Campus Joe

Campus Joe” is a biweekly column from Oracle columnist Joe Polito that explores random spots on USF’s campus. How does it work? Polito throws a dart at a large map and goes there to find a story.

This week, my dart found its way to the area around the Argos Cafeteria on the northeast side of campus.

With students living in the surrounding residence halls, this is a crossroads of sorts — a place for students to meet up with one another to eat, study or hang out to kill time between classes.

Freshman psychology major Amanda Lopez was sitting out in the sun, waiting for a friend who was eating inside Argos. She said the two of them usually enjoy going to an on-campus pool between classes to soak up the sun while it’s out.

Two other students didn’t need a pool to enjoy the warm weather, so they set up their sunbathing shop on a terrace extending from the second floor of the cafeteria. The two had seemingly climbed over the second floor railing to the flat surface leading to a residence hall.

They declined to be interviewed likely because of the sneaky nature of their activity.

USF Department of Housing and Residential Education is located above the cafeteria.

Jeremy Meegan and his parents were walking in before they stopped to talk. The Meegans traveled from Cleveland, Ohio, to tour Jeremy’s future home at USF.

“I looked at schools all over Florida, but the campus here sold me,” said Meegan, who hopes to study engineering when he attends.

He said that he was excited to live on campus and enjoy it even more.

Others at Argos did not share his enthusiasm.

Freshman Adam Kinloch lived on campus his first semester at USF (fall 2009) but is now attempting to break his housing agreement. Kinloch said he thinks USF should add his home county of Polk to the list of neighboring areas exempt from the on-campus living mandate for freshmen.

“It’s still closer than some of the other areas that they let students commute from,” he said. “I’m just more country, and Tampa is more city.”

According to the housing Web site, incoming freshmen exempt from the mandate must be either married, over 21, responsible for the care of another person or a resident of Hillsborough, Pasco or Pinellas counties.

The site adds that students not meeting any of the requirements will be considered for exemption based on “compelling individual circumstances.”

Let’s hope Kinloch has a good argument lined up.

Many of the other students I attempted to talk to were either in a hurry or too shy to be interviewed. Even a duck incubating her eggs outside of the cafeteria was giving me the silent treatment.

With the exception of Kinloch, all of the freshmen I talked to said they were pleased with on-campus living and weren’t opposed to the University mandate.

Three friends joked that one of them had moved out of the “ghetto” of Epsilon Hall and into the “suburbs” of Kosove Hall. 

But with the price of on-campus housing rising, I can’t help but think more students