Tag Archives: Argo

No Valentine? No Worries! There are plenty of fish on campus

By Kaitlin Lott

Staff Writer


Graphic courtesy of dreamstime.com.



Valentine’s Day appeared in full force this year, with giant teddy bears, bouquets of flowers and massive candy aisles at the grocery store.

While many students will be indulging in the traditions of Valentine’s Day, a select group will be waiting until midnight to stock up on the massive candy sale.

Fortunately, while waiting around for midnight, students can explore their love lives on dating sites or apps. Before the social media revolution, dating websites targeted a more mature crowd, but as social media has expanded over time, online dating has become more prominent for young adults looking for the love of their life.

Lauren Burroughs, a graduating psychology major at UWF, explained how a dating app led to her finding her one true valentine.

“Steven and I met on Plenty of Fish (POF),” Burroughs said. POF is a free online dating site that connects individuals looking to find love or simply friendship through descriptions of themselves, hobbies and who they are interested in.

“Anytime I’m thinking about wanting to get back out there or dating I use POF, because it’s free and you can get a feel for people before actually going on a date with them,” Burroughs said.

Burroughs said using a dating app is an easier way to find love in 2016. “I feel like we are in a time now where it is difficult for anyone to meet people they can have long-term relationships with,” Burroughs said.

However, Burroughs’ fiancé used POF for a different reason.

“I went on POF looking for friends, because I just moved to the area and did not know anyone,” said Steven DiMartino, a military cyber security trainer.

Besides POF, many other dating sites exist, such as Match, Zoosk, Christian Mingle, Black People Meet and more. However, unlike POF, these sites require upgrades in order to experience the site in its entirety, which costs money.

DiMartino had used eHarmony, and said it “was horrible, and it was a paid website so I thought it would be better.”

The process of making friends and establishing relationships from preschool through high school is basically set up by itself due to circumstances. As time progresses, dating and meeting friends becomes harder because dating in the workplace is discouraged, and dating on college campuses can be intimidating.

“I would never date at UWF,” Burroughs said. “UWF guys are immature, they’re not someone to expect anything more out of for the future. Now if they are almost done with school and have their head on straight, I’m not going to tell anybody to segregate themselves from a good person.”

On the other side of the fence, Ashley O’Brien, a single, graduating social work major, does not agree that UWF’s dating scene has lost its touch.

“I usually meet people through groups of friends, which is how I met my past two boyfriends,” O’Brien said.

But online dating is not completely out of the question for O’Brien.

“If I was out of the college scene, I would consider online dating,” O’Brien said. “I think there are a lot of opportunities for relationships with people on campus.”

Ashleigh Moss, administration major at Pensacola State College, offered some advice to eager singles. “A big part of dating in college and work is finding people who are into the same thing you are, even if that’s a class,” Moss said. “Join clubs that interest you, find events on campus that you may like, and be social! You can’t find love without getting to know someone.”

Whether looking for a serious relationship or a friend to Netflix and chill with, remember that true love can be found around campus, in the office or online.

For those looking to the internet for new relationships, check a dating website — you never know what fish you may catch.


de Paula twins travel more than 4,000 miles to make a splash at UWF

By Grier Wellborn

Sports Editor

 Mariana de Paula, left, and Ana are one of three sets of siblings on the UWF Swim and Dive teams. Photo courtesy Mariana de Paula.

Mariana de Paula, left, and Ana are one of three sets of siblings on the UWF Swim and Dive teams.
Photo courtesy Mariana de Paula.

Most siblings are accustomed to sharing clothes. But for a few student athletes at the University of West Florida, sharing a uniform also has become routine.

UWF is home to 15 different sports teams, and a few have pairs of siblings who have excelled at a shared sport. These athletes owe their success in sports not only to their parents, but to their siblings who may have had the greatest influence on their achievements in sports.

The women’s swimming and diving team has three sets of siblings. Mariah and Marissa Constantakos are freshmen divers from Tate High School. Julia and Karisa Kostecki are now in their junior year on the swim team from Lithia, Florida. Lastly, juniors Ana Christina and Mariana de Paula are twin sisters who came all the way to Pensacola from Santos, Brazil.

For the de Paula twins, coming to the United States together meant everything for their swimming careers. They began swimming together when they were 11 years old and have not separated since. The sisters attended the Colegio Universitas in Santos where they excelled on the swim team.

After a stellar high school swimming career, they knew they wanted to pursue swimming even further for a university in the United States. The twins knew that if they wanted to reach college coaches in not only another country, but another continent, it would be up to them to contact coaches. They sent more than 100 emails to college coaches that included their times, their strengths, and often a short video.

Their freshman year of college was spent at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. After their first year at UNF, the twins heard about the new swimming program at UWF, a program that would be able to offer them more scholarship money.

They contacted Head Coach Andrew Hancock, but he was only able to offer one spot on the team. But the de Paulas were a package deal and refused to split up. Luckily for them, a second spot opened up on the team and they were able to come to UWF as a pair.

“We have a lot of strength from coming to the United States together,” Ana Christina said. “It is not like I came here by myself, I came with family.”

They explained that while being more than 4,000 miles away from their family is hard, having each other makes it all worthwhile.

While Mariana’s strengths are in freestyle sprints and relays, Ana is best at backstroke and breaststroke distance.

“We get asked a lot about which one is better, stronger – even though we swim completely different events,” Mariana said. “That in itself is a funny aspect, because we have the same body type and went through the same conditions of training our whole lives, and still, race in very different events. But I believe that, as an athlete, you will be successful in whatever you dedicate yourself to.”

While some siblings have their own individualities such as the events they prefer to swim, they also embrace their depiction as a “dynamic duo.”

Next week, read about Jason and Josh Laatch, two brothers from Birmingham, who are both spending their collegiate basketball careers at UWF.




Get your folk on with Grizfolk at Vinyl Music Hall this Thursday

By Mackenzie Kees

Opinions Editor

 Alternative band Grizfolk, whose name is based on Adam Roth’s nickname (“Griz Adams”), saw success on the Internet after their demo for the song “The Struggle” went viral. Photo courtesy of Grizfolk’s Official Twitter Account (@grizfolk)

Alternative band Grizfolk, whose name is based on Adam Roth’s nickname (“Griz Adams”), saw success on the Internet after their demo for the song “The Struggle” went viral.
Photo courtesy of Grizfolk’s official website.

Vinyl Music Hall in downtown Pensacola showcases a diverse assortment of talented bands from all genres of music, and this week it will provide music lovers with an exceptionally gifted array of musical geniuses.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, Grizfolk, a band that defies traditional genres, is set to perform at Vinyl. The show is for all ages and tickets are on sale now for $15.

Grizfolk has produced many songs in its three-year-long career, but online buzz really started to surge after “The Struggle” was released in 2013, increasing their renown early on. The California-based band consists of five members – singer Adam Roth, bassist Brendan Willing James, keyboardist Sebastian Fritze, drummer Bill Delia and guitarist Fredrik Eriksson – who hail from all corners of the globe.

Fritze describes their music as “folk, not as a genre, but as in the idea of a community of people working together.” The laid-back quintet prides itself on being able to produce songs successfully by combining several divergent musical styles.

“It started off as a fun experiment to see how we could bring in different musical styles and make something that we all love,” Eriksson said. “But then it worked within the first few songs, so we kept going with it.”

Fellow labelmate Knox Hamilton announced that they would be accompanying Grizfolk on their Troublemaker Tour. Knox Hamilton is an indie pop rock band from Little Rock, Arkansas, best known for its title track “Work It Out,” from their debut EP “How’s Your Mind.” The band consists of brothers Boots and Cobo Copeland, the band’s lead vocalist and drummer, respectively, Brad Pierce on the keyboards and guitarist Drew Buffington.

The show’s venue, Vinyl Music Hall, dubbed simply “Vinyl” by locals, offers a unique experience for those who enjoy being up close to the band. Built in 1897 as the Escambia Masonic Lodge No. 15, this three-story building in the heart of downtown Pensacola is the perfect spot for today’s clubbers.

“I like attending shows at The Vinyl, because the venue is small enough to allow the band to provide a more intimate performance,” said Nadeem Moukaddam, a UWF senior majoring in business management.

“You’ll always have a good view and it’s connected to a bar,” said Nadine Barragan, a Pensacola State senior majoring in hospitality. “The Vinyl has a different vibe than the other bars I usually frequent, and I like that about it. The Vinyl’s a breath of fresh air.”

See Grizfolk, featuring Knox Hamilton, Dinosaur Daze and Young Natives, at 7 p.m. Thursday. Follow this link for more information on Vinyl Music Hall and its upcoming schedule. Follow these links for additional information on Grizfolk, Knox Hamilton, Dinosaur Daze and Young Natives.

Watch Grizfolk’s video “The Struggle” here.

Find out more about Knox Hamilton in their introductory video here.

Biting off more than we can chew: Chartwells partners with Argo Pantry to reduce food waste

By Kenny Detwyler

Contributing Writer

 Project Clean Plate aims to reduce food waste in Nautilus Market. Graphic courtesy of Chartwells.

Project Clean Plate aims to reduce food waste in Nautilus Market.
Graphic courtesy of Chartwells.

 The Nautilus Market, located in the University Commons, is no doubt the largest provider of food for students, faculty and staff on campus. And now, the Nautilus Market, operated by Chartwells, is introducing a new initiative to curb the amount of food being wasted in the establishment.

In the Nautilus Market, guests have the option of selecting food from several different stations, including a salad bar, sandwich station and dessert counter. The portion size of the food is determined by the market staff, but guests are welcome to get as much food as they want during their visit. This may be great for starving college students, but issues arise when a person’s eyes get a little bigger than their stomach.

“It adds up through each meal period, when students go around to three or four stations in the Market and get a meal at each one, because they’re really hungry at the time,” Chartwells’ marketing manager Danielle Rudd said. “They get through a little bit of their food, then they throw the rest out. So they’re just throwing away a ton of food, and we’re trying to make the students more aware of what they’re doing.”

The initiative being used to combat food waste is known as “Project Clean Plate.” This is an attempt by Chartwells to make guests more aware of what happens when they send uneaten food down the conveyor belt. Signs are posted at each food station to give students tips for eating responsibly in the Market. One of those tips is to “Eat with your stomach and not your eyes,” something that Chartwells is trying to stress at the Nautilus Market.

According to Rudd, the Market normally averages 225 pounds of thrown away food at the end of a given day. On Feb. 2, the amount of waste reached a staggering 264 pounds but went down 214 pounds just two days later, and shot back up to 223 in the next tally. The measurements are done on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which the staff said are their busiest days.

Food is scraped manually into plastic containers by the dishwashing staff. Those containers are then weighed at the end of the day. The weight of the wasted food is charted on a graph located next to the dish return, visible to students as they make the decision to throw away their food.

Even given the large amounts of food that are being wasted, the Nautilus Market does not plan to cut down on the amount of food being prepared.

Chartwells is instead opting to train the staff on how to serve correct portions. “We’re training our associates to be a little bit more aware of serving sizes. There’s different utensils that we have for different foods,” Rudd said. For example, the spoon used for rice may be considerably smaller than the one used for corn, in order to control the portions.

“We’re not trying to detract students from not eating, that’s what they pay for; but be more conscious of how much food you get at one time and pace yourselves,” Rudd said.

As part of Project Clean Plate, the Market now is pledging to donate food to UWF’s Argo Pantry whenever they reach their target of 211 pounds, which equals a 20 percent waste decrease.

The Argo Pantry, located in Building 21, exists for students who are in need of food or personal hygiene products. “We’re excited about the potential of what this partnership can generate,” said Lusharon Wiley, director of the Argo Pantry. “Of course being that this is the first time we’ve partnered in this manner, it’ll be hard to know until we see what the outcome will be, but we’re certainly excited about the opportunity.”

Wiley also expressed her gratitude to the Nautilus Market managers for their support of the Argo Pantry through this initiative.

Chartwells is planning to bring “Project Clean Plate” to some of its other campus dining facilities, should the program at the Nautilus Market prove successful. That would bode well for the Argo Pantry.

“We’re excited about the message it can send to students, in terms of the amount of waste we Americans produce,” Wiley said. “I think this will send a message, not only about our Argo Pantry, but about our need as Americans to be more mindful about what we do with our food.”

For more information regarding UWF dining or “Project Clean Plate” visit their website found here. Also, for information on how you can donate to or visit the Argo Pantry, visit their website found here.


Argos baseball wins home opener against Mobile

By Spenser Garber

Contributing Writer

 Ladeavon Matthews hit his Gulf South Conference-leading third home run of the season. Photo courtesy of UWF Athletic Communications.

Ladeavon Matthews hit his Gulf South Conference-leading third home run of the season.
Photo courtesy of UWF Athletic Communications.

The University of West Florida baseball team took on the University of Mobile Rams at home on Tuesday, Feb. 9. With 12 hits and 6 runs, the Argos dominated the game, beating Mobile 6-4.

Pitcher Troy Brown, a freshman at UWF, made his first collegiate start against Mobile. Brown started the game strong with three up and three down in the first inning. In the second inning, he gave up a single, and three consecutive walks followed shortly after, resulting in a run for Mobile. Jarrod Petree replaced Brown in the fourth inning.

“He’s got good stuff,” Head Coach Mike Jeffcoat said when asked about Brown’s performance. “He has pitched well in the fall and early January leading up to the season.” Jeffcoat said he believes the cold weather could have affected Troy’s game, as he comes from further south, in Lakeland.

The game started picking up for the Argos in the fifth inning when junior Ladeavon Matthews hit a three-run homer to give the Argos a 4-2 lead. This was followed by a two-run homerun by freshman Robert Lopez in the sixth inning, bringing the Argos’ lead up 6-2.

Matthews is a transfer from Lawson State Community College in Birmingham. He was an all-star at LSCC who led the team in at bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, stolen bases, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. “This (UWF) is the most talented team I’ve ever been on,” Matthews said. “It just makes me want to compete even more.”

The eighth inning saw two runs from the Rams, but ultimately did not affect the outcome of the game. The game ended with a 6-4 win for the Argos, bringing the home win-loss total to 73-13 over the past 3 seasons.

For the complete season schedule, visit the UWF baseball team’s website.



UWF’s College of Science and Engineering receives a $5 million gift

Spenser Garber

Contributing Writer

The $5 million gift is the largest gift to UWF by a living donor.
Photo by Spenser Garber.


In what came as a welcome surprise to everyone, including UWF President Judy Bense, a $5 million gift was given to the College of Science and Engineering by Harold “Hal” Marcus Jr. of Pensacola. His contribution, the largest in school history, will be given to the college to be used for “unique equipment” and “undergraduate resources.”

Along with the gift, presented at a press conference on Tuesday, the College of Science and Engineering will be renamed the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering, with Bense describing it as “a brand new building.” This will be the first named college at UWF. Brendan Kelly, vice president of University Advancement, called the donation a “turning point in the history of the university.”

Marcus, who said he felt “happiness and enthusiasm that I did the right thing,” received a degree in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech. His 25-year history with UWF is highlighted by his 10-year term on the Foundation Board from 1998 to 1989. When stating his reason for the gift, he said he “wanted the check to be significant in Judy Bense’s presidency.”

Marcus has an established fellowship with the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, in which $7,000 has been given to a graduate student every year since 1994. His $50,000 donation to the Biomechanics Lab in the Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science funded high-speed motion capture cameras.