Tag Archives: UWF Argo

History demands students Take Back the Night

By Melissa Pisarski

Contributing Writer

It was a Monday night in January of 1993 when 21-year-old UWF student Susan Leigh Morris went missing. On that same foggy night, she was raped and murdered by a man who frequented the same hangouts in the University Commons that Morris enjoyed, and who was sleeping among on-campus residents in the building then known as Dorm 68.

Morris was a commuting Communication Arts student and sister of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority who flaunted the title of Sigma Alpha Mu Sweetheart and lent her time to Campus Activity Board. She was like so many of us.

The pages of The Voyager that week were heavy with outrage, fear and sympathy. Details of the crime colonized the front page while student-submitted editorials demanding campus safety reform awaited readers on page four.

University administrators and campus police responded with plans to tighten security in light of the tragedy. Plans to “consolidate night classes into one area of the school, increase lighting throughout campus, and educating students about safety” were all outlined measures reported in the Jan. 19, 1993, Voyager article written by Robert Powelson and Bob Mason regarding security concerns.

Other ads and articles in the Voyager advertised self-defense classes or encouraged students to sign checks made out to “Adopt-a-Light” that would benefit efforts to illuminate the poorly-lit campus.


This advertisement ran in the Jan. 19, 1993, edition of The Voyager following the murder of Susan Leigh Morris.

At the time, the blue lights that pepper our grounds were a new development. They had only been installed the year before, and technical kinks were still being worked out by campus authorities. The blue light in the area where Morris was attacked had not been working that night.

Though the murder of Morris shocked the university, it demonstrated the severity of a violent trend.

In 1992, just a year before Morris was raped and killed, a fraternity had named one of their parties after a notorious incident of mass sexual harassment of more than 30 victims. Even after the jarring reports of sexual misconduct that characterized Morris’ murder, similar behavior still prevailed in the years that followed.

Stories of sexual assault again stained the pages of the Voyager in 2000. A student was a walking to her car when she was approached by a masked assailant. She was forced into the vehicle at gunpoint and robbed. After telling his captive to remove her clothes, the attacker proceeded to molest the student.

In that same year, a female student reported suffering unwanted sexual advances from two men she knew, which she was unable to resist as a result of intoxication. She indicated that the men had encouraged her to drink beyond a safe limit before assaulting her. Both men denied the use of force described by the victim. One of them went on to say, “She was moving around, talking, never hesitated. If I had ever thought she did not want to do anything, I would have not done it.”

 A quote that appeared in the Voyager from a male student accused of sexual assault in 2000.

A quote that appeared in the Voyager from a male student accused of sexual assault in 2000.

The female complainant eventually stopped pursuing charges after police ruled there had been no crime due to a lack of evidence. It is documented that the “victim [had] decided not to take further action due to the lack of judicial support and general fatigue.”

Both incidents prompted increased security and heightened awareness, sentiments that still echo all these years later as we fight the trend of sexual assaults on university campuses.

Stories like these are why UWF needs to Take Back the Night.

Described in ArgoPulse as “an international event to create safe communities and respectful relationships,” Take Back the Night accepts the challenge of combatting rape culture and embracing hope for victims of sexual assault.

take back the night

A banner hanging near the John C. Pace Library advertised Take Back the Night last week.
More than 450 people attended the event on April 7.

A dessert bar provided by Housing and Residence Life welcomed the more than 450 guests who packed the Commons Auditorium for the April 7 event led by Wellness Services and UWF Peer Educators, with the help of several other organizations. The event boasted a “Hotline Bling” theme complete with a cardboard Drake cutout and free T-shirts embellished with a helpful acronym:

Believe and support survivors

Listen and respect the answer

Intervene in risky situations

Never victim blame

Get consent

Creativity for a Cause performers kept attendees aware of the heartbreaking spirit of the evening. A dance piece by Leonie Dupuis to “If You’re Out There” by John Legend reminded the audience that it was high time to defeat sexual assault.

“John Legend ends this song by saying ‘the future started yesterday,’” said Dupuis prior to her performance. “It has been time to make a change.”

While the song Dupuis selected for her presentation inspired hope, UWF Peer Educators used the event to draw attention to music that demonstrated an acceptance of forceful sexual misconduct. A video compilation of popular songs that flaunted lyrics with sinister intentions left many students glancing around the room with wide-eyed looks of overdue recognition, likely because, as one Peer Educator pointed out, “you have probably sung some of these songs in your car.”

This cultural acceptance of sexual violence made another painful appearance as poet Lauren Morrison took to the podium. In reference to the common victim-blaming strategy of calling into question a victim’s attire at the time of assault, Morrison revealed in a quaking voice that she had been wearing jeans and a hoodie when she was attacked.

Morrison was forced to pause to compose herself as she was overcome with tears. Upon completion of her recitation, she was met with an auditorium-full of standing ovations as the audience cried alongside her.

Timothy Jones’ story elicited a similarly fervent response. A Navy veteran raped by a fellow serviceman, Jones admitted that he developed substance abuse issues to cope with the discrimination and lack of support he encountered after being victimized. He reported finding a comfort here at UWF.

“I wanted to lend my voice to male victims and male survivors,” Jones said before the event. “I wanted to say thank you to a community that has really been responsible for my transformation.”

Jones credits the availability of resources at the university for the progress it has made as an institution working to eradicate sexual assault.

In a statement of unity, students were given glow sticks and asked to illuminate them if they were victims of sexual assault, knew someone who had suffered from dating violence, or supported those who faced these plights. The auditorium was quickly illuminated by an infectious glow of green.

The event concluded when the Argonettes Dance Team led a parade of students into the darkening night, chanting “We are women. We are men. Together we fight to take back the night.”

The procession fell silent as they reached their destination: the bench dedicated in Susan Leigh Morris’s honor.

some people

Students gathered around the sign and bench near Building 13 dedicated to Susan Leigh Morris. Morris was the victim of a violent sexual assault and murder in 1993.

As is tradition, Sigma Alpha Mu sang their Sweetheart Song in memory of the Sweetheart they lost in 1993. The sisters of Alpha Gamma Delta followed by lending their voices to a haunting tribute song of their own.

The University of West Florida has come a long way since the rape and killing of Susan Leigh Morris, but in the words of Vice President of Student Affairs Kevin Bailey: “Taking back the night is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Melissa Pisarski is the editor of Her Campus at UWF, where this article first appeared.

UWF’s 2016 Relay For Life crosses the finish line

By Kenny Detwyler

Contributing Writer

money relay

Photo courtesy of UWF’s Relay for Life Facebook page.

On Friday evening, hundreds of students, faculty, staff and cancer victims ran not only for their lives, but for the lives of others.

The University of West Florida’s Relay For Life is a yearly event, one of many across the nation, which raises money for cancer research and raises awareness to the struggles that cancer victims and their families go through every day.

“We participate in Relay every year, Relay is very important to us,” junior Christina Shuster, of the Zeta Psi Eta sorority, said. “It’s for a good cause and it’s a really fun time.”

This year’s theme was to “toon” out cancer, inspiring the organizations to theme their booths to cartoon characters, adding to the fun that Shuster referred to.

The organizations who participated, became a part of Relay’s rebuilding year . Relay returned to the track following 2015’s rain out, the end time was pushed up to 2 AM, and there was decrease in sponsorship, supplemented by SGA.

Even with all of the changes, students never lost sight of what Relay is all about.


Photo courtesy of UWF’s Relay for Life Facebook page.

“It’s important to show your support, because cancer affects everyone,” senior Kirby Thomas, of the Students for Social change, said. “It would be great to have that community everywhere you go, of people who are trying to help better people’s lives.”

Relay featured a host of activities used to keep students engaged with the event, a job which prompted them to end earlier in order to make sure the event ended on a high note. Relay participants were treated to music, games and themed laps which made the evening move more swiftly and enjoyably.

The luminaria ceremony, a staple of Relay for Life, was incredibly moving. A single bagpipe player led a silent procession around the track as, the word “cure” glowed in on the field. The ceremony is used to honor those who have lost their battle with cancer.

Relay continued on through the night and early morning. By the end of the event, UWF Relay had raised $13,539.43, for the American Cancer Society. Proceeds which go to cancer research and also keeping the ACS’s doors open.

“It’s all non-profit, all of our funding comes from donations, you have to pay all the employees and I don’t think people realize that,” junior Megan Hossler, of the Kugleman Honors Program, said. Hossler is also a volunteer at the ACS.

“Things like this really help fund the research for cancer and create more birthdays,” Hossler said. “It’s just really great having a bunch of people come out and fundraise in a really exciting and fun way.”

Want to read more about Relay for Life? Click here to check out Kelsi Gatley’s article about the Luminaria Ceremony.

Annual walk supports people living with MS, raises funds for research, treatment

By Claudia Carlson

Staff Writer

end ms forever

Walk MS: Pensacola, which took place Saturday, April 9, at Bayview Park, was an event filled with hope. The purpose of the annual walk is to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis.

“The National MS Society has been involved in Northern Florida for about 27 years and has been coming to Pensacola for 15 years,” Courtney Buchman, Walk MS manager, said. “We are the No. 1 funders of MS research in the world. We do this through events and our financial assistance. We have other events like MS Service Day, as well as Walk MS, that help us raise money.”

About 450 people registered for the walk. Participants chose either a one-mile walk or a 5k. Though there was no fee to participate, walkers were encouraged to raise money to donate to the National MS Society. If at least $125 was raised, the participant received a 2016 Walk T-shirt, with other prizes for additional fundraising. Before the walk began, teams raised more than $20,000 of the $26,000 goal, Buchman said. Donations for this event are being taken until May 13. You can donate online through the website.

Some of the people who participated in the walk are currently living with MS. Others were there with loved ones fighting the disease and some were there who just wanted to support the cause.

“I was diagnosed with MS in July of 2015,” participant Josh Lyons said. “I am 32 years old and a police officer. One day I was at the shooting range and I couldn’t shoot, I just couldn’t see. I was in the Marine Corps for five years, so there was no reason why I couldn’t shoot. I knew something was wrong.”

“I went to see my doctor and at first I was diagnosed with vertigo. Then things started to get worse and I was walking like a drunk man even though I hadn’t had a drink,” Lyons said. “I am on two different types of medication, one to deal with my MS and another one to help with my walking. I have good days and bad days; today has not been the best, but I was able to do the walk for a little bit at least. This is my first year living with MS, so this is my first year at the walk or anything with MS, but my wife has been pushing to get involved with the National MS Society.”

Lyons had a great support system around him — Team Lyons, which was the No. 1 fundraising team as of the beginning of the walk with more than $4,000. They had T-shirts, signs and even a tent.

Treatments and medications are being researched and improved by the National MS Society to help ensure that each person living with MS can live a quality life.

“I work for Genzyme, and we have two MS medications that are used on patients today,” Pamela Woodson said. “Lemtrada, which is our newest drug, is an IV therapy for relapsing MS. Aubagio is the other, which is an oral agent that is taken once a day.”

For information on the National MS Society, call 1-800-344-4867 or visit the website.

‘Listen to your heart, think for yourself’

By Mackenzie Kees

Opinions Editor

 These are some of the notecards created by Baptist Bible Bookstore found in the philosophy section at Barnes & Noble. Photo by Mackenzie Kees.

These are some of the notecards created by Bible Baptist Bookstore found in the philosophy section at Barnes & Noble.
Photo by Mackenzie Kees.

We have all seen those people on the side of the road with the signs dedicated to one or another of the various gods from modern religions. These people may force you to take one of their pamphlets, but otherwise seem (relatively) harmless. They feel the need to spread the word of God, and that’s their prerogative — but what happens when that self-appointed privilege starts to interfere with another person’s way of life?

I’m standing in the philosophy section of Barnes & Noble in Pensacola on a Sunday afternoon. I’ve been coming here for the past several months in something akin to a ritual in search of seemingly innocent little notecards.

At the size of an average business card, the notecard I find today is sticking out between pages 19 and 20 of “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins. It is red and bears the message: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. – John 3:18.” The phrase “is condemned already” has been underlined, and following the Bible verse there’s a handwritten message scrawled. It reads: “Why go to Hell? You Must Be Born Again!”

There are several things wrong with this scenario, the most obvious being that this little notecard does not belong in this book. It has been added by an outside party not associated with Barnes & Noble, but by another bookstore in fact, which some argue is unethical.

The second most obvious problem that the notecard’s creator, Bible Baptist Bookstore, does not seem to understand is that most people reading a book authored by Dawkins do not believe in a hell. As such, the message being conveyed will likely fall on deaf ears; at most it will cause annoyance and invoke incredulous feelings in its reader.

If Bible Baptist Bookstore’s intent was to spread the word of God, shouldn’t the message have been aimed at explaining the principles of Christianity instead of just a blanket condemnation against all those who disagree with them? I have only found notecards in books regarding reason, those usually favored by non-believers, which indicates that their goal was not as innocent as just “spreading the word.” The true purpose of the notecard was to tell anyone who picked up the book that they were going to hell for not believing in God.

Most religious people don’t realize that the god they believe in has more to do with the happenstance of birth than it does anything else. People raised in the Middle East tend to believe in Allah, while people born in the West are more inclined to believe in the Judeo-Christian God. Children raised in religious families are usually indoctrinated into the religion of their parents without ever being taught to question it. This perpetuates the cycle of religion being passed on from father to son and so forth, which makes it seem more like a tradition than a true belief.

I will forever be grateful to my mother for stopping this cycle in my own family. Growing up, she always told my sister Libby and I to “listen to your heart and think for yourself.” I was never told that I had to think a certain way in order to get into heaven or else I would be damned to hell for all of eternity. The way the Bible focuses on the horrors of hell could scare the bravest of children, whom are already impressionable, into believing out of fear, and believing in God simply for fear of being reprimanded in the afterlife is not an honorable reason to have faith in Him.

Without being well-informed, it would be impossible to make a reasonable decision about any religion, let alone choose one to practice. I’ve strived throughout my life to make sure that I never squander my mom’s precious gift to me by learning everything I can about all religions, so every time I see another intolerable notecard at Barnes & Noble, I can’t help but be frustrated. I have to wonder if the person behind these cards ever researched religions beyond his or her own. Did he or she even try to understand the world from another religious perspective? What makes him so intolerable to systems of belief different from his own?

As I grew up and evolved intellectually, I came to understand something important about myself: I fit in nowhere. It seems like a depressing thought, but in actuality it is incredibly liberating. I stopped trying to figure out where I fit in and simply let myself be. It was that freedom that helped me to realize I am best described as a Humanist.

As a Humanist, I believe that “human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. Humanism stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. Humanism is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.” The International Humanist and Ethical Union’s mission statement really spoke to me. It felt right.

After months of holding on to them obsessively, I’ve finally allowed myself to let go and trash the numerous notecards bearing messages of hate and fanaticism. I’ve realized that my obsession with these notecards has more to do with me trying to understand the human psyche than anger. All that is left of my former frustration and indignation is a terrible sadness, but underneath it all hope still glimmers. Hope for the future of mankind and a vision of a world that will finally free itself from the shackles of intolerance. This world will be filled with people who love each other rather than a distant supernatural father figure. It will be a world full of love, acceptance and peace.

This puppy is welcome on campus

By Kelsi Gately
Staff Writer


Marty at nine months.
Photo courtesy of Melissa Pisarski.

Guide dogs have a big responsibility, helping their owners get from place to place and accomplish daily tasks. But before guide dogs go through formal training, they live with puppy raisers who help socialize them and teach them basic obedience.

Currently two UWF roommates living in Pace Hall are volunteering with Southeastern Guide Dogs to raise a guide dog, Marty.

“As puppy raisers, our official role consists of basic training, exposure to different environments and people, and encouragement of critical thinking and confidence from the dogs,” said Abbie Kellett, sophomore communications major. “Our unofficial role is that of public educator and advocate for not only Southeastern [Guide Dogs], but all service animals in training.”

Marty is a yellow lab who came from Palmetto, Florida, and has been with the roommates since the Fall 2015 semester. Puppies stay with their trainers for about one year before going on to formal training.

Southeastern Guide Dogs is a non-profit organization that raises and trains guide dogs in Florida and neighboring states. According to the website, their mission is: “To create and nurture a partnership between a visually impaired individual and a guide dog, facilitating life’s journey with mobility, independence and dignity.” Anyone over the age 18 can apply to be a puppy raiser.

Puppy raisers are legally required to be treated the same as someone who has a service animal. According to Florida Statue 418.08: “Any trainer of a service animal, while engaged in the training of such an animal, has the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities.”

This means that if you see Marty around campus, she is a working dog and needs to be focused at all times. A notice has been posted at the residence hall asking people not to whistle, call to her or otherwise distract Marty from her work.southern

Currently there are no rules in the UWF Housing Handbook concerning guide dogs living in residence halls. It is done on a case-by-case basis.

“Raising Marty has taught me more about patience than any other experience has,” said Melissa Pisarski, sophomore journalism major with a minor in forensic studies and psychology. “She empowers everyone she works with. I’m empowered because I’ve learned about myself. Her partner will be empowered with freedom and independence.”

Guide dog organizations are always looking for volunteers to help love and raise puppies. Besides Southeastern, another such organization is Guide Dogs for the Blind. Just know that when it comes time for your puppy to receive formal training, between 14-20 months, it may be difficult to let go.

To read more about Marty, click to visit Kellett’s blog.

UWF baseball defeats Spring Hill with walk off in the 10th

By Grier Wellborn
Sports Editor

The Argonaut baseball team congratulates Brandon Tyler after his walk-off single breaks a time game against Spring Hill College.
Photo by Grier Wellborn.

The University of West Florida baseball team took on the Spring Hill College Badgers Wednesday night for the second time this season.

The Argos and the Badgers last met on Feb. 24 when the Argos walked away with a 3-2 win. UWF’s long history with the Badgers is one of success. With three wins of the past four matchups and an overall record 45 wins and 14 losses against Spring Hill, things looked promising for the Argos.

Freshman pitcher and Gulf Breeze native Gray Dorsey made his first collegiate start on Wednesday night when he took the hill first for the Argos. Dorsey made his collegiate debut last Wednesday against Stillman College.

“I was a little nervous at first,” Dorsey said. “But after the first inning, I settled down a little bit and knew I had a good defense behind me.”

The bottom of the first inning was filled with excitement for the Argos. First up for UWF was sophomore second baseman Nic Strasser, who hit a double. Next, senior shortstop Alex Greene took first base. A hit by Justin Ambrosino far to left field would send Strasser past home plate with Greene on third and eventually home. After Greene’s run, Ambrosino scored next for the final run of the inning. With the bases loaded, a UWF strikeout sent the game into the second inning.

The Badgers would remain scoreless in the second while the Argos would put two more points on the board with runs by Strasser and Greene. The Argos would enter the third inning with a score of 5-0.

Neither team scored in the next three innings with freshman pitcher Cole Crowder, replacing Dorsey on the mound in the top of the fourth.

Spring Hill overcame its scoreless start by putting one point on the board in the top of the fifth.

The third freshman pitcher of the day, Garrett Peek, a Gulf Breeze native, made his second collegiate debut when he replaced Crowder in the seventh. A few errors by the Argo basemen in the seventh would lead to another run by the Badgers. With only one hit in the bottom of the seventh, the Argos extended the scoreless inning streak to five.

Junior lefty pitcher Sean Kennedy posted up on the hill in the top of the eighth for the Argos. Kennedy struck out the first three batters. The Argos’ dry spell was extended to six innings by the end of the eighth. The Argos lead 5-2 heading into the ninth.

Junior Steve McClellan replaced Kennedy in the ninth to close the game at The Spoon. The Badger offense was on fire in the ninth, by completing three runs.

What seemed like a promising lead for the Argos heading into the ninth turned into a tie game leading into the bottom.

Unfortunately, the Argo offense could not turn up the heat in the ninth, and the seventh consecutive scoreless inning would extend the game into a 10th inning.

The Argos put in the big guns when Kyle Hamner took bat for UWF. Hamner has not struck out in his last 59 at bats, making him the toughest player in NCAA Division I, DII and DIII to strike out.

A low hit into left field from Hamner and the Argos would take both first and second base. Next at bat was senior Brandon Tyler with a walk-off single, sending junior outfielder Ladeavon Matthews home, thus winning the game for the Argos 6-5.

“We came out with a 5-0 lead and we all thought we had it in the bag,” Tyler said. “All of a sudden they crept back up in that last inning, and it felt good to finish it off in the 10th.”

While the offense came out hot in the first and second innings, the seven-inning dry spell made an seemingly easy win lead to a 10th inning.

“We just got a little complacent after the second inning, “ Strasser said. “They have a good team with good arms, but we had some good guys come off the bench in big situations to get the job done.”

The UWF baseball team played No. 9 Alabama Huntsville this weekend where the Argos split a double header on Saturday, losing the first game 4-2, and winning the second, 4-3. In the third game on Sunday, the Argos defeated UAH 13-6.

The Argos will return to Jim Spooner Field on at 6 p.m. March 15 and 3 p.m. March 16 to face Embry Riddle University.

For a complete schedule, visit goargos.com

The nitty-gritty: Who thinks what and everything else you need to know before the Florida primaries

By Mackenzie Kees
Opinions Editor

The 2016 race for the presidency is well under way in the United States, and so far it has been wrought with mudslinging, half-truths and outright lies, and even has devolved further into thinly-veiled allegations and petty name-calling. Instead of thoroughly discussing the issues facing America today, the debates often entail several candidates talking at the same time with each one determined to be the loudest.

The Florida primaries are this Tuesday, March 15, and many voters will be forced to cast their ballot without truly understanding what each candidate wants for the future of America. The voters are not to blame for this miscarriage of justice, but nevertheless they are the ones who will suffer the consequences of it.

The Voyager has created this guide for you to study each candidate and his or her stance on the issues of utmost importance before you cast a vote this Tuesday. Deciding what issues are essential to the running of this country is a daunting task in itself, because in one way or another they are all important, but it is imperative that a few be chosen to concentrate on. The problems facing the world today are too numerous to hope that a single candidate will agree with everyone’s opinions for each issue.

Once the key issues have been decided upon, it is time to research what the candidates think about each one. This, too, can be daunting, because, as the old saying goes, “all politicians lie,” and it can be hard for voters to determine when a candidate actually is lying. Fortunately, in this modern age, we have the Internet, where information can be accessed effortlessly, and several organizations exist to provide citizens with information.

If winning a Pulitzer price is any indication of merit, PolitiFact is one such organization that can be trusted. PolitiFact is a division of the newspaper Tampa Bay Times, a self-described “independent fact-checking journalism website aimed at bringing you the truth in politics.” All the information provided lists sources to validate its authenticity.

On The Issues is a nonpartisan website also dedicated to providing “information for voters in the Presidential election, so that votes can be based on issues rather than on personalities and popularity,” according to its mission statement. The staff conducts research using documents such as debate transcripts, voting records, statements to the media and citations from books authored by the candidate in order to formulate their findings.

The research cited in this article was traced back to the original sources for all of the information contained here. References are provided in the conclusion for those who wish to do their own digging. This article has attempted to simplify the material on each candidate, with the goal of making your voting experience easier by proving accurate information on each candidate.


trumpDonald Trump, 69, is a real estate developer and businessman well known for his television personality and superb entrepreneurial skills. Unlike the other candidates, Trump lacks a background in government affairs, leading some to call him a “breath of fresh air” from the usual contenders who are constantly ingrained in Washington politics. However, this notable lack of experience with the inner workings of the government has some claiming that Trump is inept to deal with most of the traditional duties performed by the president.

As shown in the above graphic, Trump currently leads in the polls with 458 delegates (as of March 11), leaving him 779 delegates away from the Republican nomination for president. Despite his apparent success, PolitiFact has found that most of the statements made by Trump were either “false” or “pants on fire” false, which is their way of saying a totally invented fabrication. For the “true” declarations made by Trump, a dismal 1 percent of the judged statements fall under this category. So what does Trump actually think about the issues?

ABORTION: “The biggest problem I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation. I mean it’s like an abortion factory, frankly, and you can’t have it and you shouldn’t be funding it. It shouldn’t be funded by the government.”— Aug. 11, 2015, in an interview with CNN.

HEALTH CARE: “The one thing we have to do is repeal and replace ObamaCare. It is a disaster. People’s premiums are going up 35 percent, 45 percent, 55 percent. Their deductibles are so high nobody’s ever going to get to use it. So ObamaCare is turning out to be a bigger disaster than anybody thought.” — Oct. 25, 2015, in an interview with Martha Raddatz of “ABC This Week.”

IMMIGRATION: “We are a country of laws. We need borders. We will have a wall [on the Mexican border]. The wall will be built. The wall will be successful. And if you think walls don’t work, all you have to do is ask Israel. The wall works, believe me. Properly done. Believe me.”—  Nov. 10, 2015, in an interview with Fox Business.


ted cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, 45, has experience in Congress after accumulating several years of service in the U.S. Senate. Cruz is currently trailing behind Trump in the polls with 359 delegates of the total 1,237 required to win the Republican nomination. As seen in the graphic above, most of Cruz’s statements have been judged to be almost 60 percent false by PolitiFact. His numbers are an improvement on Trump’s results, but they still leave room for voters to question his sincerity.

FOREIGN POLICY: “What we need is a commander in chief that makes clear, if you join ISIS, if you wage jihad on America, then you are signing your death warrant. I introduced the Expatriate Terrorist Act that said if any American travels to the Middle East and joins ISIS, that he or she forfeits their citizenship so they don’t use a passport to come back and wage jihad on Americans.” —Aug. 16, 2015, in an interview with Fox News.

EDUCATION: “We need to repeal Common Core. We need to get the federal government out of the business of dictating educational standards. Education is far too important for it to be governed by unelected bureaucrats in Washington. It should be at the state level or even better at the local level. ”— at the Heritage Foundation’s Conservative Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., January 2015.

GUN CONTROL: “The right to self-defense is an essential component of the liberty we enjoy as Americans and is embodied in the Second Amendment. From successfully protecting law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights at the Supreme Court, to defeating legislation that sought to take away this right, I have always championed the right to keep and bear arms.” — statement on his official campaign website.



Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, 44, is a practiced attorney, politician and junior senator from the state of Florida. Rubio has dabbled in many occupational fields over the years, such as teaching and founding a law firm, which has afforded him a different perspective than the other candidates. His solid background in all things politics comes from years of working his way up the latter in the House of Representatives and the Senate alike.

Most of Rubio’s statements are a mix between “mostly true,” “half true,” and “mostly false,” according to the results of PolitiFact’s findings, pictured in the graphic above. In comparison to his fellow Republican running mates, Rubio shows more balance between what he says and what he means. Out of the three Republican contenders, Rubio does the best to sticking to the truth, which is an admirable quality in a politician.

ABORTION: “There is no doubt that a woman has a right to her own body, has a right to make decisions about her own health and her own future. There’s no doubt. And then, there’s this other right. And that’s the right of a human being to live. And these rights come into conflict when it comes to this issue. And, so, you have to make a decision … But when asked to make a decision between two very hard circumstances, I’ve personally reached the conclusion if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life. I’ll support any legislation that reduces the number of abortions.” — Aug. 9, 2015, at a Meet The Press interview.

JOBS: “If I thought that raising the minimum wage was the best way to help people increase their pay, I would be all for it, but it isn’t. In the 20th century, it’s a disaster. If you raise the minimum wage, you’re going to make people more expensive than a machine. And that means all this automation that’s replacing jobs and people right now is only going to be accelerated. Here’s the best way to raise wages: Make America the best place in the world to start a business or expand an existing business.” —  Nov. 10, 2015, at a First Tier debate hosted by Fox Business.

GUN CONTROL: “My position on guns is pretty clear. I believe law-abiding people have a fundamental, constitutional right to bear arms. And I believe criminals and dangerous people should not have access to guns. There are laws that protect those two things — but many of these [additional] gun laws are ineffective. They don’t do those things. They either infringe on the rights of law-abiding people and do nothing to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. And I’m troubled this debate is about guns. It should be about violence. Violence is the problem, guns are what they’re using. We are missing a golden opportunity to have an open, honest and serious conversation about these horrific violent acts, because everyone’s focused on passing these laws that have proven ineffective.” — April 14, 2013, at an interview with CNN SOTU.




Hillary Clinton, 68, is the former U.S. Secretary of State, a position she held for the first four years of the Obama administration. Clinton’s resume also includes a stint on the Senate, as well as eight years of holding the title of first lady. Her previous roles in the White House give her a level of expertise that her competitors lack. She knows what it takes to be president from watching her husband experience it, and she has felt the enormous amount of pressure it can cause. One thing to be certain about Clinton is that she knows exactly what she is walking into by becoming president. While the other candidates might have an idea of what all it entails, they still lack the actual experience of living through it as she did.

Clinton is currently leading in the polls with 760 of the 2,383 delegate votes needed to win the Democratic nomination. This figure does not include the superdelegates, where Clinton has a substantial lead, because their votes can still be changed.

In stark contrast to her Republican counterparts, most of Clinton’s statements have been judged as “true” or “mostly true” by PolitiFact. However, while Clinton’s statements may be true, that does not mean that the inferences she makes from them are always correct. The way one person interprets facts can vary from someone else; it all depends on the individual’s point of view and life experiences. Regardless, Clinton’s statements to the public can be considered relatively true and trustworthy.

ENVIRONMENT: “Today I am announcing a comprehensive strategy to modernize American energy infrastructure and forge a new partnership with Canada and Mexico to combat climate change across the continent, unleashing billions in investment, delivering reliable and affordable energy, protecting the health of our families and communities, and creating good-paying jobs and careers.” — Sept. 23, 2015, in a blog post entitled “Why I oppose Keystone XL.”

EDUCATION:  “[The Common Core] wasn’t politicized. It was to try to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country, no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was that there wouldn’t be two tiers of education. Everybody would be looking at what would be learned doing their best to achieve that.” — April 16, 2015, at her first official campaign event in Iowa, via C-SPAN.

DRUGS: “I think that we have the opportunity through the states that are pursuing recreational marijuana to find out a lot more than we know today. I do support the use of medical marijuana, and I think even there we need to do a lot more research so that we know exactly how we’re going to help people for whom medical marijuana provides relief. So, I think we’re just at the beginning, but I agree completely with the idea that we have got to stop imprisoning people who use marijuana. Therefore, we need more states, cities, and the federal government to begin to address this so that we don’t have this terrible result of a huge population in our prisons for nonviolent, low-level offenses that are primarily due to marijuana. ”— Oct. 13, 2015, at the CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas.



Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, 74, previously caucused with Democrats before actually joining the party in 2015. Sanders was the longest-serving independent in U.S. Congressional history before he switched parties.

Sanders has been a long-time defender of civil rights, from his early days as a political activist while attending the University of Chicago to his many careers after graduating college. Sanders’ political conquests include a mayorship, becoming a member of the House of Representatives, and eventually being elected to the U.S. Senate. Sanders is currently behind Clinton in the polls with 546 of the needed 2,383 delegate votes to win the Democratic nomination. This figure does not include the superdelegates, because their votes can still be changed, where Clinton has a substantial lead over Sanders. Like his fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, most of Sanders’ statements have been judged to be “true,” “mostly true,” and “half true” by PolitiFact.

CIVIL RIGHTS: “Black lives matter. The African-American community knows that on any given day some innocent person like Sandra Bland can get into a car, and three days later she’s dead in jail. We need to combat institutional racism from top to bottom, and we need major reforms in a broken criminal justice system. I intend to make sure people have education and jobs rather than jail cells.” — Oct. 13, 2015, at the CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas.

ECONOMY: “Millionaires and billionaires are pouring unbelievable sums of money into the political process in order to fund super PACs and to elect candidates who represent their interests, not the interests of working people. What this campaign is about is whether we can mobilize our people to take back our government from a handful of billionaires and create the vibrant democracy we know we can and should have. It is immoral and wrong that the top 1/10 of 1 percent in this country own almost 90 percent – almost — own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. That it is wrong, today, in a rigged economy, that 57 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent.” — Oct. 13, 2015, at the CNN Democratic primaries in Las Vegas.

FOREIGN POLICY: “[Obama] is trying to defeat ISIS. He’s trying to get rid of this horrendous dictator, Assad. But at the same time, he doesn’t want our troops stuck on the ground. And I agree with that. But I am maybe a little bit more conservative on this than he is. I worry that once we get sucked into this, once some of our troops get killed and once maybe a plane gets shot down, that we send more in and more in. But I will say this. ISIS must be defeated primarily by the Muslim nations in that region. America can’t do it all. And we need an international coalition. Russia should be part of it — U.K., France, the entire world – supporting Muslim troops on the ground, fighting for the soul of Islam and defeating this terrible ISIS organization.” — Nov. 8, 2015, during an interview on “ABC This Week.”


The Florida primaries are approaching fast; only those who are registered as a Republican or Democrat (not Independent) may participate. This vote will determine the two main candidates who will be in the running for the presidency, so its importance cannot be denied.

For those who are unsure of which candidate they agree with, take the ISideWith quiz to see which candidate best reflects your beliefs.

The information provided in this article has been verified and fact-checked. Links to the various sites where this information can be found are listed below.





Associated Press

The New York Times



UWF’s calendar is jam-packed after spring break

By Sydney O’Gwynn
Staff Writer


“Spring into Action: Professional Development Symposium” will give students the opportunity to speak with career professionals and UWF alumni.
Photo courtesy of UWF Alumni Services.

Spring break gives students plenty of things to do — travel, visit Florida’s famous beaches or even catch up on a good book — but there are also plenty of events that will be happening at the University of West Florida for when we Argonauts come back to school.

The 15th annual UWF Women’s Studies Conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, March 21, in the UWF Conference Center. The event will be highlighted by keynote speaker Anne Fausto-Sterling. For more information about the event, visit the website.

“Day of Exploration, a Majors Fair” will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, on the Cannon Green. Previously called “Day of Declaration,” the event is open to current UWF students undecided in their majors or looking to learn more about the majors they have already chosen. Booths will be set up from the various colleges around campus with faculty and staff ready to address questions and hand out informational materials.

“It’s an opportunity for them to get some one-on-one time with people from departments that maybe they haven’t gotten to talk with yet, and for them to learn more about the internship opportunities, the potential career opportunities, and the future that might be available to them,” said Lindsey Walk, an associate director for Career Services. Walk said the event is a good stepping stone for students in their collegiate careers.

“It’s a good opportunity for them to come learn more about all of the options that are available on campus in terms of degree programs,” she said.

She also said this event is not only for non-major students, but also for students wanting to learn more about their own major and what they can do with it.

“I had a lot of students last year that told me they had already declared a major and that they were glad to have come,” she said. “So it’s definitely still for those who have chosen a major.”

Free pizza and drinks will be provided. In the case of bad weather, the event will be moved to the Commons Auditorium.

The Education Club will host the first Recess Day from noon to 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 24. Various events, including corn hole, tug-o-war, relay races and even a campus-wide scavenger hunt, are planned. It is $5, and the money raised will go to Relay for Life.

“I think it is very important for us to raise money for the American Cancer Society,” Jenny Gustafson, president of the Education Club, said. “I think it’s something very important to a lot of people.”

The Education Club is open to anyone who loves education, whether you are an education major or not. The group holds monthly meetings with guest speakers from around the campus or county school district.

“We do a lot of volunteering in local schools, so it’s a great way to get your name out there in the community,” Gustafson said. “We hope everyone comes out and enjoys the day with us,” she said.

The fifth annual “Spring into Action: Professional Development Symposium,” hosted by Alumni Relations, is 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in the UWF Conference Center. Free lunch and door prizes will be offered, plus guest speaker Peggy Brockman, an inspirational speaker and author who will discuss how to be a real success and how to connect rather than just communicate.

“The symposium is that opportunity for us to bring those career professionals to campus or to also bring those alumni to campus to connect with these currently enrolled students, one-on-one in a very laid back, comfortable environment,” said Alesia Ross, coordinator for Alumni Services. Ross said she wants students to learn how to forge connections that will help them achieve their plan of success.

“A lot of times [students] don’t realize the benefit on how to network,” she said. “They don’t understand that all it is [is] talking to someone.”

Ross said she is enthusiastic about the event and said she believes both the students and mentors can learn something through interaction with each other.

“I’m always so pumped up to get people into a room and start connecting,” Ross said. ‘There’s so much beauty that comes out of that.”

Admission is free, but those attending need to confirm their attendance through the website by March 17. Once you click on the website, click on the link called Professional Development Symposium to register.

The American Homicide Book Talk will be 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in Building 70, room 115. UWF instructors Richard Hough and Kimberly McCorkle will discuss their newly released textbook, “American Homicide.” UWF faculty, staff and students are invited to attend. Refreshments will be provided.

These are only some of events planned for the last part of the semester. Check the calendar listings at uwf.edu for more events.

So as Spring Break 2016 begins, don’t forget that UWF has a lot in store for when the Argos return!


Donors to use priority point system to obtain football tickets for fall

By Sara Agans
Staff Writer


Graphic courtesy of UWF Athletics

UWF’s inaugural football season will soon be here, and fans already are scoping out ways to get tickets.

The University of West Florida’s Argonaut Athletic Club (AAC), the fundraising division of the UWF Athletic Department, has developed a priority points system, designed to rank all athletics donors fairly and to involve them in the selection of their football season tickets, according to a football season ticket information brochure.

The intent of this policy is to reward those who have been loyal supporters of UWF Athletics while allowing new donors to secure seating options. All priority points are based on the donor’s previous and current support of West Florida Athletics, and each donation helps build up priority points. Argonaut Athletic Club members will have access to season tickets based on their priority points and contribution level.

April 16 is the deadline to earn priority points and the opportunity to buy football season tickets for the 2016 home games, which will be played at the Blue Wahoos stadium downtown. All donations must be turned in to the Argonaut Athletic Club, or made online, by this deadline. Season tickets must be paid for, in full, by July 1, 2016.

Luckily for students, they don’t have to be big spenders to get tickets to see the Argos play.

“All football tickets for this coming season will be free. Students don’t have to buy them,” said Brett Berg, UWF Athletics Development Director. However, “We do have a limited number of about 1,000 seats for students. Our process in place is through our Argo Armada, which is our student booster club where they can download an app on their phone. It is the way that we will distribute tickets for next season. We encourage all students to download the app now and start becoming familiar with it so they can have an idea of how they are going to get tickets,” Berg said.

If students attend any UWF home sporting events, and they check in on the Argo Armada app, they will earn points. The more points students earn, the more prizes they can win, such as Publix gift cards, free sandwiches, etc.

“The way it’s going to work for football tickets is the top 200 students who have the most points will get guaranteed tickets for football, and the other 800 will be put into a lottery system and students will be drawn as a lottery,” Berg said. “We’ve never done this before, so we aren’t sure how many students are going to apply, but we are trying to make it fair and to where students have access to tickets.”

“I plan to attend the football games for this upcoming season because it’ll be something different to do that’s high-energy,” said Keilani Hernandez, a UWF senior majoring in archaeology. “So you can assume I’m pretty excited for it. I haven’t begun plans for tailgating, but I’m sure there will be some on the horizon when the time gets closer.”

One thousand tickets will be exclusively for current students, Berg said. About 3,500 seats will remain to buy outside of the student tickets, and this is where the priority points system comes in to play. Not everyone is guaranteed to get season tickets, because there is more demand than supply of season tickets. A person will receive season tickets based on how many priority points he/she has accumulated. Someone with 10 priority points is going to get the chance to buy tickets before someone who has nine priority points, for instance.

Ben Stubbs, UWF associate director of Student Involvement, said he is excited that outside donors and the university community have an opportunity to be involved in this way and will get to attend football games. “I personally don’t have very many points accumulated myself, but I have some friends who do, and I think that they’re excited about seeing some benefit from being involved and contributing to the university, and I think that the football tickets are appropriate for that. It creates some excitement and an incentive for people to invest back into UWF. This is definitely something that I’m looking forward to and will take advantage of,” Stubbs said.

“We want the experience to be a great collegiate football experience for our current students, former students, alumni and all of our community,” Berg said.

For more information regarding season tickets, visit GoArgos.com/FootballTix, which has a 12-page football season ticket information brochure. You can also call 850-474-ARGO.


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.