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UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

Commentary: UNF enjoys growing pains

For students who are currently enrolled at UNF as freshmen, UNF will not be the same school you applied to by the time you graduate.

UNF has grown immensely since its humble beginnings as a two-year vocational school in 1972.

With construction on multiple projects currently in place, the look of UNF is completely changing. For years, the Green was the center of campus where students could congregate in their spare time. But with the addition of the biggest student union in the state of Florida, the center of campus will quickly move.

Other projects included in UNF’s Master Plan push the campus further. With two new housing projects planned, as well as a majority of administration buildings, UNF students can no longer simply swoop the loop to get to campus destinations.

In addition to the Fountains, which opens in fall 2009, a second phase of Fountains’ style housing as well as Greek housing on campus are included in UNF’s Master Plan.

Buildings are also in the works to help improve the on-campus experience for UNF students. Campus life will improve dramatically with the addition of a new education building, new additions to the fitness center and two new parking garages.

Another reason students don’t spend their spare time at UNF has been the lack of a football team and other teams to draw in fans on evenings and weekends.

Although Athletic Director Lee Moon said football is still a good way off, UNF has been building a sports program that is set to be extremely competitive in the future.

In the last several years, UNF has hired several new coaches in preparation for next year’s final step of transition to Division I. With the recent hiring of head basketball coach Matthew Driscoll, UNF sports is ready to draw more people onto campus.

With all of the growth, UNF must be prepared for other changes: an economic decline that is affecting the funding for schools throughout the state. While other schools are considering cutting whole academic programs, UNF has been fortunate to retain faculty positions. Athletics has also been able to keep its fee revenue, which helps fund the new staff.

Still, UNF is certain to be different than anything it has seen in the past.

E-mail John Weidner at [email protected]

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