abused prescription painkillers. The sentiment is clear: Opiate abuse has reached the heart of America. Beware the alkaloid compound devil. William S. Burroughs, the pope of dope, has astrally projected onto the mindscape of our children. The end is nigh, etc.

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Title sequence to “Chasing the Dragon,” produced by the FBI

“Chasing The Dragon,” produced at the request of FBI director James Comey, is exactly the kind of hyperbolic anti-drug statement that’s been making the rounds, with a variety of cosmetic changes, since the mid-20th century. This is a PSA, a distinctly artistically shot one, but a PSA nonetheless. The film features direct testimony from overdose survivors and members of the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The message is clear: We, as a society, need to pay attention to the growing specter of prescription opiate abuse.

It’s so easy to balk at the film – at its sincerity, at its moral absolutism, at its clear intent. But that would be viciously cynical, and I don’t think that quite fits the millennial praxis. New “New Sincerity” is in. Genuine feelings are in. A desire for comfort is in. What kind of person would I be if I bristled at an anti-drug PSA? A post-structuralist? A practitioner of rhetorical image analysis? A jerk?

I wasn’t even swayed by the statistics cited in the film, the FBI and DEA research showing that about 46,000 people die from drug abuse annually in the U.S., more than the combined number of Americans killed in car accidents and because of gun violence. What does that mean to me? It’s 2016. We exist in a world in which any and all discourse is non-hierarchal. I can know anything or nothing, entirely at my leisure. What do statistics have to do with me?

You know what did sway me, though? Do you know what did make me feel immense despair at the plight of opiate addicts? Cierra Vallejo. Overdosed at 22. The film follows her mother, bleary-eyed. We see baby pictures of her daughter – happy kid, round face. Dead at 22. Polaroids of the discarded needles in her bedroom. 22. Too young.

Message received. Public service committed. No more pills for our youth. Football season is over. “Chasing the Dragon” did its job.

 

 

Clay Cane shows remarkable lack of understanding in Kaepernick opinion piece

 Josh Hart

Opinions Editor

Professional Football star Colin Kaepernick sparked significant controversy on Aug. 26 when he refused to stand for the national anthem before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. Kaepernick explained, simply, in an interview with NFL that “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

Clay Cane, in his CNN opinion piece “I was on board with Kaepernick until…” displays almost astounding ignorance in regards to the parasitic, deeply entrenched presence of institutionalized racism in our model of government. I maintain that Cane’s views are not only deeply misinformed, they are also emblematic of what I assume to be a position of privilege held by the author. He has, miraculously, managed to be a man of color without accumulating the knowledge that the fate of systematic racism is not, in fact, determined by any sort of upcoming election. It is deeply embedded in our culture and, to leave it up simply to political machinations, is to be too lazy to unpack the psychological condition of racism.

Cane’s argument is as follows: I agreed with Kaepernick’s protest until “His remarks to the press segued into a rant of the type you hear from the conservative right.” He is referring to Kaepernick’s statement that “I mean, you have Hillary who’s called black teens or black kids super predators. You have Donald Trump who’s openly racist. I mean, we have a presidential candidate [Hillary Clinton] who’s deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me, because if that was any other person, you’d be in prison.”

Cane proceeds to blame the specter of racism on the potential election of Donald Trump and criticizes Kaepernick for even daring to criticize Clinton, saying “To lump Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the same category is wrong, offensive and uninformed. Trump isn’t even in the same category as former President George W. Bush or former Vice President Dick Cheney. Donald Trump isn’t a Republican or even a conservative. He’s a rich, famous alleged businessman who has money to burn and a disturbing case of narcissism. It’s irresponsible for Kaepernick to insinuate that Clinton should be in jail, with words that skirt close to the shouts of “Lock her up!” from the crowd during Gov. Chris Christie’s remarks at the Republican National Convention.”

This statement represents a crucial misunderstanding of the source of Kaepernick’s anger. For many people of color, the hell of racism is firmly bipartisan. People of color have survived roughly 400 years of mistreatment. These 400 years have included multiple regime changes and multiple presidencies, and yet dissolution among the black community remains. Hillary Clinton, for many disenfranchised people of color, might as well be Donald Trump for all it matters. Also, considering Clinton’s history of racist gaffes and her longtime support of a war on drugs that actively profiled and targeted black people, Kaepernick’s apparent reticence in the face of what will, probably, be a Clinton presidency is more than founded.

Cane goes on to address Kaepernick directly, saying “Colin Kaepernick, I want to tell you something: I am a black man who lives in a black and predominantly immigrant neighborhood. I, my friends, my family and my neighbors cannot afford a Trump presidency. Our very being would be at risk — on issues from health care to immigration, to the right to marry to the makeup of the Supreme Court and all that would portend.”

What Cane doesn’t understand is that the POC community can’t afford a Clinton presidency almost as much as we can’t afford a Trump presidency. We deserve better than any presidential candidate who is connected in any way, tangibly or intangibly, to any kind of racist policy, legislation, or even coded language. People of color do not deserve to have the lesser of two evils held over our heads. We should not be forced to choose between two candidates that do not represent us, and to criticize Kaepernick for, in some way recognizing this, is almost cowardly.

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.

New and established campus clubs abound, but must be renewed each fall

By Mackenzie Kees

Opinions Editor

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Instructions on starting a new club on campus can be found on the UWF Student Organizations page.

As the spring semester draws to a close, the deadline for renewing student organizations for the fall semester of 2016 draws nearer.

Registered student organizations, or RSOs, are the clubs that do not fall under one of these categories: Departmental Student Organizations, Sports Clubs and Recognized Fraternities and Sororities. RSOs are organized by one or two students who believe starting a new organization is necessary, usually because there is not a club of the same type already in existence. These students simply recognize a need and strive to fill it.

Stacey Lee Field, a UWF junior majoring in psychology, is a Student Involvement Navigator and founder of a new club, Eating Disorders Anonymous. In regard to registering a new club, Field said new organizations can register any time. “They just need to fill out a request on ArgoPulse, then have a consultation meeting with the Assistant Director of University Commons and Student Involvement, Tara Kermiet, and then go through the final step…which is to meet with the Campus Collaboration Board.”

However, the last Campus Collaboration Board meeting for this semester was held on April 22, which means any new organization hopefuls must wait until the fall semester to register a new club.

For clubs that are already active, the renewal process is a bit different. Using ArgoPulse, an organization officer can renew his or her club by selecting the “Update Now” button at the top of his organization’s portal. In order to remain active in the fall semester, this process must be completed before the Sept. 2 deadline of 5 p.m.

Several new organizations have been formed in recent months and should be fully operational in the fall. Some of the more recently formed organizations students can expect to see in the fall include a Creative Writing club, a Brunch and Cinema club, UWF College Democrats club, and the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement. More information on each can be found on ArgoPulse.

Eating Disorders Anonymous, or EDA, is a 12-step support group, Field said, for “any students who are looking to recover or have recovered from an eating disorder.” The fledging club has not set a meeting schedule yet, but interested students should expect to meet at least once a week. “I feel that it is filling a need on our campus that has never been met before,” Field said. “Eating disorders are on the rise on campuses nationwide.”

Another relatively new organization, the Creative Writing Club, “is an author-focused group that offers a space for writers of all kinds of craft to gather and share their work,” according to Lexus Deen, the group’s co-president. “We write from a variety of prompts brainstormed by our members…We encourage discussion about not only our own writing, but that of other authors who provide inspiration for us.”

Students are encouraged to check their ArgoPulse portal frequently to keep up to date with new student organizations. For students interested in forming a new club, check out the video on UWF’s student organizations page to find out everything one needs to know about registering a new club.

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Eating Disorders Anonymous is a group dedicated to helping students support one another through their shared struggle from eating disorders.
Photo courtesy of Stacey Lee Field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A UWF student’s guide to summer in Pensacola

By Claudia Carlson

Staff Writer

 Pensacola Beach is just one of many options for summer fun. Photo courtesy http://www.destination360.com/.

Pensacola Beach is just one of many options for summer fun.
Photo courtesy http://www.destination360.com/.

If you will be staying in Pensacola this summer, whether it’s because you live here or are staying for classes, a job or an internship, this is the guide to help you have a fun-filled summer.

Pensacola has always been known for its beautiful beaches, but recently, Pensacola has been expanding and becoming so much more. Of course, during the summer, the beach is the No. 1 attraction, but unless you’re a mermaid, you are going to want some other activities to fill your free time.

Here is a list of the 10 things I would recommend for you do this summer to ensure that you spend it doing the best things Pensacola has to offer.

  1. The beach – You’re living in Pensacola during the summer, so take the opportunity to soak up the sun and have some fun. There are tons of places for you to eat or just hang out. You can go play volleyball at Flounders, eat at Casino Beach Bar (the food is amazing), or simply go to 17th Avendia park at the church and lay out on the beach with no tourists.
  2. Blue Wahoos games – Something that makes Pensacola so special is that we have our own minor league baseball team with a beautiful stadium right on the water. There are multiple games a week and the tickets are reasonably priced. Get a group together and you will have the best time. For tickets and more information go to: http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t4124.
  3. Dine Downtown – Downtown really has the best food in Pensacola. Two wonderful sushi restaurants — Nom and Khans – are delicious; Union Public House just opened up with fantastic burgers; Carmen’s Lunch Bar has the best eclectic tapas that you won’t get anywhere else; and Hub Stacey’s is the place for hearty, delicious sandwiches with a great atmosphere. There are so many places for any kind of appetite.
  4. Naval Aviation Museum – Pensacola is known for being a Navy town, and we have the best museum to prove it. It’s perfect for a rainy day, or one of those too-hot days. You don’t have to have a love for airplanes or the Navy; it really is just an interesting and fun attraction for all types and ages. And it is free! http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org.
  5. Historic Tours of Downtown Pensacola — Pensacola is an historic town with so much activity. The Pensacola Historic Village has multiple tours where you can see how Pensacola was during the 1700s. During the tour, guides are dressed up and doing activities that were done in the 1700s (like churning butter and cooking over a fire), recreating early living in Pensacola. There is also a ghost tour that takes you to all the haunted places of Downtown Pensacola. http://www.historicpensacola.org/plan-your-visit/tours-exhibits/
  6. Thursday nights in downtown – If you go out on a Thursday night, you will find many deals and places to go. Wild Greg’s and Seville Quarter offer admission for 18+ (instead of the usual 21+), O’Rileys has drink specials, and just in general everyone seems to go out in Pensacola on Thursdays.
  7. The forts – Fort Pickens and Fort Barrancas offer tours, or a place to go fishing or have a picnic. It’s a little bit of a drive into Pensacola Beach, but it’s beautiful and full of history. https://www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/fort-pickens.htm  and https://www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/fort-barrancas.htm.
  8. Scuba diving – Experienced scuba divers will want to visit the Oriskany, which is a former aircraft carrier that was sunk 12 miles offshore to become an artificial reef. http://www.ussoriskanydiver.com
  9. Tubing in Black Water River – This technically isn’t in Pensacola, it’s in Milton, but it is so much fun to leisurely float down the river on a hot summer day. My favorite place to go is Bob’s Canoes: http://www.blackwatercanoe.com.
  10. Florida Wildlife Sanctuary – For animal lovers like myself, I would highly recommend visiting or volunteering at the Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida, a nonprofit organization that provides care to injured or orphaned indigenous wildlife at 105 N. S Street. They have owls, bald eagles, turtles, etc. After they have rehabilitated the animals, they are released back into the wild. http://www.pensacolawildlife.com.

“I love staying in Pensacola for the summer,” Juliann Laird, UWF junior, said. “I am taking one summer class and I will be working a lot, but I will be relaxing on the beach as much as I can. That is what I love about summer. Even though I am still taking a class, it doesn’t feel like it. It is a lot more laid back and enjoyable.”

Pensacola is so much more than just a college town, which is what makes UWF so special. Most college towns are just that – a college town – but with Pensacola you get a really up-and-coming downtown area, the beach, as well as a lot of beautiful nature. It is the best of all worlds, which is why I believe staying in Pensacola this summer is the best way to go.

 

 

Making instructor evaluations mandatory was a poor decision

By Spenser Garber

Contributing Writer

evaluation

This is what students see when they log in to MyUWF – links to online evaluations of all their instructors.
Photo by Spenser Garber.

It’s that time of the semester again – time to fill out Student Assessments of Instructors (SAIs). It is the last thing on any student’s mind as exams and post-semester plans take up their attention.

Unfortunately, beginning this semester, the SAIs are mandatory for all students, according to an e-mail sent out to University of West Florida faculty and students. This comes after a drop in SAI completions resulting from the switch from paper to online evaluations a few years ago.

In an effort to boost completion rates, grades and transcripts now are being held hostage until a student fills out his or her assessment of the instructor. While it only takes a few minutes to fill out the SAI, it is unjustifiable to force students to fill out assessments to acquire their grades and transcripts when the class has already been paid for and the work has already been done.

Even though the evaluations are labeled as mandatory, after a threshold of 90 percent has been passed, the whole class can then view their grades and transcripts. From my experience, many of the students will just think they’ll be part of the 10 percent and not complete the SAIs. Similar to the bystander effect, students will think that “someone else” will come along and do the work that needs to be done. Also, the grades are only held until the first day of the next semester, so many people won’t be fazed by the “mandatory” SAIs.

To combat the bystander effect, some teachers are providing incentives to entice students to fill out their SAIs. The concept of incentivizing students to fill out SAIs is nothing new. I have taken several classes in which the teachers offer extra credit for completing evaluations without them being mandatory.

Along with these issues affecting students, the instructors can’t see their evaluations until the first day of the new semester, even if 100 percent of their SAIs have been completed. This gives no turnaround time for the instructors to modify and improve their classes to provide a better classroom experience for the students.

The establishment of mandatory SAIs was not a great decision by the University of West Florida administration. I would be surprised if completion rates went up by more than 10 percent.