Thank you to my SouthSide family, and friends

Hi Blog world,

Well, it’s getting closer and closer to the end of the term, and with that comes packing and thinking about how fast this year has gone by. But, I won’t be leaving without thanking some very special people in my life:  My SouthSide family. I can’t thank you guys enough for all the support you guys have given me throughout this school year. You guys are amazing! I couldn’t have done it without you. I have grown by leaps and bounds.

Jessica, thank you for all of your love and support, for helping me when I was sick, for helping me with my homework, and for being a great friend! I can’t thank you enough for all the support you have given me you’re amazing! Diesel, you’re a great dog. Keep chasing your tail and having fun.

Grace, Ryan, Ashlee, and Kristen thank you for all the advice you have given me, and for helping me with my computer problems. Aileen, you’re amazing! Thank you for hanging out with me.

Richard, thank you for helping me when I needed it. Good luck next year in the apartments!

Southside family, thank you ALL for your support. You guys are amazing! I’m going to miss you guys!

Becca, thank you so much for taking me to 8:28, CRASH, and hanging out with me! You are amazing! I am looking forward to seeing all my 8:28 and CRASH friends next year. I miss you guys so much.

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene


Team Cronkite

These past few weeks have flown by. As our last assignment, in Media Convergence, we had to do a group project. For our group project we had to write a six hundred word story together and then each of us had to write a side bar of three hundred words.

For the six hundred word story we decided, as a team, that we would write about students who were having problems graduating on time because of a lack of appropriate classes at UWF. I interviewed our Communications advisor. I learned that she is working with students to make sure that they the students meet their class requirements and their graduation date.

I was worried about my story the most because for the last month I have not been feeling well. I’m ok. I went to my doctor, received antibiotics and I am on the way to recovery.  So, to keep on top of things, I started my story right away. I did interviews, and took pictures. Sadly, my pictures didn’t come out the way I wanted them too, and I am sure that I will pay a price when my grade is reduced.  My story was on student housing and I feel like I learned a lot about how the housing system works. I met with the director of management for housing and I learn that housing costs go up because of utility and maintenance costs, and also because of the areas around town that offers other housing options for students.

One thing I learned from the group project is to not interrupt people while they are talking! I am so sorry guys. It’s something that I need to work on and the next time I have a group project I will do better. I also wish my photos where better. I am still learning how to take better photos and what to look for as far as lighting goes.

All in All, I feel that this was a good group project and I think that we did well with this. Go team Cronkite: Kevin, Amanda, Alejandra, and Carole! We made it through the term!

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene

Word count: 370

Housing Rates for 2012-2013 school year

So you are thinking about your living arrangements for the next school year and you can’t decide if you want to live on campus or off. Well, take a look at the pros and cons of both worlds and then decide for yourself. Living on campus can have many advantages such as living close to the classroom buildings, and being close to friends.

“I like the convince of living on campus,” said communications major Kaylea Todd. “For example, I forgot a paper in my apartment and did not realize it until I got to class. I still had time to run back to my apartment, grab my paper, and make it back to class.”

Another student agrees.

“My favorite thing about living on campus is being so very centralized,” said music education major Gwendolyn Hernandez. “The long I have to walk to get to classes or anywhere else is ten to fifteen minutes. It’s easy to get things done, because it isn’t a tedious hassle to get from place to place.”

Here’s the drawback: Next year, housing rent will be going up.

“Well, we’re going up by about six percent.” said Daniel J. Motherway, who is the business manager of The University of west Florida housing and residence life. “It’s not six percent straight across the board, over all it’s about six percent. We do a market study every year where we go back and look at the apartment complexes and the immediate area. We go back and look at all of the housing complexes for all the major universities in Florida and some in Southern Alabama because we consider them our competitors and competitors for students.”

After housing looks at how the rates for the competitors are doing they look at other factors such as what new buildings are being built and other bills that need to be paid, such as utility bills and then they look at how the future is looking as far as what building need to be built and what mortgagees need to be paid.

“We used to set our rates and then we come up with a rate schedule and we have Argo, Martin, and Pace is one rate and the Heritage hall and Presidents hall is going to be another rate and the apartments are a different rate and then we compare the market, compare what we want to do, with what is happening out in town and the other universities and normally we try to go up about around six percent, even though, university as a whole is usually going up about like fifteen percent, something like that. But we try to keep it a little bit less than that because we need to stay competitive with the surrounding community. If we go up to high then we kind of price ourselves out of the market where students don’t want to stay with us anymore so we kinda are doing a balancing act.” said Motherway.

But all in all, it’s up to the board of trusties to make sure the rates are balanced, and that the university will be able to meet the university’s  needs.

What about living off campus? There are many different types of options available. UWF has a website that is on hand to help students find affordable housing nearby.

Living off campus does have advantages and disadvantages.

One student explains why he likes the advantages of living off campus.

“Well, being off campus, you know I get to have an apartment I get to choose my own roommates,” said master program student Carlos Fabre Estrada “There’s more freedom as far as, I am of drinking age for example; so I can have alcohol if I so decide I can actually do my thing.” said Estrada.

My Passion Blog: Only five more weeks left in school!

Hi Blog world,

we are in the home stretch, only five more weeks to go.  However, I still have a lot of work to do, I still have textbooks to read, papers to write and more coffee to drink. I know that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel for me; it’s just about getting there.

I have learned a lot this term, from learning about the environment, to learning about my self and what type of direction I want to take with my career. It’s still going to take a lot of work on my part to get to where I want to be.

There is still a lot of things to be learned yet too, like how to update my resume, and how to ride a bus when it comes to my White Cane Lessons.  I know these things take time, but sometimes I feel like they aren’t happening fast enough.  I guess one thing I need to learn and no class is going to teach me this is that I need to push myself for my future. No one else can do something for me;it has to be me.

When I am done with this semester I can breathe a sigh of relief because I will be a senior! I can’t wait. It will be worth it in the end.

well, blog world, here’s to the next five weeks of the term,

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene

A day in the life: Richard Tabor Resident Assistant

So you are thinking about applying to become a resident’s assistant (RA)  next year but you’re still not sure about what to expect or how your day is going to go? Take a look at Richard Tabor’s life as a RA and find out.

Tabor is a sophomore studying Bachelor of Fine Arts; he is also the resident assistant of Southside 35, the fine and performing arts dorm.

Tabor decided to become a RA after his first year of college.  He got the suggestion from his former RA who believed that he had what it took to be a good RA. So Tabor applied and he went through all the necessary interviews and training.

Your life as a RA is going to be a heavy load, but you have to balance your life.

“Crazy, very fulfilling, but very crazy, “Tabor said. “I have a very intense work load.  My residents are typical.  I see them every single day, problems happen every single day, and you pretty much one on one with a lot of individuals.”

Tabor has to start his day early; he gets up and has breakfast and then goes to class.  He may run into his residents on his way to class or maybe in class. He also tries to keep an upbeat social life by hanging out with his friends.  He tries to get lunch but sometimes it doesn’t work out. After class and lunch, he goes to the gym where he also sees his residents. Then after a hard day, its dinner time, where Tabor hangout with his residents while they eat.  Bedtime is usually very early in the morning.

Even if you have a busy day, you must help the residents in your care grow and adjust to dorm life.

“I love my RA. He’s my best friend.”  Anne-Margret Reilly, freshmen, said. “We all went kayaking once and that was a lot of fun.”

Another student agrees.

“Personally, I love our RA,” Monica Parker, sophomore, said. “He’s my best friend in the world, like I can go to him for anything. He’s a great RA; he’s good about keeping us in line-so he’s cool.”

You have an important role to play as an RA.

“My favorite part of being a RA is making a difference,” Tabor said “It might be a small thing but in the end, it matters.”


Master Plan: parking lots and parking garages

The University of West Florida is growing and changing in many different ways, from the number of students, to the activities on campus, but the one thing that hasn’t changed, is that students are still complaining about the number of parking spaces that are available on campus. In UWF’s ten year master plan the school is planning on adding six parking garages in order to increase the number of parking spaces on campus.

“Currently, there are 5,800 parking spaces on campus,” said Chip Chism manager of the Parking and Transportation services.

Many students who commute complain about finding a good place to park on campus, and if they park illegally they complain about having to pay the fee for the offense.

“I think they (parking officials) should be a little bit more lenient on the ticket giving,” said Becca Hill, a sophomore chemistry and pre-med major. “Especially when it’s time for classes to start and people are running late, and can’t find a parking space, so they’re going to park wherever they can find a parking spot.

“I know that a lot of students try to park close to their classes, but when I walk through the parking lots between classes I hardly see an open spot unless it is faculty and staff parking,” Hill added. “I know a lot of resident parking spots stay empty most of the time. Those empty spots could be used for commuters because the commuter spots fill up pretty fast.”

Not all of the spaces are being used and students are still complaining.

Chism also has a bet for any student that has a problem finding a spot to park on campus.

“I have a standing  bet with anyone, and you can put this on your blog,, if there’s ever a time I can’t find the person making  that claim  a place to park on this campus, I’ll take them to lunch anywhere in the state of Florida, because we simply have more parking then we need right now,” said  Chism.  “It’s just it isn’t where people want it to be.”

The University of West Florida is going to build six parking garages to help with student parking because of the increase in the number of students. The parking garage will be built over the next 10 years.  The parking garages will be located in popular sections on campus.

Many students are in favor of having parking garages added in the future.

“I do believe that it would help,” said Tanner Hetherington, a sophomore marine biology major. “Yeah, I think it would make it more convenient for most people, faculty and students alike.”

It would cost millions of dollars and would take years to build. To get funding to build would mean that the money would have to come from the students’ pockets in the form of paying more for parking passes and ticket offenses.

One student agrees on building a parking garage but is worried about our wild life.

“One of the things we brand ourselves as is a wildlife preservation and I feel like if we tear it down to build a parking garage  then we either should not build it or we shouldn’t call ourselves a wildlife preservation because obviously it’s not high on our agenda,” said  Joe Napier, a  junior  public relations major.

A walk in the University woods…

Hi Blog world,

On Wednesday, My environmental reporting class when to the University woods to learn and connect to nature. I was a little bit nervous about going onto the hike because of my low vision, but with the help of my friends, to be my sighted guide I was able to go on the hike.


We first went to the land that had wood chips on it and we learned that it has to be cleaned out every few years. But it hasn’t been clean, and the walk through it was very deep.


Then we went and saw the oldest oak tree at the school. It was very big and it was so cool to look at and touch.


After this we went onto the main part of the hike, and it was very bumpy. Again my friends helped me out; we went slow and took our time. We saw the Eagle net. It was on top of a very big pine tree.  It was very cool to look at. I wanted to know if there were any babies in the nest but I didn’t get a chance to ask my teacher about it.


My most favorite part of the trip was when my friend and I were allowed a few minutes alone, my friend heard a bird noise and I wanted to leave, thinking something was going to run after us, but when we turned around we saw the Eagle! It was so pretty.

The Eagle

I would like to take this time to thank my friend Christienne for being my sighted guide, along with Naomi for your help too. It was a fun day.

Blog  soon,

Amanda Gene