Tag Archive | "uwf"

Can you canoe?

For those looking to escape the University of West Florida and paddle down the Blackwater River for the weekend, they might just run into 12 fellow Argonauts on the water.

UWF Outdoor Adventures is hosting an all-day canoeing trip at the Blackwater River State Park in Milton. The excursion will take place on March 30.

Adrienne Dahlberg, graduate assistant to Outdoor Adventures, said the group visits Blackwater River often.

“This is a river we have been down multiple times and is a really nice length for a day trip,” Dahlberg said in an email.

The park was created to protect the waters of the river, according to the Florida State Parks website. The last two miles of the river are part of the canoe trail that the group will travel across.

Semester canoeing trips are a favorite among the UWF community and Outdoor Adventures staff.

“This is our most popular trip,” said Shaun Boren, assistant director of Outdoor Adventures. “It’s one of my personal favorite things to do.”

The canoe trip will be more about leisure than adventure and expert canoeing Boren said. No experience is necessary and people learn how to canoe on these trips he said.

Spaces for the day trip cost $15 each, including transportation, canoeing gear and coolers for lunches. A picnic lunch is a part of the schedule.

Though this month’s trip is fully booked, there will be more off-campus excursions sponsored by Outdoor Adventures. The canoe trips take place at least twice a year.

“We host these day canoe trips about once a semester, sometimes more in the warmer months,” Dahlberg said.

For more information on upcoming Outdoor Adventures events, contact the organization at 850-474-2061 or outdooradventure@uwf.edu.

Christian Pacheco
Staff Writer

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Faculty members discuss where tuition funds should be dispersed in relation to salaries

United Faculty of Florida representatives and members of the University of West Florida bargaining team discuss possible raises for faculty members at a Jan. 18 meeting. (Photo by Jon Short)

(Editor’s note: The original version of this story incorrectly attributed to Anita Schonberger, UWF deputy general counsel, quotations regarding faculty salary compression and inversion. The quotes should have been attributed to Katherine Romack, an associate professor of English.)

A collective bargaining meeting between the United Faculty of Florida representatives and members of the University of West Florida bargaining team was held on Jan. 18 to discuss the terms and conditions of employment.

Also present at the meeting as an observer was Susan Walsh, associate professor of psychology and president of the UFF.

Anita Schonberger, UWF deputy general counsel, said the main focus of the meeting dealt with salary compression and inversion for faculty members at the University, which is evidence of increasing economic competition in higher education.

Schonberger said the issue of compression and inversion arises when new employees come into a job and receive almost the same salary as those who have worked at the job for a longer period of time.

“We only put our money into hiring new people,” she said.

Walsh said the University is currently making enough money for a salary increase for existing faculty members.  She said that the increase in enrollment has not been accompanied by an increase in faculty to teach those students.

The Education and General fund, for example, is currently more than $20 million. The amount three years ago was approximately $11 million, almost half of the current amount.

“We’ve managed to nearly double the amount of money,” Walsh said. “We believe we deserve a raise, because we’ve worked very hard to serve more students, and to do it well.”

At the meeting, members of the UWF bargaining team negotiated to reach an agreement for a faculty salary increase for members of the UFF.

In an email sent to faculty members after the meeting, Steve Belko, chief UFF  negotiator and associate professor of history, said that UWF offered $300,000, inclusive of benefits, to address salary compression and inversion, plus a non-recurring bonus of $750 across the board for all faculty.

Belko said UFF responded with a proposal for $500,00, inclusive of benefits, to address salary compression and inversion, plus a recurring $500 increase to base salary across the board for all faculty.

“The difference between the UFF proposal regarding compression and inversion versus the administration  is less than what the University pays President Bense,” Belko said.

When discussing the prospects of a football team in relation to faculty salaries, Belko said University money should go toward faculty salaries.

 “Faculty comes first,” he said.Belko also said that Bense said student money from tuition increases would go towards the issue of compression and inversion.“This all affects the students and the quality of education,” he said.The next collective bargaining meeting between UFF and UWF representatives will be held Jan. 26 at 8 a.m. in Building 20W, room 156A.Jon Short
Web Editor 

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UWF and PSC receives grant to fund scholarship program

Pensacola philanthropists Quint and Rishy Studer gave the University of West Florida and Pensacola State College a $1 million gift on
Jan. 9 to fund the Pensacola Pledge Scholar Program, which awards scholarships to high school seniors graduating from the city of Pensacola.

“The Pensacola Pledge Scholar Program is designed to provide incentive for City of Pensacola graduating high school seniors to remain in our community and attend either UWF or PSC for post-secondary education,” said Kyle Marrero, vice president of University Advancement. “Graduating seniors from Escambia County Public Schools who reside within the Pensacola city limits are eligible for the scholarships.”

The students who are selected will receive $2,000 per academic year when they attend UWF and $1,200 per academic year when they attend PSC, Marrero said.

Zach Smith, 21, a junior criminal justice major at UWF sees this as an opportunity for UWF.

“I think it’s a good thing because it will help the school continue to grow,” Smith said.

Pensacola locals are also reacting positively to this new scholarship, such as Demetrice Singleton, 18, a freshman psychology major at UWF.

“I think it’s excellent because there are a lot of underprivileged kids in Pensacola and its giving those kids more of a chance go to college,” Singleton said. “It’s financially disappointing for me that it came out now, but it’s great my younger brothers and sisters and the kids I grew up with are now able to get this.”

While some view this scholarship to be a great incentive to attend a local college, students such as Kayla Stevens, 19, a freshman pre-nursing major, don’t agree.

“I think it isn’t fair,” Stevens said. “If you want the full college experience, you need to get away to gain that independency. I understand that students are tempted to take this opportunity because of financial reasons, but I would recommend going away. I had been offered an academic scholarship to the University of North Florida, which is close to my hometown, but I didn’t take it because I wanted the full college experience. You just get an independency you don’t have when you’re home.”

Marrero said that students must meet minimum acceptance requirements, apply and be accepted to either UWF or PSC, complete the Pensacola Pledge Scholars application, provide two letters of recommendation and write a 500-word essay on “what being a City of Pensacola resident means to me.”

“The scholarships are not ‘need-based’ and may be awarded in addition to other student financial aid, such as Bright Futures, Pell Grants or other aid,” Marrero said.

Applications are available now, and the first awards will be given for Fall 2012.

For more information on this and minimum acceptance requirements, visit the website at www.uwf.edu/pensacolapledge.

 Katherine Cordero
Contributing Writer 

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SGA emergency election to proceed despite disqualifications

Dong Pyon and Diego Santiago, candidates for president and vice president respectively in the emergency SGA election, were disqualified this week after the SGA election commission received complaints of early campaigning.

The election will proceed as scheduled with online and on-campus voting beginning at 8:00 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26.

SGA President Josh Finley and Vice President Cora Merritt will be running unopposed in the election.

The only contested position will be for SGA Finance Chair, with students able to vote for either current Finance Chair Keldrick Averhart or Michael Adams.

The SGA Supreme Court upheld the election commission’s disqualification this week in an appeal case filed by Pyon and Santiago.

The court found credible evidence that Santiago’s one-time wearing of the previous SGA election’s campaign shirt over the summer constituted an election statute violation for early campaigning and was legitimate grounds for disqualification.

The complaint to the election commission against Pyon and Santiago was filed by Finley.

The Voyager will have more in depth coverage of this story soon.

From staff reports

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