Students on the University of South Florida’s campus are petitioning for a name change of the ROTC building on campus. The building’s namesake is former senator Charles William Young. Young had a political career lasting more than fifty years.
He was a member of the Johns committee. The Johns committee’s aim was to remove radicals from the Florida Public University system during the 1960s. The Florida senate chose to seal over 50,000 pages of documents involving the committee until 1992 when the Florida Supreme Court ruled that they fell within the sunshine laws.
Bruce Wright, President of students for a democratic society, said the committee’s goal was less than appropriate.
“It was formed to investigate people’s lifestyles to see if they were compliant with what was perceived to be the way a professor should be,” Wright said.
Students gathered outside of the building with signs chanting “change the name stop the hate”, with the petition currently holding 400 signatures.
While students protest the name of the building there are other students such as Jesse Davidson, majoring in communications, who believe the university should take a different approach and inform students on the matter.
“I don’t think that we should look over all the good things that he did for our community and the reason he had a building named after him in the first place,”said Davidson.
The University of South Florida currently has no plans to change the buildings name.
Just about everything great has humble beginnings. The University of South Florida is no different. When USF opened in the fall of 1960, it only had three buildings – the Administration building, the University Center and the Chemistry building.
The University Center doubled as a dorm for women back then but has since been torn down, the Marshall Student center now takes its place. MSC is now a central gathering location for all students on campus. According to USF student Kaysha Alvarez, ”MSC is a great meeting place for all people on a campus as large and diverse as our own.”
At the time, the Chemistry building housed all departments. Interesting enough, you can teach any subject in a chemistry building but you can only teach chemistry in a chemistry building.
Unlike UF and FSU, USF was the first state university built in an area that was already a bustling city, completely different from Tallahassee or Gainesville. “When I came here 27 years ago, this campus was a desert, not a University,” Gerry G. Meisels, Professor of Chemistry and Director, says. When the University began, all the land that is now home to the USF buildings, was barren and blowing sand was a huge problem.
The University started with 900 students and today the system serves 36,000. USF not only had students full of pride, we were also the first school in the state with air conditioned buildings.
When you scan USF’s campus, you do not see students dressed in suits. Mostly, you see students dressed casually in jeans and a T-shirt. You might even see students in pajamas.
With a low budget and a full schedule of academics and extracurricular activities, personal appearance may not be the first priority on college student’s minds. It is, however, the first thing an employer notices.
“In 2008 USF was rated as worst dressed by employment recruiters,” said USF advisor Kristofer Stubbs.
Suit-a-Bull at USF provides students with free suits, dress shirts, ties and skirts for interviews or any other occasion where dress attire is required. Suit-A-Bull is looking to add shoe rental as well in the near future.
“A lot of the career fairs they don’t allow you inside if you don’t have a suit. A lot of the students who come here have been turned down by those careers fairs,” said Kenni Lynch, USF ENACTUS President.
This service started in 2008 and is stocked through donations from faculty and staff.
The only qualification for renting dress attire is to bring your student ID and return the rented items within 48 hours. Suit-a-Bull is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Inspiration takes people in many directions. When you mix it with raw talent, great things usually happen.
21-year-old Jeanine Patrick, a business marketing major at the University of South Florida, hails from Orlando, Florida. She has always been interested in art and creating.
“I’ve been doing art since I was a little kid, probably like five or six, but I began taking it serious four years ago when I entered college,” Patrick said.
Recently, her casual hobby has turned into something much bigger—6 feet, to be exact. Her paintings are large, detailed and filled with rich colors. Some pieces even have three-dimensional aspects.
Patrick uses oil paint to create her art on large canvases that she buys in stores or makes herself. The pieces range from tasteful nude portraits to conscious pieces about the criminal justice system.
“I gain inspiration from things I see in my daily life. My pieces are abstract with realist themes,” Patrick said.
Patrick’s work has been showcased locally in the Tampa Bay area through art galleries and live painting events. After graduation, she plans on creating art full time.
Many have fantasized, at one point or another, about being a famous entertainer. Most, however, do not pursue those dreams. Naomy Ambroise, a young Tampa performer, is determined to turn those dreams into reality.
“Naomy is very multi-talented, very dedicated and truly inspiring,” said Danielle James, fellow dance and theater arts student.
Being a performing arts career is not easy. Besides theater performance, students take ballet classes on body disciplines and memorize pieces for performance in class regularly. The two weeks while a show is being put on require 14-hour days.
“I chose to be a performing arts major because there was just like a satisfaction you get from being able to reach people,” said Ambroise.
Ambroise has been involved in four productions while at USF. She recently auditioned in New York for acceptance into theater graduate schools; 11 more are interested. She plans to attend after graduation or become an apprentice for a theater company.
With graduation quickly approaching for many college students, anxiety and excitement is palpable at the University of South Florida.
The answer to the million-dollar question, “So what are you doing after graduation?” is different for every student.
Alfred Higgs, a USF criminology senior, plans to run track for his home country, the Bahamas.
Higgs came to the United States in 2010. He was able to attend USF on an athletic scholarship. A school record holder for the 4×100 relay, he played every sport in high school but stuck with track because he liked an activity that did not require a team.
“I was always athletic,” Higgs said. “And I think I just have the natural talent of running. So, I always liked running.”
On May 1, instead of wearing a green cap and gown to his graduation ceremony, Higgs will wear the Bahamian national colors, aquamarine and gold.
According to Higgs, the biggest cultural difference between the U.S. and the Bahamas is the food.
“When I came here, I wanted to go home because I couldn’t find a decent meal anywhere,” Higgs said.
Tampa’s downtown dinosaurs could be transformed into modern and efficient means of transportation. The historic trolleys that connect downtown, Channelside and Ybor have seen a steady decline in passengers since 2009.
The trolleys start at noon on weekdays, making them more of a novelty than a necessity. Mayor Bob Buckhorn as well as the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit, the entity that runs the streetcars, have been discussing expanding the system as well as extending hours and frequency.
“In an ideal world, we would be running the streetcar starting at 6:30 in the morning,” said HART CEO Katharine Eagan. “We’d run every 10 minutes in rush hour, maybe every 12 minutes, and a minimum every 15 minutes midday and the evening.”
The streetcars have a long history in Tampa Bay that began in 1892 back when the streetcar was a necessity. Ridership peaked in the 1920s, with over 24 million passengers in1926. The streetcar returned to Tampa in 2002 without the large number of riders.
“It’s absolutely possible to change the type of streetcar that we’re using and go with something with a more modern design,” Eagan said.
Downtown business owners, as well as HART, are interested in returning the streetcar to its former glory. The only problem is funding.