Look out cookie dough lovers there’s a frozen treat for you around the Tampa Bay area. Fro-Dough is a new creation for Florida no matter the day or the weather.
Bree Sparks, sophomore, and Cameron Austin, freshman, a couple at The University of South Florida have combined the trend of edible cookie dough and the cold sweetness of ice cream to create Fro-Dough.
“People are super excited anytime they see it, they have to do a double take because it still is a really new concept,” said Sparks, founder of Fro-Dough.
For those worried about uncooked cookie dough making you sick, do not fear. Fro-Dough is completely harmless because it is made with safe flour and a replacement for eggs. Compared to other cookie dough companies it is unique because it is frozen. Many of the flavors are actually vegan or gluten-free.
Sparks is vegan and a huge cookie dough connoisseur herself. “Edible cookie dough has been like one of our many passions, like everyone else we love to eat it straight out of the bowl,” said Sparks.
There are a variety of flavors ranging from chocolate chip, sugar cookie, cake batter, brownie batter, sweet and salty and even a mixed berry cobbler flavor.
“Our flavors if we don’t absolutely love them, we don’t sell them and we freeze it. Not a lot of other people freeze it and in our opinions, it just makes it so much better,” said Austin.
While Fro-Dough does not have a specific location you can try free samples at many different events throughout the Tampa Bay area.
“We do markets around Tampa Bay like right now we’re selling every week on Wednesdays and Thursdays at USF Bull Market and we also do an array of events over the weekend that you can find on our Facebook page,” said Sparks.
Sparks and Austin have come a long way from when they first started making cookie dough for fun at home.
“It was pretty lengthy cause there’s really no instructions on doing it, especially like us, where we’re selling at markets rather than starting an actual brick and mortar place,” said Sparks. “It was a bit confusing to get licensed. We had to go through the Department of Hotels and Businesses and get licensed by them; a business license. We had to get our freezer, we had to get our trailer and perfect all our recipes.”
Fro-Dough uses a commercial kitchen in South Tampa where the whole dream comes together.
“This place helped out a lot because I went in here not knowing anything and I talked to the owner. She gave me a whole list of all the things that I needed to do which was super helpful,” Sparks explained.
After recently starting this business in 2017, Sparks and Austin have a lot of hope for Fro-Dough and want to open a physical location soon. They are partnering with a local non-profit, Keys to Kindness, which they will donate all proceeds from their Kind Blast-Mixed Berry Cobbler flavor.
Healthy living is a concept many are concerned with. Organic items fill the shelves and gluten-free products seem to come out of nowhere. For 67-year-old June Kittay, a healthy lifestyle involves more than just healthy eating.
“I did 25 minutes on the treadmill, then I lifted weights and I did a few yoga poses,” Kittay said about her morning exercise routine.
Her lifestyle wasn’t always as healthy. In her 20’s, she was an elementary school teacher with very dangerous habits. The effects of these habits became clear after some years.
“I existed during the week on a pack of cigarettes a day and two liters of diet soda. Fast forward 40 years later, I have osteoporosis. That’s what happens when you don’t take care of your body,” Kittay said.
A car accident motivated Kittay to bring awareness to the importance of health and fitness.
“I went into a seated fitness class and I said this is what I want to do when I grow up! So that’s what happened. I became a fitness instructor in 2004 and I’ve been doing it ever since. And I love it. I wish so many other people would do it,” Kittay said.
To keep up her promise to the community, Kittay teaches a “Yoga in the Gardens” class in the Botanical Gardens at the University of South Florida. USF student Jasmine Ehney has been a recurring visitor to the classes.
“I really like how she emphasizes nature, mindfulness and how to appreciate the trees and the earth. Things that we don’t usually notice,” Ehney said.
The class is held every Friday at 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Students and visitors can come to the class free of cost.
Staring in January of 2018, Florida Southern College is joining the movement that many deem the future of competitive athletics, esports.
Ditching basketball courts and soccer nets, esports allows gamers to competitively play video games with other teams. While the concept is revolutionary, it is also very new. Its long-term impacts are unknown, but some believe esports could lead to negative impacts, such as harming our environment.
Despite this concern, students and faculty at FSC are excited for the start of competitive gaming. They will be joining schools like the University of South Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida State University in the movement.
Florida Southern President Anne Kerr believes that the good from bringing in esports outweighs any potential bad.
“We are all learning together,” Kerr said. “I think this is a great way to bring our students together.”
Florida Southern College President Anne Kerr and Vice President Robert Tate are excited to bring the esports program to Florida Southern.
“With our growing computer science major, you have to think ‘how do we change to meet the needs of our students’?” Kerr said.
The National Association of Collegiate eSports is responsible for 90 percent of all varsity esports programs in America. According to the NACE, only seven colleges and universities had esports programs in 2016. Today, it holds about 30 schools in its membership.
Its rapid rise in popularity has been well documented. The 2014 League of Legends World Championship drew an online viewership of 27 million people, according to the NACE.
“It really is a spectator sport”, Kerr said.
Those who are interested can watch the competitions through their personal devices or in giant, flashing neon stadiums.
The movement is sweeping across colleges and universities nationwide, but the impacts of this concept have had little time to be addressed. The type of intense, high tech equipment that it requires uses a massive amount of energy. These are a few examples of features that require high energy usage:
Sophisticated widescreen computers
Gamer specific lighting in game rooms
Gaming stadiums, complete with monitors large enough for an audience to view
The esports program will use a massive amount of energy.
With just 30 schools involved in the esports program, the negative effects of intense computer labs and spectator fueled gaming events are limited.
However, esports continues to grow in popularity, even outside of the school setting. That increase, with the continued use of fossil fuels, will further intensify the negative impact on our environment.
Morgan Napper is an environmental science student at Hillsborough Community College. She is concerned with the potential impacts of esports.
“It’s kind of a new thing so I doubt there is a whole lot of research but anything that uses such a high amount of power is a bad thing for our energy usage,” Napper said. “I mean, there could be ways to incorporate green technology but really I doubt that’s a priority.”
Though esports is a relatively new construct, researchers have been looking into the health impacts of video games for years.
Without concrete evidence, President Kerr stands strong in her support of esports.
“There is great excitement on campus,” she said.
Florida Southern will offer competition for League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone, three of the most popular games within the esports community.
Whether it’s on or off campus, it’s not unusual to know of a sexual violence incident. Fortunately, most college campuses offer resources for sexual violence victims who feel like they have nowhere to turn.
At USF there are free and confidential resources available to help students who have experienced sexual violence. Students also receive certain rights when attending on-campus counseling.
According to Student Eligibility and Rights of USF’s Counseling Center, “All currently registered USF students who have paid the Tampa campus student health fee are eligible for Counseling Center services. Students have a right to professional and ethical services at the Counseling Center. Students have a right to a respectful therapeutic relationship without physical, sexual, verbal, or other abuse.”
Below is a video from the USF Counseling Center website explaining what they do.
Located at SVC 2124, the USF Counseling Center has counselors who are trained to help students with whatever they are going through. Once the student fills out an application at the counseling center, he or she will be provided with an available counselor. After the student has signed up for counseling, he or she can make appointments with their counselor.
According to the USF Counseling Center website, “The Counseling Center offers comprehensive psychological services to help students navigate the challenges of college life and take advantage of opportunities for personal growth.”
The Counseling Center is available for students who are currently enrolled in classes. They offer ways for patients to solve their problems, learn new skills and new insights or perspectives on how they can cope with their issue or trauma.
As stated by the USF Counseling Center’s website, their mission is, “To promote the well being of the campus community by providing culturally sensitive counseling, consultation, prevention, and training that enhances student academic and personal success.”
Whether it be for an individual, a couple, or a group in need of help, the center offers different types of counseling. For the couples counseling, both must be registered USF students to receive the free consultation. Meanwhile, group counseling has several different groups someone can connect with.
The Counseling Center offers several types of group counseling including for LGBTQ students, for those coping with grief, for those dealing with body image, and for those in need of family counseling.
Another resource is USF’s Center for Victim Advocacy, which provides free and confidential services to USF students, faculty, and staff.
Photo from Center for Victim Advocacy website
As stated by the USF Center for Victim Advocacy, “We serve men, women, and people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expression who have experienced crime, violence or abuse on or off campus either recently or in the past.”
Photo from Center for Victim Advocacy website.
USF’s Center for Victim Advocacy attempts to empower survivors of crime, violence, or abuse by promoting the restoration of decision making, by advocating for their rights, and by offering support and resources. However, while there are counselors at USF’s Counseling Center, the Center for Victim Advocacy has advocates.
An advocate with the USF Center for Victim Advocacy is a professional who is trained to respond with compassion and expertise to the victims of crime, violence, and abuse. Which includes crisis intervention, advocacy and accompaniment, safety planning, academic and housing assistance, and nonjudgmental support to victims to help them get through the experience and regain control of their lives.
The Advocacy Center has different sources it uses to help victims who have experienced sexual violence including individual support, academic/university support, medical support, court support, reporting assistance and more. The center is there to help victims learn and understand the rights for the specific crime he or she is dealing with it.
The center provides advocates to victims for guidance every step of the way, in any way possible. The center’s website also gives information on a list of crimes which show how the advocates can explain and assist the clients with their personal experience of sexual violence.
The following is an interview provided by USF’s Counseling Center advocate Angela Candela:
“How long has the advocacy center been open?”
“For at least 10 years,” said Candela. “We’ve been open for a really long time.”
“What’s the process like when someone comes in?”
“If somebody wants our services the first step would be to schedule an appointment by walking into the office to schedule an appointment or you could call and schedule an appointment,” said Candela. “Then you receive an intake appointment with your advocate. They will have already looked at the paper and case file that you provided for them, then they will walk you through steps on what can be done and like to do”
“How many people come in on a weekly basis? Do you guys have a certain amount or is it random?”
“Its kind of random depending on the time of year, right now its busy during fall, slows down during spring and is dead during the summer. It really varies,” said Candela.
“What advice would you give to victims who have not gotten help or have not gone to an advocacy center or have just been very silent?”
“I would say that your best resource when you have experienced some type of crime would be an advocate. An advocate is really somebody that is there in your corner, that’s what we’re there for. We’re confidential, we’re not ever going to report anything. Its okay even if you were drinking underage at the time of the crime, we’re not going to judge you. We don’t care and are not going to tell on you or anything. All we are concern about is giving help to somebody who is a victim of a crime,” Candela said. “It’s scary, it’s not always easy. It takes a lot of bravery and strength to do so in the first place, to come out and say, ‘Hey I need help.’ If they feel like they can, I think it’s an amazing option.”
Photo by Megan Holzwarth
Both USF’s Victim Advocacy Center and Counseling Center are options that are available to students. Other options include the University Police Department (USFPD) and the Student Health Services which are available to USF students who would like to receive help.
Sexual violence can happen to students on or off campus. With this in mind, USF offers resources to students in need of a safe space. Everyone deserves to know his or her rights and what services are available for students.
Below is the full audio link with the interview with Angela Candela.
College freshmen are faced with the decision of choosing a college major, which they will dedicate the next four years of their lives to. A majority of college students have little experience to base such a big decision on.
Dominic Conrad is a sophomore at the University of South Florida. He is studying marketing and plans on graduating in the spring of 2020.
Conrad had a demanding childhood. His father, Dexter Conrad, a top sniper in the Marine Corps, was constantly being relocated for his job. His family followed and supported him, despite the number of times they had to move.
The Conrad family lived in West Virginia, District of Columbia, North Carolina and Florida. In Dominic Conrad’s eyes, the district made the greatest impact in his life when he was 8 years old.
“It was the first place that really felt like a home to me,” Conrad said. “It was the first time that I loved my school and I made real friends. I even saw my first football game with my dad there. The Washington Redskins will always be my favorite.”
His passion for football inspired him to choose marketing as his major. Conrad aspires to work in the marketing department of the Washington Redskins when he graduates from USF.
Conrad thought his devotion to his favorite team could benefit their marketing department more than the average marketing major.
“I love this team with all of my heart,” Conrad said. “I will learn anything and everything in my courses just to make sure I can be the best, because they deserve the best.”
This summer, Conrad plans to intern for the marketing department at Five Guys Burgers and Fries in the District. He hopes to acquire knowledge that cannot be taught in the classroom.
Dexter Conrad is proud of his son’s decisions and accomplishments so far.
“He took his future into his own hands,” Dexter Conrad said. “The fact that he already has an internship in the summer shows me he is serious about this. It’s not the Redskins yet, but it’s one step closer.”
During the last weeks of October, the Me Too campaign trended as social media users added the #MeToo hashtag to their posts to show solidarity and empathy for those who have experienced sexual assault or harassment.
The campaign surfaced when The New York Times published an article on Oct. 5 that recounted stories of American film producer Harvey Weinstein and years of sexual misconduct. Since then, 76 women have come forward, accusing Weinstein of various forms of sexual assault. These women, mostly actresses, include Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The #MeToo hashtag has allowed these celebrities and other women to speak up about what has happened to them. The hashtag has also been used to recount sexual assault experiences other than those related to Weinstein.
The Me Too movement didn’t start with the Weinstein case. Activist Tarana Burke began the movement over 10 years ago. Burke started this movement to help women from low income communities who have been sexually assaulted or harassed.
“Burke founded Just Be Inc., ‘a youth organization focused on the health, well being and wholeness of young women of color,’ in 2006 and launched the ‘Me Too’ campaign,” according to a USA Today article. “Burke’s goal was to let women who have suffered sexual abuse, assault or exploitation know that they are not alone and to build an extended network of women who could empathize with survivors.”
Women are not only using the hashtag, but so are men. This is a way for men to stand up for women, with some sharing their own stories as victims of sexual assault. Some male celebrities who have used the hashtag include actors Jensen Ackles and Jim Beaver.
Other than the #MeToo hashtag, the #IBelieveYou hashtag has also surfaced. This hashtag has allowed people to help stand up for survivors through a show of support and validation.
“[The campaign] has now taken hold in campuses and communities across the province, reaching nearly 7 million people online,” according to the AASAS website. “Even better, we’re changing attitudes and behavior.”
The #NOMORE hashtag has also trended as of late. This campaign also focuses on voicing instances of sexual assault while aiming to end domestic violence.
“A project of NEO Philanthropy, NO MORE is dedicated to getting the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse out of the shadows and encouraging everyone — women and men, youth and adults, from all walks of life — to be part of the solution, ” according to the NO MORE website.
NO MORE was launched in 2013 and has since worked with advocacy groups, governmental agencies, universities and other corporations to put an end to domestic violence and sexual assault.
The Me Too campaign, as well as other movements against sexual assault, are for women to know they are not alone. Through these movements, women can let their voices be heard; they don’t have to be silent.
Election year means new changes from the new person in office, and new policies replacing the old ones.
One thing that this election year has decided to change is former President Barack Obama’s Title IX guidance for colleges.
Title IX makes sure educational institutions do not discriminate against genders. Members of any gender may not be excluded from participation or be denied benefits in educational programs.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos plans on changing Obama’s Title IX and replacing it with a new policy she is working on. The new guidance is shorter and quick to the point compared to the old policy. It is in the form of a question-and-answer document and allows schools to decide how to handle cases of sexual misconduct on their campus.
“The tone of the new guidance is much more permissive than that of the Obama-era directives,” said Peter F. Lake, who leads the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University.
Many colleges have announced that they will not be changing their current sexual misconduct policies. Colleges take sexual assault seriously and are not planning on changing their policies until more details are talked about.
In a background call with reporters, a senior department official said the government had left open the option of what schools do in this interim period but had no expectation about whether colleges would adopt a higher standard.
Crystal C. Coombes, senior deputy Title IX coordinator at the University of South Florida, spoke with the Chronicle of Higher Education and said her institution will stick with the preponderance standard for now.
DeVos did give credit to the Obama administration by bringing this issue to light and creating a policy to help, but she thinks the policy should be updated and changed.
“The system established by the prior administration has failed too many students,” said DeVos. “Survivors, victims of a lack of due process, and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved.”
DeVos believes that changing the policy would be good and help all of those who are involved in sexual violence cases, including the people accused of sexual violence and the victims.
“All students deserve protection. All students,” DeVos said in a news conference in July. “There has been a lack of clarity in this area. I heard from both groups in ensuring that the process is fair to both parties, and they’ve acknowledged that it isn’t today.”
Most people are not behind DeVos policy plan change and some fear that this will not help the victims at all, but only those accused of sexual violence. They think things will go back to how they use to be and victims won’t have their voices heard.
Title IX may have new policy changes. Some people may think the change is a good idea, while others may argue that there shouldn’t be any change. The government is taking careful consideration of both groups when creating the new policy.
TAMPA – “Who’s going to believe you?” is a statement that victims hear often from their assailant; enough for a victim to change their mind on speaking up and instead remain silent about the sexual violence.
Sexual violence can be difficult for many people to discuss. Sometimes, people try to avoid the subject and do their best to go back to the person they were before the incident.
Sexual violence is not something new that occurs on college campuses. It has been going on for years. One victim was brave enough to share her story.
The victim explained that on March 25 2012, someone who worked at the college she attended sexually assaulted her at a party held off campus. The victim explained that her assailant was liked and well-known on campus. The victim felt as though there was nothing she could do.
The assailant told the victim if she told anyone what happened it would be her words against his. The victim never went to the police about the situation.
“I went home, skipped classes and laid in bed the whole day,” the victim said. “I went up to him and he acted like nothing happened.”
The victim said when she brought up telling someone about the assault, the assailant would tell her nobody would believe her due to his reputation on campus.
The victim explained that she began participating in self-harm until a friend noticed her behavior and put a stop to things.
“It felt pointless at the point,” the victim said. “I felt so disgusted with myself, I went down a pretty dark path and if it wasn’t for my best friend I don’t know how I would have gotten out of it.”
When asked what advice the victim had for anyone who has been sexually assaulted she said, “Never think it is your fault. You have a voice whether you use it verbally or in a physical manner, you have a voice. No one should ever silence you.”
The victim continued on with more advice. “If you can, talk to someone close to you, that you know you can trust and do what I didn’t do. Go to the police and get justice because no one deserves to have that happen.”
“If you can, talk to someone close to you, that you know you can trust and do what I didn’t do,” she said. “Go to the police and get justice because no one deserves to have that happen.”
Below is the audio link to the interview.
* Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the victim.
Camp Kesem at Florida State University is gearing up for its annual Make the Magic event, which benefits the kids at the camp.
According to the nonprofit’s mission statement, it is a “nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer.”
The organization has over 3,000 student leaders at over one hundred colleges across the U.S. The camp reached 6,000 kids in 2016 alone, 65 of which came from the chapter at FSU.
Make the Magic – a fundraiser geared toward making the camp free – will include a cocktail hour, a formal dinner and speeches from leaders at all levels of the organization. Guests will be able to connect with camp counselors and participate in activities related to the camp.
Last year’s Make the Magic event raised over $6,000. With more time and resources dedicated to advertising and marketing, the organization has plans to nearly double that amount this year.
“Last year was definitely a successful fundraiser but we know we can do better,” said Zack Tregoe, Camp Kesem’s FSU branch co-director. “With repeat donors and the growth of Kesem we want to reach a donation goal of $11,000.”
Proceeds from each event go straight to the campers themselves, ensuring that every child who attends the camp is doing so for free. Each counselor must raise at least $500, which is then combined.
The camp itself is six days and five nights that include activities from sports to arts and crafts. The camp provides an escape for children dealing with the impacts of cancer on their family.
The camp encourages open dialogue through the Empowerment Ceremony. At the ceremony, campers are encouraged to talk about why they are there. Campers all share that one or both of their parents have been affected by cancer to some degree.
This includes parents who are actively battling cancer, are a cancer survivor or have lost their battle. This ceremony works to bring campers together.
“My favorite event at the camp is Wow-Pow-Chow, something we do every night,” Tregoe says.
Wow-Pow-Chow (WPC) is a part of Cabin Chat, a large group discussion focused on that specific day. The ‘wow’ is for the best part of the day, the ‘pow’ is for the worst part of the day and the ‘chow’ is for the best food of the day.
“I love the way WPC is able to give every camper a voice, but it also helps us in bettering the camp for the future,” Tregoe said. “When feedback from a certain activity is positive, we know to emphasize it the next year. If the feedback is just so-so, we either replace it or ask our campers how to improve it.”
Make the Magic will take place March 4, 2017. Those looking to attend will be able to purchase tickets for $50 at campkesem.org/fsu.
From pizza to prosthetics, new cars to human hearts, the feats of 3-D printing have made headlines for years.
But in a dimly lit room, amid the constant low hum of these printers at work, a much humbler mission is underway. Printers are fulfilling a print request for a small blue duck.
This duck, small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, took just over 30 minutes to print in the 3-D printing lab at the USF Advanced Visualization Center (AVC). Once the duck was complete, the printer started playing a short song. The screen displayed a message that read “We love printing things!”
The invention of 3-D printing goes back to the 1980s, but only in the past decade has it moved into the realm of the everyday consumer, said Howard Kaplan, senior technologist and visualization specialist for the AVC.
“It’s a humongous industry,” Kaplan said. “I don’t think it’s just engineering at all. I think it spans a much wider variety I think in fact than (virtual reality) does. I think (virtual reality) would like to say in its marketing that it caters to a wide variety of people, but the utility of it is really not there yet.”
Objects are printed in melted plastic, built up layer by layer using a 3-D computer model as a guide. The plastics the AVC uses are ABS and PLA, which is what Kaplan said most consumer-level 3-D printing is done with. Prints can take hours depending on their size. Longer prints that the AVC receives are done overnight.
The printers that line the shelves of the AVC come in various shapes, sizes and price points. However, outside of the walls of USF, consumer-level 3-D printers can be found everywhere from Walmart to Amazon to Office Depot. The popular crafting site Etsy has users offering not only 3-D printing services but selling 3-D printed goods, ranging from jewelry to miniature crossbows.
On Amazon, the prices for 3-D printers range from a little more than $200 to upward of $20,000. For those students who don’t want to pay for a printer of their own, Kaplan said they can use the AVC’s 3-D printing lab. Prints aren’t free, but they’re cheaper than buying a printer and supplies.
Students take advantage of the printing lab for a variety of projects. Kaplan highlighted the fact that many students, from engineering to the arts, use the center for their research or for prototyping and sculpture making. However, not every task sent to the AVC’s printers is an academic one.
Caleb Hall, a USF senior business major studying restaurants, used the AVC’s services to print a cover for one of his knives. The cover, printed in black plastic, was designed to go over the edge of the knife to protect it in a bag. While Hall said it lost its grip after just a few weeks, he still has it. He looks at the growth of the consumer market for 3-D printers optimistically.
“There’s so much potential for growth that by the time they get super advanced and can reliably print organic matter it’ll be so easy to buy simple printers in the consumer market and there’ll be files to print nearly anything you want,” Hall said.
What makes 3-D printing so appealing is that it brings factory-grade technology to the average consumer, Hall said. It has the same appeal as normal home printers.
“Sure you could go to the library or a Kinko’s to get something printed on this hulking machine back before we were born, but then the technology got small and affordable,” he said. “Now, instead of needing access to a factory with an injection molder, if I want to make something like a desk ornament or a silly rubber band gun I can just 3-D print it.”
Kaplan holds a different view. Even though the market grows, Kaplan said, the technology at the consumer level hasn’t made very significant leaps in terms of the level of technology that goes into them.
“I think the consumer level printing isn’t changing much or hasn’t changed much, other than the fact that more and more printers are hitting market every month,” he said. “But the printers don’t seem to be that different in terms of their quality or ability so it’s kind of that just saturation of the market.”
Aside from that, there are a few factors holding 3-D printing back. While Hall expressed interest in purchasing a personal 3-D printer, he said he feels the devices are too expensive to be everyday household items yet. There is also an issue of software, as in order to 3-D print something, one must first have a 3-D model. That modeling technology, Hall said, is still out of reach for the everyday user.
Kaplan echoes this point. The transition from high-tech to household has been slowed by the 3-D modeling knowledge users need to make objects to print. Kaplan said there are models out there on the internet for people to download and print. Hall got his model for the knife cover from a professional chef subreddit. But eventually, Kaplan said, people will want to make models of their own, and that’s where they’ll hit a wall.
But beyond this, Kaplan said, users need to have a goal for their printing. If consumers don’t know how to make things to print or what they want to print in the first place, buying the printer is just a waste of money.
“If you’re new to the technology and you just go out and buy something without doing enough research or talking to people, then you’re going to get in trouble down the road,” he said.
Are the people who are accused of sexual misconduct automatically guilty? Are they already seen guilty once someone has accused them of sexual misconduct? Should there be fairness for both sides, the victims and the accused? The accusers are not always the perpetrators in some of these cases, and the victims who accused these people are not always the victims. Some of them are innocent and shouldn’t receive the punishment the colleges have given them.
Those accused of sexual misconduct face suspension and possible expulsion from school. In the case of Doe v. Regents of the University of California, the accused student was not given the opportunity to present evidence proving him not guilty. This student went to court and has since proven his innocence.
It used to be the victims who were the ones who not getting justice. Now, as colleges crack down on sexual assault, the opposite is occurring.
“Many accused students see themselves as victims,” Sherry Warner-Seefeld, founder of the Families Advocating for Campus Equality group, said in an interview on NPR’s For Students Accused Of Campus Rape, Legal Victories Win Back Rights. “They feel as traumatized as victims of sexual assault.”
The colleges have jumped from one extreme to the another. “So the question here is whether there can be an approach to enforcement that treats both the victims and the accused with seriousness and dignity and tries to get to the bottom of these kinds of allegations,” Anya Kamenetz, a member of NPR’s Education team, said on NPR’s Education Department Official Apologizes For ‘Flippant’ Campus Sexual Assault Comments. The Education Department and Betsy DeVos are trying to change what the Obama administration had in place for schools by trying to come up with a system that does more for survivors and ensures fair due process for the accused.
NPR’s Tovia Smith wrote, “The Trump administration is expected to address Obama-era policies cracking down on campus sexual assault. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has signaled she wants to make significant changes to how schools handle allegations, to ensure the process is fair to accused students.”
“DeVos pointed to Obama Administration directives detailing exactly how schools have to investigate and adjudicate sexual assault cases,” Smith said on NPR’s Betsy DeVos Signals Rollback Of Obama Policies On Campus Sexual Assault. “Those may well have been based on good intentions, she says, but they’ve now run amok to the point where college-run kangaroo courts have resulted in a shameful unraveling of justice, as she put it.”
They want to change the policy on how colleges handle sexual violence and how the accusers are treated. The accusers are happy that they are being recognized and that there will be possible changes to help defend themselves. Others feel this is not a good idea and we will go back to how it used to be. It is hard to find a common ground on this issue.
“I think that people come into this debate on a side,” Feminist Harvard Law Professor Janet Halley said on NPR’s Betsy DeVos Launches Reform Effort On Campus Sexual Assault Policy . “They come in on the side of survivors. They come in on the side of the accused. I’m saying, let’s try to be on the side of all the students and from that point of view think about what we would want these programs to look like. And I think if we thought that way, we would be doing very different things than we are doing today.”
Should colleges change their policies on how they handle sexual violence on campus? The accusers aren’t always to blame and should have a right to defend themselves. The victims should have the same right as well. Both parties should have an equal opportunity to prove their case.
TAMPA – Dozens of students showed up at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza Thursday in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, commonly known as DACA.
In 2012, former President Barack Obama issued an executive order that prevented deportation of children under the age of 16 who immigrated to the United States illegally. While DACA is not a permanent solution for those who are eligible to apply, it gives them more time to work or receive an education in the United States. According to Pew Research Center, an estimated 790,000 unauthorized immigrants have been protected under DACA.
Last week, President Donald Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced that the administration will end the program in six months. As of now, no new DACA applications will be considered.
Trump’s presidential campaign focused on decreasing the number of immigrants to the United States, along with deporting those who are not here legally. Almost immediately after being sworn in, Trump began to follow through on his promise to be tough on undocumented immigrants.
Since the DACA announcement, congressional Democrats have been scrambling to make a deal in order to protect DACA immigrants from deportation.
Many DACA recipients are now in college, and they fear that they may be deported before being able to finish their education. Stephanie Garza, one of the organizers for the on campus DACA rally, explains why Session’s announcement is personal for some USF students.
“We know that here at USF, the estimate is between 70-100 DACA students are part of the USF community,” said Garza.
Several organizations helped plan and support the event, including College Democrats, Mi Familia Vota, For Our Future and UndocUnited. Students like Jose Flores who participated in the event wanted to show the Trump administration that college campuses support DACA students.
“We wanted to show that the community will organize and protect their own, and you know, just basically show that USF opposes the decision,” said Flores. “We hope that if other people follow in our footsteps, or, you know, we all come together, if other universities have their rallies too, together we’ll, you know, amplify our voices and we’ll be heard.”
The issue of immigration hits close to home with many people who attended the event.
“Personally, I know a lot of people who are immigrants, documented, undocumented, and you know, I see how their lives could change if something was passed, and how their lives are different than other people’s because sometimes they don’t have the same opportunities as those people,” said Michelle Joseph, who is with the organization Mi Familia Vota. “So, we’re here to support the passing of the DREAM Act, and that would mean that people would get to live normal lives kind of thing, not worry about whether they’re going to be kicked out of the country kind of thing.”
Different people spoke during the event, some of whom will be directly affected by the elimination of DACA.
“My favorite part was that some people felt empowered enough to go up and speak, even though they were not listed to speak, you know, they were motivated enough to come out and say a few words,” said Flores. “Each person that comes up and speaks up only adds to the slew of voices that are coming up, that are speaking out against this kind of you know, behavior, actions from the administration.”
DACA recipients will be in limbo until Congress decides if it is going to instate a new program to help young unauthorized immigrants. Some are trying to renew their DACA before the Oct 5. deadline set by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Applying for a renewal, however, does not ensure that they will be able to stay in the United States for the remainder of their DACA eligibility if Congress fails to create a new program.
For many, this is frustrating and alarming.
“If you’re not upset, if you’re not enraged, then you’re not paying attention,” said Flores.
Mixed in with every student’s list of fees and tuition that get paid with mild griping is “Flat Fee A&S Tampa.” The Activity and Service (A&S) fee – which equates to more than $17.8 million this year — falls under Student Government’s jurisdiction. The funs are allocated to student organizations and offices on campus.
The A&S fee is paid by students each semester. The fee includes a flat fee of $7 per semester and $12.08 per credit hour each semester. If a student takes 15 credit hours in a semester, they pay $188.20 in A&S fees.
The A&S Recommendation Committee (ASRC) is fully equipped with 12 voting members. This includes six voting senators and two alternate members if one of the six isn’t able to attend a meeting.
Collectively, this committee goes over budget requests to fund parts of campus such as new equipment for Campus Recreation, furniture in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) and events for student organizations.
“The goal of ASRC would be to receive budget requests from things that are asking for A&S funding, to determine how they provide activities and services to students and to fund them for those activities and services,” Sen. Aladdin Hiba, who is starting his fourth term on the committee, said. “With the overall goal of making things better for our USF students, adding activities, adding services.”
The ASRC committee met Friday to vote on a chair – who is responsible for calling all further meetings – and a vice chair.
During the remainder of the fall semester, committee members go over practice budget requests in order to learn the rules and the process. Additionally, members are assigned to different departments and student organizations on campus that request funding to serve as a liaison between that group and the committee.
The larger budget requests, such as the MSC and Campus Recreation, are due in December for the committee to start reviewing when winter break ends.
“We want them to have them to us early on, at least relatively,” Hiba said. “Well before this deadline happens, we’ll be meeting with the departments. We’ll have people communicating with the departments to see ‘this is what the department wants,’ ‘these are things the department thinks maybe could be cut,’ ‘these are the directions the department wants to go in.’ We get a gist of that.”
The 2017-18 budget allocated $11.9 million toward these larger departments for activities and renovations that the committee felt would be beneficial to the student body. This is compared to the $10.8 million that went toward these departments in last year’s budget.
According to Sen. Saeed Sinan, who is also starting his fourth term on the ASRC committee, departments are coming up with more new initiatives to request funding for and it’s part of the committee’s job to determine which of those are worth funding.
“We don’t want to overspend and overallocate things,” he said. “Basically, we look to see if the impact was the best for the student body. Should we decrease that? Should we reallocate funds to a different entity or a different program within the department?”
Hiba said one of the hardest parts of dealing with the budgets is having the conversations about what areas or programs need to be cut.
“If we’re spending say $50,000 on something that 200 people go to,” he said. “Well, $50,000 is enough to fund 50 student organizations for a year. We have to make these judgments, these decisions. This is too expensive, it’s not impacting enough people.”
In comparison to the deadline for departments, student organizations have to submit budget requests by Jan. 26 for consideration by the committee. In last year’s budget, student organizations as a whole received $1.1 million compared to $1 million the year prior.
“There’s around 300 to 400 to 500 student orgs that submit budget requests, and then the chair assigns a set amount of orgs per ASRC member,” Sinan said. “Then we meet with them based on the standards we decide in the fall semester. Then we go on to review each budget request separately.”
The committee allows student organizations to request funding for up to eight events per year and allocate $4 a head for food and event-related material such as tablecloths and decorations. This process was developed this past year. Prior organizations could get funded $2 a head per event and would have to request additional funding for other materials.
In an attempt to make the per-head funding system more accurate, SG purchased a card swipe system that can be rented out to student organizations. This allows for those in attendance to swipe their student ID to mark attendance and gives the organization as well as ASRC a better idea of how many students are attending events.
While most student organizations submit requests on their own, the ASRC committee has created counsels that group similar organizations – that each have a representative on the counsel – together to allow for better funding. Rather than funding each individual organization requesting money from ASRC, those that would fall into a counsel would request money from the counsel – that requested money from ASRC.
“We have a few dozen who use money completely differently from the way most organizations use it,” Hiba said. “Sports clubs are an excellent example because they don’t have events, they don’t need food, they don’t need money for the types of things we usually spend on organizations.
“What we’ve done is we’ve established the Sports Club Counsel whose entire funding paradigm is geared toward sports clubs. So, they can’t fund food and they can’t fund events in the standard sense. Instead what they fund for is primarily for team equipment that would belong to the team and for travel.”
According to Sinan, if a counsel does fund something that the ASRC committee normally would fund – such as an event – it can’t be funded differently than ASRC would. If the Engineering Counsel were to fund an event, it would still be required to fund $4 per head the way ASRC would.
A member of the committee is assigned to each organization to help work as a liaison between the organization and ASRC. What member of the committee represents what student organization is as random as it can be. Along with that right, ASRC provides a number of other rights to organizations.
“We give student organizations certain rights throughout the process,” Hiba said. “We give them the right to meet with an ASRC member, we give them the right to have their budget heard if they submit it on time, and we give them the right to appeal it to a different person if the person they met with the first time didn’t do a good job of representing them to ASRC.”
Committee members are expected to disclose any organizations they may have a bias toward or against to promote fairness. According to Sinan, all student organizations are viewed the same and go through the same process to help ensure fairness when allocating funds.
“The philosophy of ASRC is basically ‘We do not fund to better the organization or department’ because we are the custodians of the A&S fee,” Sinan said. “So, we are here to serve the students and better their experience here at USF because they paid it so we are trying to empower them.”
Going to college should be a fun time in people’s lives. It’s so exciting to finally be on your own and to meet new people while going out to parties, sporting events, clubs and late night study sessions. One thing that people shouldn’t have to worry about when going to school is sexual violence. Unfortunately however, this is something college students should definitely be aware of when they are on campus.
According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), which is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, women who are 18 to 24 years of age are at a high risk for sexual violence. RAINN’s “Campus Sexual Violence: Statistics” said, “Among undergraduate students, 23.1 percent of females and 5.4 percent of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.”
From RAINN’s Campus Sexual Violence: Statistics. Infographic
Sexual violence takes place more on college campuses than any other forms of crime that happen on those campuses. Students who are victims of sexual violence often do not come forward to report the crime to law enforcement. RAINN’s “Campus Sexual Violence: Statistics” said, “Only 20 percent of female student victims, age 18 to 24, report to law enforcement. Only 32 percent of nonstudent females the same age do make a report.” RAINN also states that, “about one in six college-aged female survivors received assistance from a victim services agency.”
From RAINN’s “Campus Sexual Violence: Statistics” Infographic
From RAINN’s Campus Sexual Violence: Statistics” Infographic
Another thing that students should be aware of is the fact that there are periods of increased risk of sexual violence throughout the year. According to RAINN, “More than 50% of college sexual assaults occur in either August, September, October, or November. Students are at an increased risk during the first few months of their first and second semesters in college.” Students should also keep in mind that law enforcement on campus are there to help protect students and have been trained to respond to this matter.
Below are some statistics from RAINN’s article: Campus Law Enforcement Has a Significant Role in Addressing and Responding to College Sexual Assault
86 percent of sworn campus law enforcement officials have legal authority to make an arrest outside of the campus grounds.
86 percent of sworn campus law enforcement agencies have a staff member responsible for rape prevention programming.
70 percent of campus law enforcement agencies have memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with local law enforcement.
72 percent of campus law enforcement agencies have a staff member responsible for survivor response and assistance.
Among four year academic institutions with 2,500 students or more, 75 percent employ armed officers, a 10 percent increase in the last decade.
College campuses are taking this issue seriously with the help of law enforcement on the campuses. The law enforcement on these school campuses are there to make sure that every student is safe.
Another method that college campuses use to keep their students safe is Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding, which is used at the majority of schools in the country. There is a website dedicated to Title IX and spreading awareness of sexual violence called “Know Your IX”, which was founded in 2013 by survivors of sexual violence. The article “Know Your IX” from the website of the same name says, “under Title IX, schools are legally required to respond and remedy hostile educational environments and failure to do so is a violation that means a school could risk losing its federal funding.”
From “Know Your IX”
For students who are victims of sexual violence and are considering reporting about the crime this is what the schools must do under Title IX. According to “Know Your IX”, “schools must notify victims of their right to report to police and facilitate that process if desired by the victim. Victims also have the right not to report to the police. Regardless of a victim’s choice to report to the police, a victim may use a school’s grievance procedure to address sexual harassment or sexual violence or merely seek accommodations. When reasonable, schools must accommodate a victim on campus to remedy a hostile environment on a school’s campus.” Colleges that do not obey and help the victim may be in violation of Title IX.
Sexual violence is not something to be taken lightly and certainly not something that can be tossed under a rug. Issues of this nature are very serious and must be addressed and handled with respect to both the victims and accusers.
As Hurricane Irma threatened the state of Florida, there was a feeling of unease for some USF students and Tampa residents.
Tampa homeowners and businesses boarded up their windows and stood by while the storm made landfall in the Keys as a Category 4.
In the days before landfall, students on the USF class Facebook pages expressed concern and speculated about classes being canceled. USF Dean of Students Danielle McDonald first communicated to students the possible effects of the hurricane on Sept. 5, writing that decisions about campus closures would not be made until later in the week.
The following day, McDonald told students campus would be closed for the rest of the week and through the weekend. As days passed and Irma’s path shifted, more communications were provided. Florida Gov. Rick Scott mandated that state offices and schools close Sept. 8-11. USF canceled classes Sept. 7-13.
Throughout this time, USF Tampa decided not to evacuate students living on campus.
“We are not in a flood zone and are further away from the coastal areas,” McDonald said in an email to students. ” … I hope to reassure you that the campus and our surrounding neighborhoods, where most of you live, is considered safer than other areas.”
In the time leading up to the storm, USF communicated with students to educate them on precautions to take and ways to prepare. McDonald included tips for hurricane preparation in an email to students. USF also has a page dedicated toemergency preparation.
However, as Irma approached, some students living on campus became nervous for their safety despite reassurance from the university.
Taira Zavala, a senior at USF, chose to go with her family to Texas to wait out the storm.
This is Zavala’s first year living in off-campus housing. She waited until Saturday night to finally evacuate. The days leading up to the storm took quite a toll on her, she said.
“I was incredibly stressed the week before the hurricane,” Zavala said. “I could not help but think that I should evacuate … My anxiety was just so terrible and I knew if I stayed it would only get worse. The storm was not as bad as I anticipated, but for my mental state it was the right move.”
Zavala questioned the timeline of campus communications and cancellations at USF.
“I definitely feel that they could have made the decisions in a timelier manner,” Zavala said. “I know many students that evacuated so I think it would have been the right move to close down the school for the remainder of that week.”
Zavala was not the only student to leave USF ahead of Hurricane Irma. Dillon Sunderland, a junior at USF, decided to evacuate the Wednesday before the hurricane hit Florida.
“This was the first time I have experienced a major threat on campus,” Sunderland said. “I felt unsafe in my [off campus] apartment because of the lack of storm windows, and the fact that I’m on the first floor, so flooding was a concern.”
Sunderland has been living in campus housing for over a year. He may have felt unsafe in his USF affiliated apartment, but Sunderland said he thinks that USF handled the emergency well.
“They closed school early enough to allow people to evacuate,” Sunderland said.
USF System President Judy Genshaft released a video about the impact of Irma on USF. She spoke of the efforts of USF faculty housing and feeding students that stayed on campus for the storm. She said almost 800 people were housed in the Sun Dome, which is a special needs shelter for Hillsborough County, during Irma. Genshaft said she was proud that USF could keep so many people housed and fed during the storm.
The International Solar Energy Society (ISES) hosted their third annual solar fair at the University of South Florida on March 21 in hopes to educate the community on solar energy.
The event included free food, informational seminars about solar panels and tours of the on campus Flex house and solar panel field for the community.
Rick Garrity, an environmental scientist, estimates the payback on the amount of money owed by individuals for solar panels lies around eight years.
“Between 0 years and 8 years the payments are paying off the system but you are getting the electricity, so your energy bills from the Tampa electric company have gone down by a significant amount,” Garrity said.
USF student and vice president of ISES, Kahveh Saramout, plans on including more activities in the future for the solar fair.
“We think the solar fair went very well but we definitely have higher ambitions for next year,” Saramout said. “We want to have a tour that encompasses a larger part of Tampa, hopefully with busses that shuttle us around to different TECO power plants.”
ISES member Nicholas Hall felt that one of the most memorable moments of the solar fair included guest speaker and USF professor Dr. Goswami.
“He introduced the solar energy fair by himself he was one of the most revered speakers. Many of the vendors that showed up actually knew him and are very proud of the work that he has done in the community,” Hall said.
Keep an eye out for next year’s solar fair with even more activities and fun for the entire family.
Unation will soon be showcasing events that are happening around the USF campus.
Unation is a free mobile app for Android and iOS that discovers events near you. The app has featured the best attractions each day in big cities like Miami, Key West and Tampa.
The company wanted to further their outreach towards college students to help their brand awareness as well as to provide the opportunity for college students to become more social in their communities.
“I feel that when students come to a different college, such as me—I was an international student—you come into college without really knowing what’s happening,” said Augusto Vidales Martelo, a marketing manager at Unation.
This app differs from other social media with events, such as Facebook, because it strictly shows events in the area and who is attending them. You can see who is attending certain events by adding friends on the app.
“I usually just go to class and go home but it would be really cool to know what’s going on,” said Vanessa Londono, a student at USF.
On Jan. 17, the USFSP Kate Tiedemann College of Business opened Lynn Pippenger Hall in St. Petersburg, a $30 millionfacility.
The building was named after St. Petersburg resident and former Raymond James Financial Inc. executive, Lynn Pippenger, who donated $5 million to the St. Petersberg campus in 2016 prompting USFSP to honor her.
The four-story, 68,000 square foot building has meeting spaces, over 20 classrooms and a 200 seat auditorium.
“It’s pretty awesome because after I’m leaving class I’m able to come up here and just you know, study and relax,” student Mike Singleton said. “It’s a very comfortable building rather than just being in the library.”
Dean of the Kate Tiedemann College of Business, Sridhar Sundaram, believes the building can create an impact on the St. Petersburg community.
“The community has walked in and said ‘Wow, this is a beautiful facility,'” Sundaram said.
“As we have more and more events we are going to be a resource for them but they also take great pride in having this building in their downtown.”
The facility is home to 1,300 students and 60 faculty members and is hosting various events for the community throughout this year.
Coco Montes,a USF sophomore infielder, was recognized by the American Athletic Conference during a big week for USF baseball. The team went 5-0 and had a huge win against Florida State. Montes totaled three runs, his second home run of the season and a team-high five RBIs. Montes said he is ready to continue this type of play throughout the rest of his sophomore year.
“My body feels a lot better than last year,” Montes said. “Just being able to come out here and start winning, that’s going to be the biggest thing for me.”
The second baseman was recruited out of Miami with the vision that he could immediately have an impact on USF’s baseball program. Montes had a big freshman year, but has improved since then.
Both Montes and head coach Mark Kingston said they believe that confidence has a lot to do with it.
“He is just a better all-around player. He’s taken the second base very well,” Kingston said. “I just think his confidence is at an all-time high.”
Coco Montes says being AAC’s player of the week is nice, but he’s more proud of the fact that his team had a great week.
In December of 2016, the University of South Florida named Charlie Strong the new head coach of the football team, following Willie Taggart.
With a few months under his belt, Strong is excited to build on the strong foundation that is already in place.
“I saw the program here and just knew that it had the chance to really develop and become something special,” Strong said.
In a short amount of time, the new head coach has already had an impact on the program for spring ball.
“We are just moving in the right direction, fast, and I believe he will have a great impact,” Elkanah Dillon, tight end, said.
Strong’s coaching career has included 15 years in Florida, sporadically, since 1983, according to ESPN. During that time, he built relationships with high school coaches, players and community leaders. These relationships may help Strong to continue creating strong recruiting classes in seasons to come.
USF football is on the rise. They won 11 games last season, but Charlie Strong wants to continue pushing the team to improve and make it to conference title games.
“That’s what you play for,” Strong said. “You want to make sure you go and compete and win.”