Tag Archives: UWF Argonaut

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.

‘The Vagina Monologues’ empowers women while raising money for Rape Crisis Center

By Kaitlin Lott
Staff Writer

On Friday night, March 11, The Feminist Society of Pensacola turned the University of West Florida Commons Auditorium into a sanctuary of vaginal praise. “The Vagina Monologues” is an episodic play written by Eve Ensler, first performed in 1996.

All the monologues performed throughout the night were real stories from women all over the world, including topics from political issues to sexual encounters and social justice in a male-driven society. “The Vagina Monologues” brought attention to the “power of the pussy” from talking about the great debate of shaving and infidelity to sexual violence and homosexuality.

The Feminist Society of Pensacola supported the Rape Crisis Center at Lakeview for the first time with this performance. The event was free, but a $5 donation was recommended. The performance raised a little more than $3,500, said Kinsley Hess and Emily Echevarria, council members of the Feminist Society. The proceeds will help women of all ages who have experienced sexual violence, physical violence and emotional abuse.

Throughout the play, actresses pulled in the audience, engaging them with their witty interpretations of women’s stories about their vaginas. The monologues brought comedy and sadness, permitting both laughter and empathy. Presenters were vibrant and compassionate, having reverence for the women who experienced the trials and joy of womanhood and irrevocably changed the lives of others.

“I really liked the woman who talked about shaving her vagina, I thought that was pretty empowering,” said Emily Sheridan, senior marine biology major. “I liked the women who performed ‘My Vagina is My Village.’ That one was pretty tragic, but it was powerful.”

Haley Morrissette, a senior social work major and council member for the Feminist Society, performed “The Little Coochi Snorcher That Could,” which she said was tailor-made for her as it called for a “queer black woman.” Morrissette’s involvement with the Feminist Society has made her more comfortable with her sexuality and who she is as an individual, she said, which showed in her lively and crowd-pleasing interpretation of the story.

“I hope that this opens their eyes, because it talks about some of the violence that women face, period,” Morrissette said. “I hope it opens people’s eyes to that and it makes [people] see that we are not just one-dimensional creatures.”

The essence of “The Vagina Monologues” is overall empowerment of women. UWF boasts various clubs and societies that enhance our academic careers, but this play brought gender enlightenment.

Although there were extreme sexual and sensual references, in every monologue the word vagina had both literal and symbolic meaning. In this play, it is not only seen as a part of a woman’s anatomy, but as an essential part of who a woman is.

For more information on the Feminist Society of Pensacola, visit the Facebook Page.

Spring break, but not booze, on the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk

By Claudia Carlson
Staff Writer


Photo courtesy of Jennifer Johns.

Spring break is here for UWF students, but if you are planning to go to Pensacola Beach, be aware. Some things are not as they used to be.

The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners approved an ordinance that took effect March 1 banning the possession of open containers of alcohol in the central commercial areas of Pensacola Beach. Along with the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk, this ban also includes parking lots, streets, sidewalks, parks and other public areas or recreational facilities within the restricted area.

Open containers (no glass) are allowed only in the sand, the beach itself, except for the family designated area of Casino Beach just west of Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier.

This ordinance means that when you go to a bar or restaurant on Pensacola Beach, you are not allowed to leave the premises with an alcoholic beverage, as in the past.

“I think this new ordinance is a really good idea,” said Natasha Coulter, Pensacola Beach Hooters waitress. “The laws on the beach about drinking should be stricter. There are so many people who get too intoxicated, and with this ordinance, I believe it will help make the boardwalk a safer place.”

“There are also so many underage people, or people in general, who try to sneak their alcoholic drinks into our establishment, so I really do think this will be a good thing.”

The ban on open containers of alcohol anywhere other than the sandy beaches was put into effect on March 1, just in time for spring break season.

“The move is largely aimed at the raucous behavior business owners say has become the norm at the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk on weekend nights during the tourism season. While drinking will be allowed inside bars on the boardwalk, drinking on the boardwalk will not,” according to a Pensacola News Journal story on March 1, 2016.

In November, the PNJ conducted a Twitter poll asking followers: “#PensacolaBeach alcohol ban a good idea or bad idea?” Thirty-four percent of recipients voted it was a good idea, while 66 percent voted it a bad idea.

While this may seem like a bad thing for spring breakers, tourists or beachgoers in general, this ordinance is for the safety of the public.

“I remember when I was little, my mom telling me how dangerous the boardwalk was at night, and how she never wanted me to go there,” said Emily Ioakim, a college student on spring break. “While on spring break this past week, I stayed at Perdido Beach because it is calm and safer, but I still went to the boardwalk one day, went to Bamboo Willies and got drinks with my friends. I didn’t think it was a problem, only being able to drink inside the bar. We didn’t even notice.”

The county will be monitoring crime and business statistics on the beach to see how well the ordinance is working. In June of 2017 the ban will either expire or become permanent, depending on the results of the statistics.

Spring breakers, be safe, have fun — just keep your alcoholic beverages in the bars or the non-restricted white sand.

‘Centennial Faces’ shines light on African-American portraits, history

By Claudia Carlson

Staff Writer

A traveling exhibit from the Museum of Florida History has found a temporary home at the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum until late April.

The “Centennial Faces” exhibit showcases photographs of African-Americans living in Tallahassee around 1885-1910 by Alvan S. Harper. Each of the 49 portraits in the exhibit was shot with a glass plate negative. This technique shows exquisite detail in the portraits. Only a fraction of the 2,000 photographs originally taken are featured in the exhibit.

African-Americans in the late 1800s and early 1900s were prominently subjected to a life of slavery. What makes Harper’s portraits so unique is that they show just the opposite. In his portraits, you will see African-Americans dressed in remarkable clothing that signifies an affluent lifestyle.

According to an information booklet at the exhibit: “The subjects of his pictures are well-to-do or are from the upper-middle class. They are dressed in beautiful, ornate dresses or fine, carefully fitted sober attire. Their faces shine with dignity, self-reliance, and optimism. Even during the period of slavery, there had been a small number of African-Americans who had made it through the social and economic barriers erected by that system to a certain measure of prosperity. They seem far away from the hardships known to have existed among the great majority of African-Americans who lived in Tallahassee during this period.”

The exhibit is set up in such a way that the viewer can appreciate all the photographs. There is not much else in the room, there are no distractions, so visitors are able to use give it their full attention and get to know the people in the portraits.

When a visitor enters the exhibit, a laminated book relays all the information about the exhibit and Harper himself. There are also printouts that visitors may take around the room that give details about each portrait.

In the middle of the exhibit are also photocopies of The Colored Citizen, a newspaper published in Pensacola from 1914 until the late 1950s. The T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum incorporated this into the exhibit to add an element of local Pensacola history. The University of West Florida Historic Trust Archives has 44 copies of the newspaper in its files, and the John C. Pace Library West Florida History Center has seven copies.

“We do a lot of Florida-based exhibits at the museum,” said Wanda Edwards, chief curator. “One of the nice components we have added to the exhibit are the newspapers from the African-American community to show turn-of-the century information that happened in Pensacola.”

The exhibit will be at the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum until April 25, and UWF students get free admission by showing a student ID.

For more information on the museum, including hours and directions, visit the Historic Pensacola website.


So many books, so little time: Must-reads for your Spring Break bucket list

By Mackenzie Kees
Opinions Editor


This writer started on her must-read books at an early age.
Photo courtesy Mackenzie Kees.

To paraphrase one of the greats, Jane Austen: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a brain must be in want of a good book.”

The importance of reading cannot be overstated. When a student is assigned a book to read by a teacher, it can sometimes be a miserable experience. It also can inadvertently steer students away from reading more for pleasure’s sake.

This is an atrocity.

Teachers are not to blame for this unfortunate side effect of assigned reading, and school-assigned books are important for their own reasons. Sometimes, they can even be interesting.

So, yes, all books are marvelous in their own right for their individual reasons, but there are some novels that unequivocally transcend the others. (Some of these books may even be on your reading list for next semester.)

I have narrowed down my list of countless beloved, life-altering and thoroughly magnificent books to a nice, round number of five. These books and/or book series have been chosen in the hopes that they might change the perspective of those students who only read when they must. With Spring Break approaching, finding a good book to read while lazing about in the sun is paramount.

For these five books I will briefly touch on the plot, but I will mainly concentrate on the writing style of each and whom I believe would most likely enjoy it. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite novels in no particular order:

The ODD THOMAS Series by Dean Koontz


Short-order cook Odd Thomas has a peculiar life. In his seven-book series, author Dean Koontz takes his readers along for quite a ride with Thomas in the driver’s seat. All of the books in the series can be read as stand-alone novels, because they each describe a different adventure that hero Odd Thomas must face.

This series is perfect for a bit of easy reading and some light fun. When school’s stressful and work’s miserable, coming home to Thomas is a sweet relief. He doesn’t make you think too hard while offering up a mystery to solve, and along the way he provides you with an endearing sense of humor to keep you smiling. Koontz has made a relatable hero in Thomas that will keep readers coming back for more.

THE MAGICIANS Series by Lev Grossman


One of the best series I’ve read since leaving the world of Harry Potter behind is Lev Grossman’s trilogy about a group of young adults who discover they can perform magic. This series is incredibly engrossing and will have your eyes glued to the page until the very end.

The trilogy revolves around Quentin Coldwater and his friends as they navigate through life, starting as naive college freshmen and ending up as a group of mature adults. The way Grossman chooses to depict magic gives the story a more realistic feeling than most fantasy novels. Coldwater has to work very hard every step of the way to learn how to properly wield magic. It’s not as easy as just waving a stick around in the air and calling it a wand.

I’d recommend this book for readers who enjoy immersing themselves in a world full of magic, as I do, and who as a child fantasized about receiving their Hogwarts acceptance letter in the mail.

ALICE by Christina Henry


The stories we read as children are special to us in a way that can never again be felt by reading them as an adult. However, some of the best novels I’ve read have been based on some of those childhood stories. These types of stories provide a different adaptation to classic tales such as “Cinderella” or “Alice in Wonderland.” The novel “Alice” is based on the latter, but it shares none of the lighthearted, whimsical aspects of the original novel written by Lewis Carroll.

This novel is darker than its original counterpart. Its pages are filled with more sinister characters than the likes of Carroll’s Queen of Hearts, who simply pales in comparison to Henry’s villains. She takes the traditional tale of Wonderland and twists it into a terrifying nightmare that is sure to thrill.

THE ROAD OF THE DEAD by Kevin Brooks


Kevin Brooks is one of the most prolific writers I’ve ever read, and that includes J.K. Rowling, which, believe me is a compliment coming from me. (All hail the queen of fantasy! We are not worthy! We are not worthy!)

Brooks has penned many novels, all just as well written as the last, but his fifth novel, “The Road of the Dead,” is my favorite. The fluidity with which he writes to describe what the protagonist is seeing or thinking creates a breathtaking visual that even the blind could see. I’ve never before felt so transported into a story until I started reading the various novels written by Brooks. He primarily writes novels for teens, which I was when first reading the book, but in the years since I’ve come back to it several times to re-read. The worn dog-eared pages are yellowing with age, but I will never get rid of such a wonderful book.

This particular novel by Brooks is about a half-gypsy boy named Ruben who follows his older brother Cole on a journey of discovery and self-actualization. People with an appreciation for other cultures will enjoy the dynamic between the brothers and their mother, which is somewhat different than relationships are in most American families. As someone who was always fascinated by the gypsy lifestyle, I enjoyed what this novel let me do, which was live vicariously through Ruben. I recommend this book as a quick, easy read for visual readers who enjoy novels that paint the perfect picture for every scene.



The more recently published book out of the previous four, “City of Savages” by new author Lee Kelly, has a different type of story to tell than the rest.

Instead of revolving around magic and fairy tales or gypsies and mysteries, this novel illustrates a dystopian future that has been devastated by the fictitious (for now, anyway) Third World War. Sisters Sky and Phee Miller live with their mother in a prisoner-of-war camp located in a derelict version of Manhattan, in which they are fighting to survive. The novel switches back and forth from each sister’s point of view throughout the story, giving readers a unique perspective that is not offered when there is a single narrator.

For a story of survival against all odds, similar to “The Hunger Games” or “Divergent” series, Kelly’s “City of Savages” delivers with a punch. Readers can expect non-stop action, drama and a little bit of romance within the pages of this book. I recommend this novel for people who enjoy reading books set in a distant war-torn future that are full of action and adventure.