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C O P Y R I G H T N O T I C E T h i s O r a l H i s t o r y i s c o p y r i g h t e d b y t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a L i b r a r i e s O r a l H i s t o r y P r o g r a m o n b e h a l f o f t h e B o a r d o f T r u s t e e s o f t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a C o p y r i g h t 2 0 0 7 U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a A l l r i g h t s r e s e r v e d T h i s o r a l h i s t o r y m a y b e u s e d f o r r e s e a r c h i n s t r u c t i o n a n d p r i v a t e s t u d y u n d e r t h e p r o v i s i o n s o f t h e F a i r U s e F a i r U s e i s a p r o v i s i o n o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s C o p y r i g h t L a w ( U n i t e d S t a t e s C o d e T i t l e 1 7 s e c t i o n 1 0 7 ) w h i c h a l l o w s l i m i t e d u s e o f c o p y r i g h t e d m a t e r i a l s u n d e r c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s F a i r U s e l i m i t s t h e a m o u n t o f m a t e r i a l t h a t m a y b e u s e d F o r a l l o t h e r p e r m i s s i o n s a n d r e q u e s t s c o n t a c t t h e U N I V E R S I T Y O F S O U T H F L O R I D A L I B R A R I E S O R A L H I S T O R Y P R O G R A M a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a 4 2 0 2 E F o w l e r A v e n u e L I B 1 2 2 T a m p a F L 3 3 6 2 0
PHYLLIS MARSHALL Hewitt : t I am speaking this afternoon with Phyllis Marshall, Director of the University Center, as part of the USF Silver Anniversary Oral History Project Could you tell me first of all, what was your initial contact with the University of South Florida and what made you choose to come here? Marshall : Margaret Fisher contacted me I was in Danville, Virginia She contacted me and told me about what was happening here and invited me to come and be a member of her staff which would be the first resident instructor Hewitt : t Now what year did you actually arrive at USF? Marshall : I arrived before the students did in the fall of 1960 At that time I would be responsible for 47 women who would live on the fourth floor of the University Center, and also I would be the program director of the University Center Hewitt : t Now, was the University Center housed in the same building as it is today? Marshall : This building is the University Center It has always been the University Center There were many, many other entities in the building at the time I arrived and which now have gone on to other places on campus The residence halls have, of course, moved out--in probably late '61 or '62--and the library was in what is now the president's dining room and the ball room The Theatre Department was on the first floor All faculty offices were on the second floor The business machines and academic programs were all housed in this building other than . Of course that year there were only three buildings : the Administration building, the Chemistry building, and
2 this building What was not in the Chemistry building or the Administration building was in this building Hewitt : t Must have been a little crowded Marshall : Very crowded! The Health Center was behind the information desk, which we all thought was interesting Hewitt : t Do you remember what your first impressions were of the University when you drove down here for the first time? Marshall : Oh goodness, yes! As I drove up in front of the Administration building and thought how beautiful those fountains were, you know, were flowing and I thought it really looked like Florida Except when I looked from the Administration building over to the building where I was going to be, there were no lights There was no grass Everything was sand And I thought, "Oh my goodness, how do you get around there?" But, anyway, that was my first impression It was the beauty of the landscaping that they had already accomplished and the openness of the campus that was most impressive Hewitt : t How long did it take them to actually get things like grass and sidewalks? Marshall : I was amazed I truly was amazed because I came in September The Christmas holiday started in early December When we returned from the Christmas holiday, sidewalks, grass, and lights were out in between these buildings It was beautiful So we really appreciated it But you know the old saying is that if you get sand in your shoes that you will never leave Florida Well, it was difficult for us to move without getting sand in our shoes
Hewitt : t What was the atmosphere like in those early days in terms of relationships between staff, administrators, students, and faculty? Marshall : Very, very friendly Everybody was working for one thing and that was the development of a university Not only did I feel that the surrounding community, not necessarily all of Tampa, but the community surrounding this area which, of course, there was not that much community at that time, but the faculty and students would eat together or they would enjoy an afternoon siesta, whatever, together as well as the staff There was no difference Everybody was the same because they were all working together in such small, small quarters They all had a true vision of a marvelous institution here They all came here because of that vision, and therefore they had great hopes for developing a very different institution than what Florida had seen before Hewitt : t When you were first interviewed for the job and first arrived here, what kind of things did the administration suggest that you might have worked on in terms of making USF distinct? What kind of programs did they want to develop that would be different? Marshall : Well, they felt that if everybody on campus read one book, they called it the "All University Book," the students, the faculty and the staff, and they had sessions of discussing that That would bring us closer together That was fun And everybody did, I'm not saying everybody, but the majority of people did participate in those early opportunities Then there was also, politically, the All University Senate, which included faculty and staff, student representation, Career Service, A&P, and faculty So we felt that you didn't have to go from place to place, but you had one group there that 3
4 you could discuss all of your problems with or make suggestions I thought it was very beneficial and very helpful So I think the cooperation, the working together, and the planning together was a part of the total system at that time Hewitt : Now this was, well, still is basically a commuter school But part of your first responsibilities involved responsibilities for the 47 resident women at USF What kind of issues arose over what their status should be and the rules and regulations involved in residence? Marshall : Well, first of all, the responsibility was given to me, and then I could sit down with the students and allow them to establish their own rules as far as their hours and things like that But, you remember there was nothing out here I mean there was very little, very few places for them to go But the one thing that was decided by the person in Student Affairs at that time was they couldn't wear shorts on campus That was a real shock Remember that all the students that lived on the fourth floor of this building had their meal plan, at that time it was Morrison's Morrison's were the ones responsible for food service And they would come down to the cafeteria because both sides were cafeterias They would come down to the cafeteria with their shorts on and then with their raincoats on So the largest problem that we had that first year was not being able to wear shorts They were always Bermuda shorts They were always very nicely attired The second problem was not being able to use Greek names in student organizations because at that time it was determined by the Dean of Students, I believe that was what the person was called, that we were not going to have sororities or fraternities on the campus Therefore we could only have social organizations, and they had to have strange names They could not
5 have anything relating to the Greek alphabet So we started out with Anotes, Airetes, Trisist, Pidaa and Phidaa Those kinds of names which when that head of Students Affairs left and another one came in, well, of course, he was pro Greek organizations so now they could come out of their closets then The students could come out of their closets and become what they were, and that was Greek organizations So those two things--not being able to wear shorts and not being able to use Greek titles with student organization names Hewitt : t Was there initially any kind of curfew on dorms? Marshall : They decided themselves, the students decided themselves, the 47 women I think, 11 o'clock and then midnight on weekends Hewitt : t So the students were very involved then in developing . Marshall : In developing their rules Yes indeed They were very involved from the very beginning And then in activities . Remember, we were out here in the boonies and we had 47 people living on campus and the rest are commuting And it was our responsibility to develop programming for those students Things that would be of interest to them Some of our early programs like the theater productions were held over in the lab of the Chemistry building The concerts were held in the lab of the Theater building We had a fine arts programs, but we didn't have a building So they were held in the lab We didn't have any room in this building because all the rooms were taken up with academic programs So the only place that the students could do any kind of programming or anything was in the cafeteria So they did some . and outside Every Friday and Saturday night we would have an outside dance It would be at either end of the building
where the concrete is because that way you could back the musician up against the wall They were very, very active Lots of participation Hewitt : t So the computer students did come back to the University at that point? Marshall : We were able to develop a council, a Student Activity Council, made up of some students from upstairs as well as some students who had already identified themselves as potential leaders Then we had students who were working in the building, and they were involved It was a development program which turned out to be very, very good Hewitt : t What were some of the first student organizations? Marshall : Probably one of the first was the social groups that I spoke of There was the Sports Car Club, Amateur Radio, of course some of the religious groups But one of the groups that was not . Now remember sometimes there are students that don't want to be organized So we had a lounge down in the hall here that was called the Blue Lounge because the walls were blue So a group of students who didn't want to be organized, by any university or any other group, gathered together in that room and they were called the Blue Room Gang Of course, they organized themselves When they allowed themselves to be called the Blue Room Group, well that meant that they really did Bob Ashford, who was the son of the head of the Chemistry department, became one of the leaders of that group, and he later became president of the student government Larry Pendarvis, who was for that time a very different kind of a person because he had a long beard and long hair, and that was before we recognized that as one of the on going things Then another one, Ralph Tindall Ralph Tindall, now I'm not sure about Larry Larry, I saw in the paper probably several months ago, where he saved 6
someone's life He's still in the community Ralph Tindall is teaching here in Mathematics He went away and got his Ph .D at Princeton and then came back So it is always amazing when you see those students that didn't want to be organized are now into the real mode of living But there was the Model U .N which was one of the early programs The Flying Club, the Circle K Service groups were always apart of that Hewitt : t Where did student organizations in those early days develop the expertise to write constitutions and to get structurally organized and how did they go about raising funds? Was there a student activities fee from the very beginning? Marshall : Yes and the monies from this building We had a small staff in this building who assisted them in developing those projects In 1964, Ray King came here as the Director of Student Organizations, who is now in Housing and Food Service He decided to go . After my first year here, they said "Now Marshall, you can have your choice You can either go into University Center and work full-time or you can go into Housing full-time ." Well, I decided that I didn't want anymore of that housing simply because I wanted to have my own home and be able to have the freedom of coming and going on my own Not necessarily because of the problems We didn't have that many problems except . Let me revert back to one problem we had in housing One morning I got up and being the professional that I thought I was, whc probably was a little stodgie, was amazed to see what those young women had done while I was asleep They had totally wrapped this building in toilet tissue So I was sure that I was going to get lots of complaints So I went down the hall and told them . Woke them all up and said, "You have to get up and clean up that mess before you get out of here ." Well they
8 did They thought it was really funny because that was a hard job to wrap this entire building The other thing was that one night I got a call from a young man at the desk and he said, "Mrs Marshall, there is something coming up in the elevator for you ." So I went out and opened up the elevator, and there was an elevator full of chickens So I just punched the button and called the young man at the desk and said, "There is something coming down the elevator for you ." So those kind of things were funny, but I didn't feel that I wanted to spend the rest of my life living confined with students all the time So I chose the programming area and working with University Center Then in 1965 I became the Director of Student Organizations At that time I had really good thoughts on how I thought we should operate You know at that time in your life you don't realize that you are really truly developing a role model for perhaps the rest of the University's life I didn't think in terms of that Only in terms of what I thought would operate well on this campus at that time Well, luckily, I selected a model that has been beneficial It was my feeling that organizations should be organized in specific areas, like academic programs, social groups, and so forth With each one of those groups there should be a council There should be representatives from each one of those organizations that sits on a council and determines what should happen within that group So right now we still have that We also determined the same thing with the colleges, that we should have representatives from each college and we would call it the College Council So that is what we did We developed those and, of course, the College Council mode is still operating I have seen Panhellenic and Black Panhellenic ; we have the Honors Council, we have the Religious Council, and we have the Special Interest Council So those
kinds of programs are still operating to the benefit, I think, of the students Hewittt How did the Honors societies get started? Did you need to contact national honors societies and ask them to form local chapters? Marshall : Yes Probably one that I had alot of work with was ODK because they were all young men who were very active students, and they wanted to organize themselves into something Well, Florida had Blue Key So I said well let's go for something other than what Florida has Let's go and make one here that would be like Florida's Blue Key, but will be something else to us We looked in the book and decided that it would be . I was familiar with ODK and so we decided it would be ODK So they organized themselves into ODK Then after they've gotten themselves organized and so forth we applied to the national This was the same way with each group Now for the academic groups For the Greek organizations we decided what we would do in 1967, in the fall of 1967, was to have one weekend where we would invite all of the national groups to come in and make presentations or meet with the groups of whatever and let the students select the national group they wanted So that is the way we did it It went very smoothly We only ran into one problem and it worked out alright The problem was . You remember that Spanish surnames were very, very . If you look in the telephone directory today you will find . They are much stronger than Smith and Jones Well, some of the women's groups were not as taken with that as some of the others Well, we just said, "Ok, forget it because we'll just move on to ones that are," because we felt that this was a very healthy ground for organizations to come in So that was the only thing that we ran into, because of the Spanish surname Also because they must 9
1 0 accept everybody that had ever been a member We would not allow them to come on campus unless they accepted everybody So that was an agreement Then they did because you know, they first said no, . we said, "Sorry you can't come ." The third thing was that we wanted their constitutions because we did not want discrimination At the time, being from an area that really wasn't attuned necessarily to Jewish, and being Anglo-saxon, I didn't even think anything about that until such time as we started reading the constitutions and then became aware of that So we would not accept any group that denied that group As the years have gone by, of course, you know that all groups have taken in Jewish members, and it is my hope that someday it will be the same thing with blacks that we won't have to worry about having separate . Hewitt : t There must have been a tremendous number of issues to be concerned about as someone who came in as the new director over Student Affairs especially dealing initially with both housing and student organizations and then to develop a sensitivity to these things that you weren't coming into a place where a model was already in place Where did you draw for your inspiration or your model? Phyllus : Probably from schools that I had visited or attended or had attended work shops or whatever Also from the students desiring what they thought they needed, they're being able to provide us with an outline of their needs That way we were able to achieve our own model of what would best suit us So they were a great inspiration to me I was a smoker, and I had a student that worked very closely with me She knew that I also was a bridge player and so she felt that I shouldn't smoke This was in the early '60s Her name was Ann Francis, and she thought that I shouldn't smoke She said, "If
1 1 you will give up smoking, I'll give up smoking and if you go over, then you have to give up bridge ." She was going to give up something else Well, my love for bridge was far superior to my love for smoking, so I quit smoking One of the incidents that I do remember and this was an isolated one, this tells you that we became isolated from the rest of the community in lots of ways which lots of times was sad We were having a regional meeting here of ACUI which included Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and states like that Southeast Hewitt : t Now what was the ACUI? Marshall : Association of College Unions This building is a union We were having a regional meeting here so it was up to me to plan for the dinners and all of these kinds of things when people were here Well, we had arranged for them to ride the train down because the prices were so good and so they could leave specific areas of the country, catch a train, and arrive here There was one motel here It's where the Texaco station now stands There was a motel there So we arranged at the motel for them to be housed there It took up the whole place I arranged a dinner We thought we would like them to have a little color, you know, local color So the night before they were to leave I arranged for them to have dinner at the Columbia Restaurant Now remember this is in the '60s So there were black people in our group, professional black people from all over these areas that were here for this conference I had arranged busses to take them all there So anyway, I was riding down with my program chair, Ann Francis again, who was a native We were riding down, and I said that we were going to the Columbia On our way down she said, "Phyl, have you thought about what is going to happen when you get to the Columbia?" And I said, "What do you mean?"
1'' She said that they didn't serve black people The people were already there So I was frantic and I said "Oh my lord!" So I got down there The people had already been turned away They were on the busses Now these were professional people Some of them were Ph .D .s, some of them were professors, you know whatever So I quickly called . thought of some places She said "I think the airport restaurant will take us ." Well, there were 200 of us I quickly got on, explained, and they said that they would welcome us with open arms They said they would set up for us and have dinner for us So we took them all over there I was worried about the way they might leave Tampa and the feeling they might leave Tampa with But they didn't because of the genuine concern that everybody from the University had regarding this incident and how it occurred That is how naive and isolated we were living here that we were not aware of the community not welcoming those people But anyway they left, and it was a very sad experience Hewitt : t Were there attempts on campus by black students to organize in these early years? Marshall : I would say that after Martin Luther King died . before that there had been none . I would see the black students seated on the patio, but never in the building And you know, you wondered You worried and you wondered why that occurred So after Martin Luther King was killed, one of the chaplains, Jim Keller from the University Chapel Fellowship, and I sat down and we devised a list of black students that we knew We decided that we would sit down and ask them about the utilization of the services of the University for their benefit So we did that The black students, one especially, Frank Biggins, who is now a lawyer in Atlanta, questioned me as
to whether the federal government had paid me to do this But this was truly a feeling of trying to get them involved in the early '60s From that moment on that group met every week and then there were off shoots from that Small groups of interested black students then would get together Then pretty soon you would see them walking through the building They might not sit down in the building, but walking through the building Or they might get a coke and go outside or something But as time moved on, why they felt a little more comfortable and began to move in I think probably the solution to the total program and Involvement in this building has been that we made a true commitment to hiring professional staff that were black That was the secret to it From that moment on anytime you walked in this building, you would see more black people than you would white people From that moment on the relationship and the atmosphere changed Of course, with Les Miller becoming president of the student government and seeing his picture on the wall, as you walk down the corridors now, it is a role model for them Hewitt : t Was he one of the people who was involved in this early group of black students? Marshall : He was a returning veteran who became president of BSU We decided that BSU was a viable organization, and we needed to provide it with space So we took a meeting room upstairs and we closed in a hallway and made it an office for them We had lots of questions and lots of concerns as to how we could justify giving them that when we didn't give it to others, but we felt that we could justify that to whomever we needed without any problems And it has moved into, now for the first time this year, student government has given me a full line, which is Advisor to Minorities, a professional 1 3
1 4 position which will be Advisor to Minorities which will be the development then of some true black organizations with help Hewitt : t Could you tell me about the other organization that is frequently linked with BSU in terms of groups on campus that deal with minority issues, the Women's Center? Could you tell me a little bit about the development of the Women's Center? Marshall : It was an interesting time There was alot of hostility about allotting space to a group So we had an advisory board for this building and that was made up of students as well as staff This problem was taken to this advisory board, and the advisory board supported us giving space to the women for a women's center I think the same thing has occurred in the Women's Center that occurred in the black area The Women's Center in the beginning was probably a more hostile group A more "I'm going to show you" group, and then they have mellowed out now They still have the same issues, but the way they work with those issues now is so entirely different than in the beginning I think that over the years they have been able to involve some . Each year they have upgraded their leadership in the area and of course being involved, I think that one of the things that has helped them alot has been peer counseling there, as a part of that operation, whether it's a part of but being in the same area Housed in the same area has done nothing but made some positive . The Women's Center still has a way to go and I think the more that we can involve faculty and interested faculty into the program, the better program we are going to have I think it is important that they do involve themselves Hewitt : t In the .
Marshall : It's never been questioned The loss of their space has never been questioned since then Hewitt : t In the mid to late '60s, at least on northern campuses and western campuses, there was a great deal of student activism, and I'm wondering if there was much in the way of student activism in the late '60s or maybe it was a little slower coming at a school in the south But was there student activism of the same type that you saw up north? Marshall : Yes there was Maybe over different issues I can't remember, gosh, how many times I've sat out in the mall to keep two, all day long, usually on Wednesdays, all day long to keep two student groups separated that had different ideas and were complete opposites But I felt very strongly that each one should have their right to demonstrate But they should not deprive the other of demonstrating Most of the times is was between Iran and Israel But it was a weekly thing Many times I would walk from building to building with the Iranians behind me to be sure that they were given their rights, and that they conducted themselves in a manner that I stated to everybody in the University that they would And we had no problems Now when they went off campus that was a different subject Also, when the Veteran's Hospital was opened, I was here and I was down there being sure the students that wanted to march there, at that time, for that opening, did it in a manner that was respectful of what was happening So we were able to have an understanding with the students at that time that all we wanted was to work with them in order that their points of view could be heard, but everybody else's points of view could be heard too Also, when they tried to block Fletcher Avenue, the involvement there Then one 1 5
1 6 of the biggest things was the early seventies John Allen had just retired and there was an acting president, Harris Dean Students decided, over in the soccer field, that they were going to have a concert They were told that they had to close the concert at 1 o'clock a .m because the surrounding people do have a fit, the living community surrounding it So they said they weren't going to Also we were concerned they had set up a drug overdose area and those kinds of aspects the total University was concerned about We tried to reason with . the leader of that group was Ed Deaton and we tried to reason with Ed to let him know exactly . You know you can play up to 1 o'clock, but after that it had to close So he was going to defy all So he did The Dean of Students went up and said to him, "You must close this down, it is 1 o'clock ." He said that he wasn't going to close down So I was amazed when I looked up on top of the hill, in about 15 minutes, and lined across that hill and marching with their instruments, with their head gear down, were riot police So here was all the crowd seated They marched down into the crowd and, of course, the crowd, the people who hadn't left . You see the people were suppose to leave too as well as the music . the police marched in These were Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Then they marched down, they arrested and took to jail students t There were some faculty out there, who are still here, who are trying to reason with the students and so forth They got put in jail too The police not only . They chased them to the residence hall and they took them from the residence halls, wherever those students were that had defied the law of closing up at one o'clock Hillsborough County had a law that you couldn't have music after that time So the students decided to defy that law too And so the Sheriff's Office came in I was there That probably . I had a little thing that I was somebody official That
1 7 probably was one of the most crucial times that we had because you make lots of enemies when you have the police come on campus But it was the feeling that it was needed That was one thing The second thing was when we had, the Iranian students had a sit-in in this building with some American students who were . Now remember, most of these Iranian students weren't even students They were people from out in the community Anyway they would sit-in Then the returning veterans So I had the returning veterans standing up on the stairs, and I had all of these students seated in the lobby of the museum, which I kept telling, "You must leave passageways in here, it is a hazard ." Finally they were removed We didn't have a confrontation between the veterans and the Iranian students Some things were thrown at me which could have created a real . but it was just paper wadded up . which could have created a real hassle The person that threw those things at me has now become a very respectable person in the community and was an aid to George, what's it that George that ran for? You know who I am talking about Anyway, he has become a very respectable person So you know you really can't hold a grudge Hewitt : t It sounds like a big share of your job at that point was mediation as well as organization Marshall : Very much so I think one of the . some students always . We went through an era where student government was very, very much to the left The leadership and the student government was very much to the left, where they decided that some of the students sent off and got clerical outfits, you know, the collar and all, and organized themselves into a religious group so that they could get . See at that time we recognized student organizations on campus and we had a university-appointed committee that
1 8 recognized student organizations These students could never get recognized so then they organized themselves into a religious group and went over with their outfits on and asked to be recognized They tried all kinds of things It was an interesting time It was a very . Perhaps that may come again if we don't listen to some of the words that are out now What's happening in South Africa definitely will have an affect on us here in the fall I feel very strongly about it, and I think the University needs to address that with its holdings simply because of the backwash that we are going to have to deal with and it is very difficult But organizations during that time . and I think probably another interesting occasion . Then the Board of Regents decided that we would not recognize organizations, we would only register them Which meant that got the University out of the business of approving because there have been so many law cases Shortly after that it was a feeling of, as Director of Student Organizations and as the staff, that we should welcome all students out in the open organizations This is when we started working with the gay students Perhaps one of the earlier areas was recognizing the gay students and letting them know they could use the facilities in this building and would not be harmed That has been something that we have been proud of Gosh, they have been active here for ten or fifteen years whereas lots of other places are still fighting that same question Hewitt : t I recall when I arrived here in the fall of 1981 that the Southeast Coalition of Gay and Lesbian Caucuses met at University of South Florida, and I was very impressed My first year here, being involved in women's organizations up north, it was nice to see that kind of openness on campus That obviously takes alot of effort to get everyone prepared to deal with those issues
Marshall : I think one of the things that we are proudest of as far as student organizations is changing the rules and regulations of organizations to include women And do you know, as far as ODK is concerned, that this campus, this chapter, was the one that fought National to get that approved so that they could initiate women and National said no, so they went ahead and initiated a woman anyway Then National changed I was the first woman staff person, faculty staff person, in the United States So I think that there are many organizations here who have changed so that women can be apart of it We have alot more work to do, but right now I think we are ahead of the game Hewitt : t Now were you involved with the Status of Women Committee at USF? Marshall : I was a committee member, but not during the days when Ellen (Kimmel) and Maxine McKay and women like that who really were very diligent I was a committee member, but I was not in the leadership when it really got faculty and staff salaries at a level complementary to them as far as where the men were I think that I was just a committee person I was not in the leadership at the time I have watched that grow over the years and I have served on some hearings of women's salaries that have been denied and have been appealed to a committee to review them and so forth Hewitt : t You mentioned earlier that you think it is very helpful when faculty get involved in helping to sponsor student organizations and serving as role models Given that more of the new faculty hired now should themselves have been involved in student activism In the '60s, do you think there is a greater chance of new faculty getting involved or is the pressure to "publish or perish" so great that faculty are kept from getting involved? 1 9
2 0 Marshall : Well, I've been on a band wagon for a good while now It has been my concern that the University has neglected extracurricular activities for students You can tell by the size of the building and by the building not being changed in twenty-five years that this is a commuter institution mainly, and this is the only place students have to come to meet and space is at a premium here all the time I feel that the involvement of the faculty is the success of student groups Those groups who have good faculty or good staff helping them are the ones that survive I've got to communicate this as being a plus for the faculty through the administration If it is not a plus, if it doesn't really count for the faculty and the other things do count . I mean if you are selected as the advisor of the year, does that mean anything to you? Or does that mean anything to your supervisor or your dean? So until we get the academic community hierarchy to accept that these are important roles that faculty should be participating in, it's going to be hard We are working on that now and hoping that that will come about When the faculty are selected by the senior class each year, I always send a letter to the dean and to the chairman in order that those letters can go in the files of those faculty You would be surprised how many faculty have called me years later and say "What year was I selected?" or Can you remember and was it more than one?" So it is important that they be a part . be selected by the students who honor them Hewitt : t You mentioned the fact that this was a commuter school and sometimes that makes it difficult to get as much focus on student activities and extracurricular activities as might be needed Were there attempts by student
organizations to publicize the University to the community or work on community relations as a part of their student organizations? Marshall : Yes To involve, you know, the College of Education, we'll say, some of the organizations within the College of Education, of course, would try to get some of the public schools and the staff in the public schools involved I really think the academic organizations would solicit assistance from their peer groups in the community and that was very helpful As far as the pattern of all groups, the alumni became very active in the community and became advisors because you know their hearts still beat for whatever that organization might be The professional schools, you know, the Engineering and the College of Business, has always . The community has always been involved with those Student government has taken a very active lead role in that area by bringing the lawyers out to give free advice to students You know, having a legal aid group and trying to participate in different aspects has been very helpful Hewitt : t Now I understand early on in the development of student organizations that there was a group of students who volunteered to provide tours of campus for the community Marshall : Yes The University Center was organized into a program council and the program council had about 12 different committees under it One committee was called the Hospitality Committee The Hospitality Committee was so proud of this institution in those early days that they wanted the people of Tampa, or anybody who came by, to see it from a student's point of view So they spend every Saturday and Sunday over at the Administration building with the sign that said "Tours Here ." They gave tours throughout the first four or five years that we were in session which created some real good 2 1
2 2 feelings for the students in that they got to meet alot of different people, but most of all they got to share their University with those guests I think that probably gave alot of people good vibes, both ways Hewitt : t I am sure student leaders have changed in many ways over the years You just go out in the hall here in the UC and look at the pictures of the Student Government presidents, it's quite a change from crew cuts to long hair and beards and now back to short hair Did most of the student leaders at USF that became heads of organizations or heads of student government, did they emerge pretty much on their own or were their attempts to create programs to help students develop leadership skills? Marshall : Well, there were always, you know, you start students at a committee level, and then they become the chair of that committee and then they become the president of the council, something like that We did leadership programs here in trying to help them, mainly through their own student organizations They went up the ranks and from that achieved leadership roles, student government, IFC panel or any of the councils I think probably in student government we have seen lots of changes because, you know, activity and service fees pay for many things on campus In any one year, during that time, we had 30 professional staff members that are paid out of activity and service fees One year during that time student government voted that they weren't going to pay the salaries of those employees Well, you can imagine the morale problem and going in and checking to see what every person does and trying to maintain some symbiosis of credibility during that time Of course the president of the University told the students that that was an impossibility But the work had already been done The rift between groups that were supposed to be assisting students has taken until the last couple
2 3 of years to get the trust level back in the area where it should be Now student government is very trusting once again of people with titles of administrator But it was a long hard road to accomplish that I think one of the interesting things that occurred, as far as students here, was to show how much influence students truly had during those early years or even today Dr Allen said we weren't going to have athletics We would have individual sports, but we weren't going to have any competitive athletics such as football, basketball or whatever Well, the vice president of Student Government one year decided that wasn't true, that we were going to have basketball, and that we had a gym over there that we could use to develop a basketball program His name was Frank Winkles Frank is a very big supporter of the University now and is a lawyer downtown Frank went to all the civic organizations in the city of Tampa saying that we need a basketball program, here is how we can do it, and won't you help me Well, they did help him They helped him a whole bunch They helped to change Dr Allen's mind The pressure was so severe that he succumbed to saying "Ok, we'll have a basketball program ." So that was the beginning of our sports program Dr Allen said from the very beginning that we were going to have a strong intramurals program, which we did The students were always involved in the intramural programs, a very big program He said we could have individual, such as swimming and tennis, because we had those two available here at the time We had a swinmiing pool and we had tennis courts So anyway, we did those One of the PE instructors at the time talked to a man in the community about the possibility of giving us some property to build a golf course So he talked to the man and they got together We now have a golf course in which Dick Hunter was the person that was working on that in the beginning It cost us more than Dick had
2 4 anticipated it was going to cost us because Dick got the program started and then left Then the University picked it up, and so then we could then participate in golf as a single game The next thing was baseball, you know Florida is the place where you can play baseball all year round Why not have baseball? So the Athletic Department had developed from just being an elective PE program with intramurals to athletic programs with intramurals and a professional physical education program As you well know, we are now almost full circle But the athletic and intramural programs still is the strongest of the two, and I think Dr Aliens' philosophy in the beginning is, "We want to serve the masses ." "We want them to have an opportunity to play and to use their energies rather than being seated and watching 21 players ." So his philosophy has continued to carry through Hewitt : t So the students are now involved in both intramurals and also used their pressure to develop an athletic program . ? Marshall : Yes They've developed and then they want . I'm sure that if you see anymore athletic programs coming up it will be because of the pressure of the students Perhaps the ones that have an interest in that kind of an area Hewitt : t Could you tell me a little bit about another area of student activity such as the yearbook, the newspaper, and the development of those organizations? Marshall : We had the Publications department on the second floor of this building and we watched their growth with Sandy Sanderson, Steve Yates, and the director who is now at South Carolina, Al something In the beginning the idea was that we needed to have some kind of paper that we could communicate with the
2 5 people on campus So it was devised, and it served its purpose for many years We would have one day a week, and it would be a part of the Tampa Times So we got the Tampa Times and the University together For a number of years we had that kind of an approach until we grew and we had it more than one day a week We had it three days a week Finally it came into being that it looked as though we were large enough to have our own paper It could be a cheaper project than what we were paying at the Tampa Times That is the way the Oracle came into being The title, the Oracle, I don't remember exactly how that came into being I do know that we had a contest for the yearbook The Agean was the title of the yearbook and that came from students We had exciting times every year because we would select a person to represent the Agean called Miss Agean The Agean became a very expensive project as you will find on many campuses It is very, very difficult for a yearbook to survive because now you have to pay $50 or $60 if you want a yearbook So we went from the yearbook . I think we finished up in the early '70s, and then we tried to think of something that we could identify that would create a yearbook and also . some type of a yearbook We found a publisher who would publish it He had come here, took the pictures, and we selected a Board of Editors and so forth, volunteers that would write the script on the number of pages that we had Then he would print that in and he would print student organization pictures and so forth He did that for a senior yearbook For that yearbook he would come and take pictures, each spring, of the students that were going to be graduating if they wanted their pictures in the book and so forth So that has, what we've had, been what we have had over the years It currently is still operating It started out that it cost the students about $2 .50 and then it has gone up to $10 .00 now, I'm not sure the exact price But it was
2 6 a good experience for the students who had missed the yearbook and wanted to work on that kind of a project It has provided the seniors with some mementos of their past because it lists organizations, the pictures of the individual people in those organizations and so forth So it's been a self-paid organization that the University doesn't have to put any money into So of course that is what we are always interested in Hewitt : t We don't have much time left I'm afraid and there are so many student organizations that we haven't had a chance to talk about individually Maybe I could get your thoughts on how you see student organizations developing over the next few years What kinds of areas do we still need student organizations in? What kind of areas have developed fairly fully in the first twenty-five years at USF? Marshall : Well, as you look at any kind of statistics down the road you see that our students on this campus are older So many of them commute So many of them are children of parents who were active in the '60s and the '70s and so their needs are entirely different One thing that they really, really relate to is the provision of good services, those kinds of things that will complement their academic programs or complement their future One of the things that we are developing now is a Student Activity Transcript I feel that anytime a student goes out to be interviewed, one of things that any employer wants to know is what has been your involvement? I think we should provide that student with a transcript just like he gets from the registrar office from us So we now have a format that we will start working on That is a service to those students Also providing a place that they can develop their skills I think that it is very important that we get closely aligned with the academic program I think that it is very important that I
go to your college or to the College of Business and say, "We have some programs that we think that we could help you develop within the College of Social and Behavioral or Business ." It is very important for these students to learn at this level and that they could get some credit for I think it is very important that we get closer aligned to the academic community I think students today are very serious minded I think that is going to continue for the next number of years They are getting concerned about the country They are concerned about the world We need to help them to prepare to live in this society that is coming forth for them The best way we can do that is becoming very closely aligned with the academic community in developing services and programs that will benefit those students of the future Hewitt : t Thank you very much Phyllis Marshall for your participation in this oral history project 2 7
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Marshall, Phyllis P.
Phyllis P. Marshall oral history interview
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Nancy Hewitt.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida,
1 sound file (62 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (27 p.)
USF 25th (1985) anniversary oral history project
Description based on CD version record.
Recorded July 22, 1985.
Marshall, Phyllis P.
University of South Florida
University of South Florida
Hewitt, Nancy A.,
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
i CD version:
Marshall, Phyllis P.
t [Phyllis T. Marshall].
USF 25th (1985) anniversary oral history project.
y CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DIGITAL AUDIO AND TRANSCRIPT