The library at the University of South Florida is one of the coolest places on campus. It wouldn’t be a library if there weren’t books available for students to check out; however, some students don’t know that the library has so much more to offer.
“This is certainly not your grandmother’s library,” USF librarian Susan Ariew said in reference to the fact that the library has evolved a great deal with respect to keeping up with technology.
The library has many free resources available to help students be successful in their classes.
“We have laptops that you can check out at the library and we have iPads that you can check out,” said USF librarian Maryellen Allen. “We have the Digital Media Commons that have multimedia equipment and resources.”
In order to encourage students to use the library for any type of assignment- whether it’s a research paper or multimedia project- the library has something for everyone. One of the prominent features that students find convenient is the library schedule.
The building is normally open 24 hours Sunday through Thursday. It closes at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, making it accessible for students regardless of their schedule outside of the classroom.
With hundreds of computers and several floors of study space, the library is the main attraction on campus. Considering that final exams are next week, the 24-hour schedule will be extended to Friday and Saturday, giving even more students a place to focus and properly prepare for their big tests.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is an organization that was founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver. MADD introduced designated driver programs as a solution to drinking and driving, which brought the organization more exposure and awareness to the importance of not driving under the influence. The MADD West Central Florida affiliate was created 32 years ago in Hillsborough County to further educate the community on the preventable issue.
MADD Hillsborough hosted an annual Walk Like MADD fundraising event. Their goal was to raise money for the victims of the community and to remember the lives lost. There were vendors as well as music and games to get the community excited about coming out for MADD’s 3-mile walk.
Sgt. Jason Napoli is in charge of the Hillsborough County DUI Enforcement squad; he has seen a significant response to what MADD is doing.
“Well they’re important because we’re recognizing the victims of drunk driving and celebrating the work that mothers against drunk driving does here in the community,” Napoli said.
Along with fundraising, MADD is making other strides to improve the issue. They work heavily with the Sheriff’s Office and other organizations to keep the roadways safe.
“MADD has partnered with Uber to make ride sharing a more convenient option after late nights partying,” said Daniel Mayer, an Uber representative. “Our overall mission is to just provide a safer alternative for people trying to get home safe after drinking.”
MADD has made significant progress with education and the community but their executive board feels there is a lot more work to do with regards to preventing the crime.
For Rychard Williams, being a basketball coach at Rey Park is more than just teaching kids how to score. It gives him the opportunity to help many students and keep them on the right path.
Williams started a nonprofit organization,“We Got Talent,” where he helps his students gain access to higher education by utilizing their athletic and academic abilities
“I was trying to figure out how I could do different things for my kids, to show them different things. I had students that didn’t receive college offers when I thought they should have,” said Williams.
Coach Williams trains his students with scholarship opportunities in mind, but to teach life lessons as well.
“I think I’ve learned how to be a part of a team better and how to carry myself better,” said Charles Dunn, a Blake High School freshman. “Knowing I’m a part of that foundation, coach has just helped me make better decisions and be a better person.”
He meets with his students every day after school to give them a place to be productive. This gives them an opportunity to do their homework, play games and workout.
Williams plans to take some of the kids on a trip to Atlanta, Georgia over spring break to keep them occupied. He will also take them to an Atlanta Hawks basketball game, which most of the students are excited about.