Unexplored treasures of UT

by Iovanna Borjas & Robin Bakker

UT has over 200 clubs and organizations. The D.R.I.V.E club, The Spartan band and Paws For a Cause are some of the organizations that are not as well known.  

Sophomore marketing major and President of the D.R.I.V.E. club Nicholas DiCenso explained that the number of members in the club has been decreasing over the past couple of years because most students don’t know about their organization.

“[The club] started eight or nine years ago,” said DiCenso. “Now we have 10 to 15 consistent members that always show up.”

The D.R.I.V.E Club meets every Tuesday at 10 p.m. in the parking lot behind the Sykes College of Business.

“Everybody can get in and it doesn’t matter if they don’t have a car,” said DiCenso. “We hang out, talk about cars and sometimes we go out for a drive. We also go to car events on the weekends.”

DiCenso mentioned that the club attended a car show in Naples on Feb. 9, which highlights the type of events that the D.R.I.V.E. club enjoys going to.

Paws for a Cause is an organization that helps the lives of animals. They also volunteer at shelters and rehabs and do fundraisers.

The club also has weekly meetings on Mondays at 7 p.m. They help the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and the Equestrian Club.

“I joined because I like animals and I missed my dog,” said Hannah Pope, sophomore criminal justice major. “We give a second chance to those animals that didn’t get what they deserved.”

The Spartan band is actually a class offered by UT titled MUS 290. The class is offered during both the Fall and Spring semesters.

“I joined since I had done band all through middle and high school and wanted to continue throughout college,” said Kenzie Fox, sophomore business major.

The band holds four concerts each year. Any student with music experience can become a member.

Besides these unknown clubs, UT also has other interesting facts. There is a meditation labyrinth in the Sykes Chapel, room 115, offered to anyone who needs it.

“It is a great tool for meditation and can easily be used by anyone,” said Gina Firth, Associate Dean of Wellness. “Labyrinths do not belong to any specific religion, which is consistent with UT being non-denominational.”

Firth explained that the labyrinth can be reserved every day after 5 p.m. on Ad Astra.

The labyrinth is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. but only for individual prayer and meditation.

Additionally, there are some historical facts about UT that many students don’t know. Assistant Vice President for Operations and Planning, Monnie Wertz, has shed light on some of the most unknown facts about UT.  

For example, the UT colors came from neighboring high schools. Hillsborough High School was red and black and Plant High School was black and gold. UT did not have a lot of money so they reused the high school’s old uniforms and merged the colors.

In the 1930s, the closest college to UT was St. Petersburg College, whose mascot was a trojan. Since USF was not a school at the time, UT and St. Petersburg College were meant to be the rivals. Therefore, to match the trojan mascot, UT established the Spartans as their mascot.

Additionally, in the UT policy handbook, it is stated that a student can have either a service animal or an emotional support animal. The law states that a service animal has to be a dog or a miniature horse. No student at UT has ever had a service miniature horse but it is a possibility to have.

Wertz shed some light on why it is important that people should learn about the history and organizations.

“I think any time you come into a new institution, you are becoming a part of a new community. And you need to know the ins and outs of that community,” said Wertz. “I think anytime you go into a new organization, there’s certain rituals and traditions and history they have that kind of makes you feel a part of that.”

Iovanna Borjas can be reached at iovanna.borjas@spartans.ut.edu.

Robin Bakker can be reached at robin.bakker@spartans.ut.edu

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