Tag Archives: Campus

Football practice field makes debut; permanent stadium a long-term vision

By Sara Agans

Staff Writer

 This artist’s rendering is the vision of what the UWF football stadium might eventually look like. Photo by Sara Agans.

This artist’s rendering is the vision of what the UWF football stadium might eventually look like.
Photo by Sara Agans.

All year we’ve seen it being built. Piles of dirt being pushed around, machinery in use, and finally, the new Argos practice field has been completed. On April 16, it had its first introduction to the UWF community when the blue-white game was played there.

For the next two years, the inaugural UWF football team will practice there, and play home games downtown at Wahoos Stadium. But what about a long-term home stadium on campus for the team?

The current football practice field will eventually become the game field, UWF Athletic Director David Scott said. “No different than what you see out there… you don’t want to spend money twice, so you are trying to put it in the spot where it is going to be,” Scott said.

Looking at the practice field now, Scott said on one end of the field, there could potentially be a building there.

“As we are able to add throughout the years, we will just continue to build out to what will eventually be a stadium, what will eventually be a facility that we will use. As far as the timeline and how quickly that will happen, that will determine on money and giving, and even on the next (UWF) president. It’ll be interesting how that plays out,” Scott said.

UWF has a contract with the Wahoos stadium to play there for the next two years, with an option of three one-year renewals after that. Scott said he expects the team to play there for three to five years, but it could be longer.

“There’s a lot of advantages to playing downtown, because we don’t have to spend a lot of money on building. So as we are starting to build other pieces, you can only do certain things as you can afford to do them,” Scott said.

He said more than 2,000 people came to the spring game and were enjoying hanging out. “A few guys brought a couch on top of the hill and were sitting there and they had their fraternity flag with them. People came and went, similar to the scrimmage we had downtown, so it was a neat environment,” Scott said.

“The part about bringing football to campus, some people look at it as a sport, but really it is about enhancing student life, hopefully making people aware of the University of West Florida, because we have a great academic institution. There were kids around the field from Enterprise, Alabama; Tate High School; kids from in town; so you are bringing in kids that maybe wouldn’t have looked at the University of West Florida before,” Scott said.

Scott said athletics are something that brings alumni back to campus, and give current students something to rally around. “It creates that glue that ties people back to the institution, like when you see the kind of people that showed up to the game last Saturday, and you get in conversations with people that are alums from 20 years ago that tell you that they thought they would never see the day.”

“Ever since the field has been built, on Twitter you will see sororities, fraternities and general students posting pictures with the Argo head and taking pictures on the field. It’s one of those places that is iconic and uniquely UWF,” Scott said.

“Hopefully what transpires is that it helps the university grow and bring a greater awareness for the University of West Florida. But as far as the field goes, it’s just the first step in a building process; the timeline is sort of to be determined.”


Protect yourself online: Center for Cybersecurity hosts self-defense workshop

By Kelsi Gately
Staff Writer

cyber self

University of West Florida Center for Cybersecurity hosted guest speaker Glenda Snodgrass, president and lead consultant at The Net Effect LLC, on March 9. In her presentation, “Cyber Self Defense: Protecting your online identity,” she urged participants to take steps to prevent being a victim of cyber crime.

Snodgrass has been the lead consultant for The Net Effect since the company started in 1996. Her presentation covered everything people forget about when using the cyber world.

More than 16 billion computing devices exist in the world today. By 2020, this number will grow to 40.9 billion.

Cyber crime is now more profitable than the drug trade, Snodgrass said, and organized criminal gangs are even joining the cyber world. An entire underground economy is devoted to hacking.

These new cyber criminals are after everything: medical records, student academic records, email, Netflix and Uber accounts. Snodgrass encouraged everyone to take steps to protect their online accounts. This includes: Stop and think before you post something; check security settings every couple of months; do not use “login with Facebook” on other sites.

She also suggested that you lie on security questions. Come up with a place, person, pet, and school, but those answers should not relate to you at all. Someone should not be able to find the answers of security questions on your social media accounts.

Snodgrass said that laziness with reusing usernames and passwords for everything is the easiest way to be a victim of cyber crime. She also said when using the World Wide Web, users need to be aware of what is going on around them, just as when they travel to a foreign country.

“People over the age of 40 are more concerned about security,” Snodgrass said. “Those between ages 25 and 40 are less secure online, and those under 25 know and understand because they have grown up with the cyber world.”

Pay attention to what is in the background of your selfies. Your photos contain geo-tracking that can tell hackers your location accurate to within one meter. What you put on social media will be there forever.

Snodgrass mentioned that the new smart TVs also record everything that is said within range.

“I have a smart TV, I didn’t think about the microphone constantly getting information and recoding,” said Jeramey Lacey, cybersecurity major. “Should have known better.”

Snodgrass also advises to never use open Wifi. When you leave the house, turn off Wifi and Bluetooth on your phone. In just 20 minutes, a hacker can get into your device and retrieve private information. You are safer to stay on your cellular network until you can get connected to a secure, password-protected network.

And those “zombie apps,” the ones you haven’t used in months, delete them every couple of months, she said. Constantly check for updates, and if it is no longer in the app store, get rid of it.

“I need to be better about getting rid of my zombie apps,” said Niel Barbon, Pensacola State College freshman majoring in computer science.

Take the time to clean up social media accounts and update your security options. Check location settings on your phone.

Follow Snodgrass on twitter to stay up-to-date on the best ways to protect yourself. If you are interested in cybersecurity, email Eman El-Sheikh, director of the Center for Cybersecurity and professor of Computer Science, at eelsheikh@uwf.edu. For more information about the different computer science programs UWF offers, click here. Also, UWF Cyber Club is open to any student interested in learning about cybersecurity.

6th Annual Blizzard Bash: Coming Jan. 28

Sara Agans

Staff Writer

blizzard bash

Food, drinks and music are just a few things that the sixth annual Blizzard Bash will have to offer while kicking off the 2016 spring semester.

Blizzard Bash is a celebration with campus organizations giving students the opportunity to interact and learn more about groups that may be of interest to them.

This event is open and free to all current UWF students and will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday in front of the Field House.

“Blizzard Bash is designed for organizations to recruit new members to become a part of their respected organizations through music, games and a good time,” said Brandon Robinson, Blizzard Bash coordinator and a UWF senior majoring in communications. “Our organizations are given the chance to interact with each other on a whole different level. It’s sort of like our winter version of Argopalooza. It’s quite the experience.”

According to the UWF website, organizations will have the opportunity to compete for prizes while participating in the annual sled race, as well as a snowman-building contest.

Tara Kermiet, assistant director of the University Commons and Student Involvement, said there will be up to 75 student organizations at this event. She said it will be a great opportunity to discover what student organizations are on campus, considering that there were a few new organizations that were started in the fall.

“This is a traditional tabling event where student organizations stand at a table and try to sell their student organization to potential members and to students on campus,” Kermiet said.

“There is a lot of people, so even if you’re not looking to join a student organization, it’s a great opportunity to meet new students and interact with different groups on campus.”

Michael Krueger, UWF senior majoring in public relations, said, “Coming to any event put on by this school gets you more acclimated to the campus culture that happens at UWF, which is very unique. I think that by going to these events, it expands your mind with more about what an Argonaut is: not just a school representation, but also a way of life.”

The women’s basketball game vs. Lee University will conclude Blizzard Bash, starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Field House, followed by the men’s basketball game at 7:30 p.m. The Athletics Department will be giving away free t-shirts to UWF students while supplies last.