Tag Archives: UWF Campus

Social justice group works with Take Back the Night to light up campus

By Sara Agans

Staff Writer

 Social Justice Movements students want your input on where new lights should be installed on campus. Graphic courtesy of the GoFundMe page for the Social Justice group.

Social Justice Movements students want your input on where new lights should be installed on campus.
Graphic courtesy of the GoFundMe page for the Social Justice group.

A group of students enrolled in the social justice movements course, taught by Gloria Horning, UWF visiting lecturer in the Communication Arts Department, is teaming up with Take Back the Night to raise money for new solar-powered lights on campus.

“The premise behind the class was to show students in the Communication Arts Department various communication tools that can be used, especially in the non-profit world of making social justice issues understandable to the general public, because we all know that we have to speak to our target audiences,” Horning said. “Sometimes we miss the target audiences because we go straight to government, but it’s really about the people being involved, and I think students are the best to start this.”

Horning was given the opportunity to teach this class, which was the brainchild of the chair of the Department of Communication Arts, Kurt Wise. As part of the class, Horning had students pitch ideas on what they wanted to do for their target audience. The students came up with several ideas.

“One of the ideas is Take Back the Night, but they are doing something different than what the organization is already doing, and that’s the key,” Horning said. Take Back the Night is an international, non-profit organization with the mission of ending sexual abuse, sexual assault and dating and domestic violence.

“The fundraising event was inspired by the Take Back the Night organization,” said Isabelle Murphy, UWF junior majoring in English literature. “Initially we were hoping just to work with the Wellness Center and help advertise for the campus event, but that has since evolved into an entirely different project. We are currently working towards installing solar lights on campus.

“We chose solar lights for a couple of reasons: They won’t cost the campus any extra in electrical fees; they are generally small and easier to set up than land-wired lights; each of the lights will cost about $75 after tax and mounting equipment charges.”

Murphy and the few other members of the group have been working with UWF Facilities Maintenance to set up the project.

“We’re hoping that by lighting up the campus – particularly in the dark areas between buildings and other commonly traveled areas – we can help cut back on the number of assaults that occur on campus,” Murphy said. “We set up a GoFundMe account for donations, at a goal of $1,000, which would buy at least 10 lights plus the plaques we want to buy for those organizations that donate enough for an entire light. So far we have two lights and are receiving more interest from organizations each day in hopes of reaching our goal by the end of March.”

“Our personal mission is to aid our campus in preventing sexual and violent crimes through the implementation of solar powered lights,” said Zachary Smith, UWF junior majoring in advertising. “There are many places around campus that are either dark or completely unlit. We have hung up maps around campus and asked the student body and staff members to mark places on the map that they felt were not safe.”

By the end of the semester, this group hopes to spread awareness on campus of not only Take Back the Night, but also the threat of sexual assault on college campuses.

“If an individual or organization donates the full $75 to purchase an entire light, we will honor them with a plaque, which we will present to them or place near the light,” Smith said. “The wonderful ladies of Zeta Psi Eta are actually the first Greek organization on campus to be awarded with a plaque.”

“This fundraising event is incredibly important for our campus, and it affects every single student,” Smith said. “We are relying on our students and campus organizations to make the purchase of these lights possible. No donation is too small to make a difference, and we are incredibly thankful for all the support for this project.”

The Save a Life, Buy a Light fundraising project deadline is March 31, 2016.

UWF Emergency Blue Lights provide additional security on campus

By Spenser Garber

Contributing Writer


UWF Emergency Blue Light Pole #45 located north side of 58A.
Photo by Spenser Garber.

If you find yourself in need of emergency assistance while on campus, go to the “blue light.”

The Emergency Blue Light poles and wall-mounted boxes seen around the University of West Florida campus exist to help boost safety. The poles and boxes are easily identified by a strobe light, white paint and large red letters spelling out “EMERGENCY.”

The poles are innovative in campus safety. A box is fixed on every pole containing a red button with direct contact to the UWF Police Department dispatcher. Also, if the side of the pole is struck, the tamper alarm is activated and will alert the UWF PD and an officer will respond immediately.

Sixty-three blue lights are “strategically located…in parking lots and jogging areas, on walkways, and near classrooms,” according to the UWF Police web page. For the campus location of each blue light, check the UWF Blue Light map.

The blue lights are for the express purpose of student safety. If you feel unsafe in a parking lot at night, or see something suspicious, you can activate a nearby blue light pole and request an officer to escort you to your vehicle. Also, if someone is chasing you, you can run from one pole to another, striking the pole, and the UWF PD will respond and be able to track your movement using the activated blue light alarms.

According to UWF Crime Prevention Officer Kyle Gallagher, the blue light alarms were activated 23 times last month (January 2016). Six times people either needed assistance in parking lots or students needed directions. One activation was to report an accident. Sixteen activations were false alarms and are suspected to be the result of purposeful tampering or curiosity.

With a cost of around $7,000 per pole, this investment has been a useful one. The poles and wall-mounted boxes are checked weekly by the police and quarterly by UWF maintenance.

The Emergency Blue Light poles were installed in the early 1990s after a nationwide trend to enhance public safety at universities. When asked about the future of the program, Gallagher said, “We are always exploring new possibilities.”

Do the Emergency Blue Lights make you feel safer on campus? Facebook the Voyager your comment.


To be or not to be on campus — that is the question

Mackenzie Kees

Opinions Editor


 An artistic mock-up of The Next’s facilities gives prospective renters a sneak peek preview of what is to come. Photo courtesy of Carroll Van Hook, regional leasing specialist for The Next apartments.

An artistic mock-up of The Next’s facilities gives prospective renters a sneak peek preview of what is to come.
Photo courtesy of Carroll Van Hook, regional leasing specialist for The Next apartments.

The percentage of students attending the University of West Florida from outside the local area has increased by 130 percent over the past decade, according to a 2014 housing study. As more non-local students flock to campus, the more demand rises for housing needs.

The results of the Student Housing Market Study, conducted by Brailsford and Dunlavey Consultants in 2014, confirmed that the development of additional on-campus housing is crucial in accommodating the projected increase in future students. The current percentage of occupancy for the nine UWF residence halls is more than 93 percent for all but one (Southside Village is at 83 percent capacity), according to the Brailsford and Dunlavey study.

While on-campus housing is offered, it is not required that students live on campus, even as freshmen. Ruth Davison, director of The Department of Housing and Residence Life at UWF, said in an email interview that “living on campus provides students a great way to live the collegiate life.” She said that she does not consider nearby apartments to be encroaching. “We provide a different experience to students who choose campus life over an off-campus rental,” she said.

Davison mentioned UWF’s specific themed housing, which is for students who want to share similar experiences. Other perks Davison mentions includes the benefit of living in close proximity of everything on campus and the ease at which you can meet new people and form long-lasting friendships.

In 2014, the UWF Board of Trustees approved an issuance of debt for construction based on the results of the market study. However, Davison said UWF is not constructing any new housing facilities at this time, because the debt issuance was delayed. This means many students will have to look outside of UWF for their housing needs.

One UWF senior who lives off campus, Cody Lonon, said, “As much as I love UWF’s campus, I enjoy being able to come home at the end of the day to a place that’s not completely immersed with school.”

Several student-friendly apartment complexes exist within a few miles of campus, but more have been emerging to accommodate the influx of new students. One new development, The Next apartments, located on Hillview Drive, is less than half a mile away from Jim Spooner Field and is currently leasing.

“University Student Living, the management company for The Next, believes in supporting the communities in which they operate student-housing properties,” said Carroll Van Hook, regional leasing specialist for The Next apartments, in an email interview. “The Next will also host multiple events each month to ensure a fun environment that offers opportunities for residents to engage with others in the building.”

The Next has already participated in several school events, such as Kappa Delta’s Spaghetti Dinner against Domestic Violence and Alpha Chi Omega’s Silent Auction.

As for the rumors circulating about a possible pedestrian bridge linking The Next to campus, Carroll Van Hook said, “At this time, it has not been approved by the necessary parties, although we are hopeful that it will come to fruition.”

With or without the pedestrian bridge, The Next will offer students a viable alternative to on-campus housing while also providing most of the same features, plus a few extra perks, such as a beach entry pool, a 24-hour fitness center, a tanning bed, study rooms and a clubhouse featuring recreational activities.

Davison suggests that students plan ahead for housing. “As soon as a student knows they need housing for the next semester, they should apply for campus housing,” says Davison. Students can apply through the UWF website.

Hoverboards banned from UWF campus

Claudia Carlson

Staff Writer


The latest trend amongst kids and students alike seems to be bringing conflict to college campuses and public places in general: hoverboards.

What exactly is a hoverboard, and why is there such a stigma around this seemingly harmless and fun toy? Well, first of all, the name “hoverboard” is actually deceiving: A hoverboard does not actually hover, but instead is a two-wheeled, self-balancing board that you ride by leaning one direction or another. Reports have been release about hoverboards blowing up while charging, or people falling off and seriously harming them.

Hoverboards were one of the most popular Christmas gifts of 2015, mainly for kids, but you see people of all ages riding them. You can even spot people riding them here on the UWF campus, “hovering” around from class to class.

You won’t see anyone hovering on the UWF campus anymore. An email from University News was sent to all UWF faculty, staff, and students on Friday, enacting a ban on hoverboards anywhere on campus effective immediately. This comes just days after an email was sent banning all hoverboards from residence halls.

The email from University News read, “Effective immediately, the possession, use, or storage of electronic equipment such as Hoverboards, Swagways, IO Hawks, Skywalkers and any similar devices is prohibited anywhere on the University of West Florida Pensacola Campus, including in residence halls and apartments. This applies to all members of the campus community, and has been enacted to mitigate potential on-campus safety hazards.”

The email also mentioned other colleges and universities that have banned the use of such products on their campus as well. These universities include American University, Boston College, Vanderbilt University, Louisiana State University, University of Alabama, and the list goes on. Safety concerns and fire hazards are the main reasons cited for the bans on campuses across the country.

Students on campus have differing opinions on how hoverboards should be handled. Junior, Juliann Laird says she feels that if skateboards are allowed on campus, so should hoverboards. “I don’t know a lot about hoverboards, I think they’re cool, but childish. I don’t see the danger in hoverboards, but I think they should only be allowed to be used outside,”.

“I see people occasionally riding them on campus and it’s weird, but it looks hilarious and fun, so go for it dude,” Laird said.

Students and kids are not the only ones testing out hoverboards. Reality star and former Real Housewife of Beverly Hills, Brandi Glanville, was injured when she fell off a hoverboard, resulting in a hairline fracture and six stitches on her hand. The star captioned a photo of her injured arm: “Swollen paw 6 stiches I’m officially done with iWalk slash hover board.”

Sophomore, Conner Blake says he thinks that hoverboards are unnecessary on campus, especially with all the reports of people getting hurt and the devices blowing up. “There is no need for people to use hoverboards, or whatever they are called, on campus,” Blake said. “UWF’s campus is so easy to navigate and walk from class to class, use your two legs.”

“I think the University banning hoverboards in residence halls is a great first step. If one were to explode in a dorm room or a classroom, not only would you be putting students and faculty at risk, but there is also a chance the whole building would burn down. I just don’t think it’s wise to allow them on campus,” Blake said.

A much younger, hoverboard lover had an opinion on college students and their use of hoverboards on campus. Delaney Williams, 11, of Gulf Breeze, says she believes that hoverboards were made as a toy for kids, not for people to use to get around to class.

“Hoverboards are toys that are fun to ride around, but that’s all that they are, a toy. They can be dangerous if people don’t actually know how to ride it, which is why only kids should stick to using them,” Williams said.

What do you think about hoverboards being banned on the UWF campus? Tweet me your view: @claudcarlson.

Boneheads: New restaurant open for business near campus

Sara Agans

Staff Writer

The new Boneheads inside the Argonaut Village. Photo courtesy of the Pensacola News Journal.


Location, price and taste are just a few of the important concepts that run through a college student’s mind when it comes to finding a place to eat. Just last month, the Boneheads franchise, based in Atlanta, opened up for business in the Argonaut Village.

Argonaut Village is located at the northeast entrance to UWF and is said to be expecting to open a few more restaurants this year by the middle of March. (Taken from a Pensacola News Journal story on Oct. 18, 2015).

Kendrick Hobbs, owner of this Boneheads restaurant and a UWF alumnus, said the restaurant has a “fast-casual” concept, meaning that the customers get the best of both worlds: the experience of both a fast food restaurant and a dine-in restaurant.

A customer first places his or her order at the front counter with the cashier; then sits at a table and an employee will bring the food out.

With the quick service and the affordable prices of a fast food restaurant, the feel of a dine-in restaurant, the fresh food made to order on real plates with real silverware, it is the best of both worlds.

“I really think our food speaks for itself,” Hobbs said. “Any of the pictures you see are our actual plates that you’ll get. It’s not Hollywood; we took a plate and we took a picture of it and put it on our menu. So presentation and quality of the food is the most important thing to us, and the experience. You come in here, you have a nice atmosphere, and you have nice customer service at an affordable price. I don’t think there’s anything better than that.”

Boneheads specialties include grilled skewers, tacos, burritos, and a variety of grilled fish and piri piri spiced chicken. On average, it is about $12 a plate, per person.

Jessie Drossos, Kendrick Hobbs’s aunt and the general manager/catering manager of Boneheads, said, “I am very proud of Kendrick. I wasn’t really sure about the concept at first, but it is great food. And the fact that it’s at UWF, which is really special to him, it’s awesome. I’ve been very impressed.”

Ella Cornell, UWF sophomore majoring in health science and a member of Alpha Delta Pi, said, “I like it here. It’s clean and organized, and the menu looks fresh, and it’s cool that it’s right by campus. It’s affordable and has good portions of food. I love the grilled zucchini. Definitely come check it out. It’s easy to come between classes if you are on campus, and the food comes out quick.”

Boneheads is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. You can check out the restaurant’s website or Facebook page for more information.

Visiting lecturer Chris Schweizer tells art students to do what they love

Sydney O’Gwynn

Staff Writer


Chris Schweizer, signing autographs at UWF. Photo by Sydney O’Gwynn.


Chris Schweizer, a graphic artist and cartoonist, discussed his journey into the world of graphic design in his lecture Thursday in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts at the University of West Florida.

Schweizer said he found it difficult deciding exactly what he wanted to do in the art field. When he was in his twenties, comic books became all the rage.

“That got me really excited,” Schweizer said, addressing the audience. “So I started to do comics.”

He said his dad had a huge impact on his decision to become a graphic novelist. He said he remembers when he was 24 and he drew some comics. After showing them to his dad, his dad said he should draw comics for a living.

“For him to, sort of, propose that was the first time that I actually thought of it as being a job,” Schweizer said.

“The Crogan Adventures” is Schweizer’s historical fiction graphic novel series. There are currently three published: “Catfoot’s Vengeance,” “Last of the Legion” and “Where Loyalties Lie.” He also has a children’s series called “The Creeps.”

In his lecture, Schweizer talked about his process when writing his novels and coming up with ideas for their stories.

“I give my characters an impossible problem and force myself to solve it,” Schweizer said addressing the audience. “It’s fun trying to figure this stuff out.”

He said he tries to engross himself in whatever genre he is working in so he can understand what he is drawing. He said doing this helps with the accuracy of the artwork.

Senior digital art major Lyani La Santa said it was a nice lecture for art majors to find some validity in their field. Being a digital art major, she said she also enjoyed his outlook on digital media.

“It’s nice to know that even though he is an accomplished artist, he sees online media as an actual tool to get art out there,” La Santa said.

She said she liked his approach of doing whatever makes you happy and said she learned to, “be as animated as your art.”

Schweizer is the first lecturer to visit the department of art this semester. Nick Croghan, director of The Art Gallery, said he tries to bring in several lecturers throughout the course of a semester.

“What I’m looking to do is provide the best experience for students, the university community and the general northwest Florida community,” Croghan said.

He said he tries to find lecturers whose experiences will cater to students in different fields of art.

“One of the things I really try to do is find a balance between traditional mediums and more contemporary mediums,” Croghan said.

To close the lecture, Schweizer gave some advice to up and coming art majors. He said exposure is key for an artist.

“Showcase what you do and how you to do it as much as you can,” he said.

He also said to stay true to what you do, because you never know what impact you are having on your fans.

“I love for work to be fun,” Schweizer said. “I really enjoy my work and I want to continue to enjoy my work.”

Before the lecture, Schweizer gave everyone in the audience a copy of one of his sketchbooks released in 2011. After the lecture, he autographed the books, making sure to give each one a personalized sketch. He gave the remaining listeners his philosophy on being successful in their careers.

“You’ve got to be two of three things,” he said. “Really good, really fast or really easy to work with.”

For more information about Chris Schweizer and his work, visit his website at croganadventures.blogspot.com.

For more information about the Art Gallery and its upcoming events, visit its website at tag82uwf.wordpress.com.

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.