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UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

Opinion: UNF students speak their minds about what needs to change

The prospect of being king for a day is one that many of us consider but never actually get to experience. Unfortunately, you still won’t get to experience it by reading this article. But if any UNF students ever happened to gain total control of the school for a day, they would have some major changes lined up.

Some things students want, include better advising, cheaper prices at the cafe, Greek housing, a 24/7 library and increased access to the ropes course. The following five changes, however, are things that were mentioned the most.



Parking, parking, parking. A huge concern on campus is parking, as it should be. We are traditionally a commuter campus, and finding a place to park after you battle the streets around Jacksonville shouldn’t have to be a bloodbath.

This semester has been a rollercoaster ride for students parking on campus. It kicked off with a shortage of parking spaces at the start of the semester that led tons of students to park on the grass, because Parking Services sold more permits than they had spaces for. Students weren’t the only ones who suffered as faculty members faced the same problem.

There’s been construction on a new parking garage, but a lot of that parking will be for people with Housing A permits rather than those who commute.

On a more positive note, this semester also unveiled the possibility of using financial aid to purchase parking passes and the beginning stages of parking spot monitors to let you know of parking availability in that garage without having to resort to “car stalking.”

Still, that doesn’t seem to satiate students’ desire for more parking closer to campus. One solution would be to funnel some funds from SG into the Taj Mahal of parking garages, as Spinnaker’s Sarah Ricevuto put it. But that’s an entirely different issue.

Football team

This is everyone’s favorite thing to wish for– it may even be a tradition. Every year there’s a rumor going around that we are going to get a football team, that this is going to be the year. There really couldn’t be a list of things to change about UNF without this being on it. Unfortunately, it truly would take one student gaining complete control of the school to make it happen any time soon.

We are just too young and too small of a school to make football happen. No matter how much money we funnel into athletics and away from other areas of the school, it’s just unlikely.

Facebook commenter Brittany Gorelick said that we don’t need a football team or more “forced school spirit.” Instead, she said, “we need the school to work on the problems it already has before we bring in bigger issues.”

But no matter the logistics or the money involved, students think that a football team would be the magic wand we need to wave all of our problems away. School spirit? Check. (If the team is good.) People on campus? Check. (If the hypothetical field is actually here.) Better school in general? Check. (If we don’t go bankrupt from it.)

And despite the fact that most students cite the small campus as their favorite thing about UNF, they still want the traditional, big school college experience. The essence of which is a football team. So in our hypothetical, perfect school that we are in charge of, we will get a football team. Go Ospreys.

Graduate programs

No matter how much we complain about it, students really do love UNF. And because of this, they want to stay here as they continue their education. The graduate programs that UNF does offer are apparently too few.

Mariana Oliveira Cardozo wants a Transportation and Logistics MBA, and Masha Roskach wants a finance graduate program. And Janna Mosinyan just wants more graduate programs period.

This is a really positive thing to change– we aren’t trying to fix something UNF does wrong, but make the school as a whole better. It’s an opportunity for the school to grow that students are actually behind, proving how much students like the school and want to gain even more from their experience here.

Career Services

Students want their educations to produce jobs, obviously. Part of that involves internships, practical experience during the time they’re here and jobs to enter into after graduation. Students think that Career Services should be offering more opportunities for paid internships and job placement opportunities after we graduate.

Currently, Career Services acts as a resource. They’re there to help you figure out how to best present yourself in your interviews and resume, where to look for jobs and internships and what you should do to prepare yourself for the future. They’re giving you the tools you need to get the jobs, rather than handing you the jobs themselves. If students were in charge, Career Services would be handing out the jobs.

This makes sense, because we spend so much money on our education we want the guarantee of a job aftergraduation that can help us start paying off debt. Unfortunately, it’s unrealistic to expect one campus service to find jobs for every student who attends UNF.

Instead, we must take advantage of the services they do offer, and prepare ourselves for the job field. Fortunately, many majors also require that students take an internship as part of their degree, and on their websites, departments post internships and careers that are available for people to pursue.

The fact of the matter is that there are no guarantees when it comes to our education and our futures after it. We spend money and time to get educated almost entirely on faith. If it were up to us for a day, there would be no doubt that we’d have a job after we graduate and money while we’re in school. What a perfect world it would be.

Student Government

The number one answer in response to the question we posted on Facebook was “Student Government.” We all know that something needs to be done about SG. What exactly that “something” is has yet to be determined.

Maxwell Carrillo commented on Facebook, “Can we get a student body president that’s actually elected and doesn’t pick on women and minorities and yell out the n word at random?”

Other students just wrote “student government” and left it at that. Unfortunately, it’s a big issue to contend with, almost too big to recap for you.

This semester, there has been an issue with the SG elections, conflicts between branches, and misuse of power all around. Maybe we should do as Carrillo suggests and just remove everyone who is causing a problem. But until one of us gains unlimited power over the university for 24 hours, that’s not going to happen.

We can only make an effort to get involved in Student Government in the ways that we can now. We can educate ourselves. We can attend senate meetings and use the time we are entitled to to speak our minds. We can write letters and send emails. We can vote.

What we can’t do is wait for this situation to fix itself, or any of these problems. If you want something to change, change it. We forget, or choose to ignore, the power that we actually hold, because it’s easier than actually trying to make a difference. This time, don’t do that. Speak out about what you wish would change, whether it’s parking, a new graduate program or a new SG president. Your voice makes a difference. Use it to voice what you want, then go out and make it happen.

For more information or news tips, contact Cassidy Alexander at [email protected]; if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].


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