Tag Archives: Commons

DJ Ziggy becomes first-ever winner of UWF Battle of the DJs

By Mary Jo Gruber


CAB’s first ever Battle of the DJs drew in a large crowd on Thursday night. Photo by Mary Jo Gruber

Staff Writer

The University of West Florida Campus Activity Board held its first-ever Battle of the DJs on Thursday, Sept. 15, and DJ Ziggy walked away with the title of UWF DJ King.

The event featured three DJs from the Gulf Coast region who competed for the title.

Ziggy went up against fellow DJs Mr. Ooowee and J5 in three rounds of music-mixing challenges. The themes for the first two rounds were “old school” and “artist mash-up.” The DJs were given five minutes each to put their best musical mix forward.

The final round, called “a minute to win it,” allowed a final 60 seconds for each performer to win over the crowd in front of a panel of judges consisting of UWF faculty and staff members.

The event took place in the Commons Auditorium and was free to all UWF students. The room was lit with bright neon lights and strobes as attendees danced and sang along to their favorite tunes.

The event MC was B.Rob, a UWF student and aspiring entertainer. He encouraged the crowd to document their experience on Snapchat and to utilize the filters created for the event on the app. Many students did and were able to share videos and pictures of themselves with “CAB Battle of the DJs,” as an overlay to their friends on Snapchat.

“We’ve really never seen an event like this at UWF,” said Jay-Ana Benavente, CAB Co-President. “It’s been really nerve-wracking, but we’re all really excited.”

Benavente said her fellow CAB Co-President Lonsard Dennis found the inspiration for the event in successful DJ battles they heard about from other school campus activity boards. Preparation for the event had been underway since June.

Eryka Wallace, assistant to the dean of communication in University College, was among the staff members selected for the judges’ panel, and said she was excited to participate.

“They have provided with us with a scoring sheet, but what I’m really most looking for is the audience interaction that the DJs can bring,” she said.

Wallace also serves as an advisor to the African-American Student Association and has been a judge for previous CAB events. “I’ve been a part of judging for the CAB Talent Show as well as some pageants, but nothing really quite like this,” she said.

Other faculty and staff members included on the judging panel were Erica Taylor, assistant professor of biology, Christopher Hawkins, graduate assistant for reservations, Allison Dahleen, assistant operations manager of the University Commons and Tilden Whitfield, program specialist.

A tribute to history and tradition, Alpha Males make their mark on the yard

By Kaitlin Lott

Staff Writer


 Alpha Phi Alpha members hosted a yard show on April 18 to entertain and educate the UWF community about their fraternity. Photo courtesy of Reginald Watkins.

Alpha Phi Alpha members hosted a yard show on April 18 to entertain and educate the UWF community about their fraternity.
Photo courtesy of Reginald Watkins.

As a crowd formed outside the Commons, spotlights hit five men dressed in black and gold awaiting their moment to show UWF who they are and what they stand for.

On Monday, April 18, members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. hosted a yard show at their bench as participants of Diversity Week at UWF.

Organizations that are a part of the National Pan Hellenic Council (NPHC) host yard shows to not only entertain but also to educate others about their fraternity or sorority. These showcases might also include stepping, strolling and chanting information as related to their history and traditions.

“The Yard Show ‘Mu Theta’s Very Own’ was to share a culture with the University of West Florida that they have never experienced, while at the same time working to establish Greek unity on our campus,” Kali Richardson, a senior exercise science major and secretary of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., said.

Members of NPHC Greek refer to being on the “the yard” as the campus community an organization is on. However, Mu Theta has not been on the yard at UWF very long. The Mu Theta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. was reinstated on campus on Aug. 5, 2015.

“I was excited to see Mu Theta established on our campus as a member of the NPHC, because I want to experience being on a campus where there are more diverse Greek organizations and where we can have more events like yard shows,” Alexis Covington, senior major and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., said.

“The Mu Theta Yard Show was a tribute to the brothers that came before us,” Shareef White, senior public relations major and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., said. “We were honoring the past and pushing forward towards the future.”

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated was founded on Dec. 4, 1906, in Ithaca, New York, on the campus of Cornell University. The early beginnings of the fraternity served as a study and support group for minority students who faced racial prejudice educationally and socially at Cornell. The Jewel founders, with the help of early leaders, laid the foundation for Alpha Phi Alpha’s principles of scholarship, fellowship, good character and the uplifting of humanity.

The men of Mu Theta are actively working to raise the standards of everyone around them to encourage the campus, organizations and individuals to grow together and create a united front. To that end, the chapter is always looking for quality men to add to their ranks and keeping those men as lifelong members in their communities.

“Every goal we have set for ourselves we have reached — having the highest fraternity GPA on the campus, being recognized on both a district and regional level — and our goals currently are to not only to keep raising the bar but to also consistently top ourselves and push ourselves to display what is means to be an Alpha Male,” Richardson said.

For more information about Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated visit Alpha Phi Alpha or for local chapter information visit Pensacola Alphas.




UWF encourages students to Take Back the Night at annual event this Thursday

By Sydney O’Gwynn

Staff Writer

 At last year’s Take Back the Night, members of Alpha Gamma Delta joined hands around the memorial for Susan Leigh Morris. Morris was a student at UWF and a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta when she was found slain on campus with signs of a sexual assault. Photo courtesy of UWF’s Take Back the Night 2015 Facebook page.

At last year’s Take Back the Night, members of Alpha Gamma Delta joined hands around the memorial for Susan Leigh Morris.
Morris was a student at UWF and a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta when she was found slain on campus with signs of a sexual assault.
Photo courtesy of UWF’s Take Back the Night 2015 Facebook page.

According to the Take Back the Night Foundation, one out of every three women and one out of every six men experience some sort of sexual violence every year. In addition, less than 50 percent report these crimes. The University of West Florida’s Wellness Center wants UWF students to change that.

The 17th annual Take Back the Night event, hosted by the Wellness Center, will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the Commons Auditorium on campus. The event features various informational booths, guest speakers and tributes to survivors of sexual assault.

The Take Back the Night Foundation started over half a century ago in Europe, and aims to forge relationships and create a feeling of safety by coming together with the community and hosting events. Its mission statement, according to its website, is to “end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and all other forms of sexual violence.”

The Wellness Center holds two events regarding sexual assault awareness, one in the fall called Rock Out the Red Zone, and one in the spring, which is Take Back the Night.

In addition to holding the two outreach events, the Wellness Center also encourages students to take the pledge to end sexual assault on the It’s On Us website. It’s On Us is a website where anyone can take a pledge to “recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, to identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, to intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, [and] to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.”

For more information about Take Back the Night, It’s On Us or other ways you can get involved in stopping sexual assault, please contact the Wellness Center at 850-473-7112 or visit the website. If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, please contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 850-474-2420 or visit the website.

HSO empowers students to help earthquake victims in Haiti

Kaitlin Lott

Staff Writer


UWF students release balloons in memory of those who lost their lives to the earthquake in Haiti. Photo by Kaitlin Lott.


The Commons Auditorium was silent Tuesday night as UWF’s Haitian Student Organization hosted its annual Earthquake Memorial Ceremony on Tuesday.

In 2010, a magnitude seven earthquake shook the lives and foundations of those living in Haiti, destroying not only their homes but their hope as well. HSO Event Coordinator Nathalia Jean-Baptiste said, “Many of those affected by the earthquake thought the world was ending.”

Jean-Baptiste began the ceremony by introducing students Melissa King, a psychology major, and Changlena Delpe, a biology major, who filled the room with musical notes of the Haitian National Anthem.

The conclusion of the anthem was followed by a presentation explaining the immense impact of the earthquake. Emotions ran high as graphic images were shown on the screen and realities of the misfortune set in.

“I can’t really put into words how much this event means to me, seeing an event like that on the news and wondering if your family is okay or not,” Jean-Baptiste said .

Soon after the presentation, King took the stage once again, singing “Better” by Jessica Reedy, uplifting those in attendance. But before sharing her talents, King made it clear that this event was not just for entertainment.

“Getting back to what is important and making our country strong is what we are here to do,” King said.

Next, Dominique Irons, a biology major, graced the audience with the lyrical dance to “Are You Listening” by Kirk Franklin, created for Haiti’s earthquake relief. As she danced, photos of the earthquake flashed behind Irons, emphasizing the depth of the disaster.

After the speakers and performances ended, students were asked to follow HSO members to the Cannon Green to end the memorial on a hopeful note.

As students formed a circle on the Greens, with balloons and candles in hand, HSO President Villardia Philistin and Vice President Shannen Predelus began lighting candles to illuminate the night. With the thoughts of those affected by the earthquake in mind, a prayer was spoken, candles lights whispered away and balloons set free to ascend  in remembrance of the many lives lost.

Philistin said she finds peace in seeing young adults come together for something that is not necessarily in their control.

“My favorite part was the outside segment, because it showed me that no matter who you are or if you did or did not lose loved ones in such a tragedy, we can all come together and show reverence to the ones who did,” Philistin said.

The memorial encouraged time for peace and reflection. Although students were eager to show support, it was evident they also wanted to show their condolences and respect.

“It is important to me to show my support to HSO and while paying respect to a terrible disaster in Haiti that could have happened here,” Myles Kelley said, a communication major and active member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

This year, HSO also encouraged students and faculty to donate clothes and shoes for children in Haiti who have been affected by the destruction.

Jean-Baptiste emphasized that donating to Haiti is a small part of a large cause, but overall it makes a big difference.

“This earthquake is a part of our nation,” Jean-Baptiste said. “Just like we are Americans and remember 9/11, we remember the earthquake as if it was our home.”

In 2013, HSO was founded at UWF to share a piece of Haitian culture with the campus. HSO continues to educate students and faculty about Haitian traditions, culture and lifestyle while advocating for their country.

HSO will be holding general body meetings throughout the semester, inspiring students to come and learn about what Haiti has to offer. For information on the earthquake, donations and HSO visit HSO’s Facebook page.