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Tschiderer, J. M.
J.M. Tschiderer oral history interview
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Milly St. Julien
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida,
1 sound file (61 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (24 p.)
USF 25th (1985) anniversary oral history project
Description based on CD version record.
Recorded July 11, 1985.
J.M. "Sudsy" Tschiderer recalls his time as Universeity Union Activities Counselor for the USF St. Petersburg campus.
Tschiderer, J. M.
University of South Florida at St. Petersburg
University of South Florida at St. Petersburg
St. Julien, Milly.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
i CD version:
Tschiderer, J. M.
t [J.M. Tschiderer].
USF 25th (1985) anniversary oral history project.
y CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DIGITAL AUDIO AND TRANSCRIPT
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
J .M "SUDSY" TSCHIDERER St Julien : Today we are talking with J .M "Sudsy" Tschiderer who is at this time the University Union Activities Counselor for the St Petersburg USF campus Sudsy came to this campus in 1969 as a student and stayed around for quite awhile Could you tell us about your first contact with USF? What were your first impressions and what made you decide to come here? Sudsy : t I came to USF/St Petersburg more or less by default I had received my AA degree from St Petersburg Junior College and had fully planned to transfer to the University of Florida and pursue a degree in journalism Unfortunately, I did not get all my paper work in in time to go to the University of Florida And I was with a friend one day who drove down to the St Petersburg campus and not knowing what the facility was, we more or less popped in and she picked up a class schedule and I couldn't believe that we had a university here in St Petersburg I picked up a class schedule too The next thing I knew I was enrolled in four classes at USF/St Petersburg My first impressions were guarded given the location The location was beautiful being right here on the water front It was absolutely tranquil and a super place to get your mind and emotions in order for academic pursuit, but the barracks and the actual facility itself were a little bit intimidating and certainly not to that time comparable to what I was used to at the junior college and considerably less students around They had a very small library However, I was quickly won over by the incredible faculty and staff here and I think that is the reason that I have stayed here ever since We had an incredible rapport with our faculty They were so concerned about our academic well being and our personal well being They freely gave of themselves and
2 their time to us as students It was very common to walk down the hallway and there would be Dean Tuttle asking you how you were doing or Donna Christensen My course work at that time was in English and Harriet Deer and Bill Garrett were just tremendous as advisors and as teachers That basically kept me here My first semester was a test and I was still thinking about transferring to the University of Florida, but was putting in some time here because I, as I mentioned, hadn't gotten my act together I am very glad that I did St Julien : You mentioned that you started off on the Tampa campus Could you give me your impression of the Tampa campus as compared to the St Pete campus? Sudsy : t When I was a high school senior I was editor of my yearbook In that capacity we were able to attend seminars at the University of Florida and at the University of South Florida in journalism These were particularly aimed at high school students Both of the seminars at both of the universities were really outstanding in content However, it gave me a very good chance to sense the environment as a whole at those institutions and I was absolutely and totally smitten with the aura at the University of Florida It was so comfortable and so beautiful It had a very relaxed yet stimulating atmosphere Unfortunately, my impression of the Tampa campus was extremely negative and I had made myself a vow that I would never go to the University of South Florida It struck me as very cold and sterile The college students who were in the union at the time just looked at us like we were some kind of zombies It made us very uncomfortable and I felt this was the not place I wanted to pursue my higher education I was very intimidated at that time At Florida it was another atmosphere The reason that I ended up at St Petersburg Junior
College was that I received a journalism scholarship at JC So of course I went there because of the scholarship St Julien : What was your sense of the relationship between USF and the University of Florida or Florida State as a student? Sudsy : t When I came to USF as a student I really did not make any great distinction between USF, Florida State, and the University of Florida They were all name colleges to me When I came to the St Petersburg campus I could see the clear differences between a monumental facility like Florida with its long history and its established traditions Then I became more aware of how young USF was and particularly how young the St Pete campus was 1 guess it was because of the people I was around that it was an incredibly creative and stimulating situation We really felt like . Even though USF/Tampa may have not recognized our existence and that was clear so much of the time . and we had a problem in the community I didn't know the campus was here and the next thing I knew two weeks later I'm enrolled as a student I could see not what we didn't have, but where we were going Again, the people that I was around made up more than I could ever imagine for the lack of a beautiful facility and a variety of programs We had one-to-one contact with our teachers We had administrators that really cared about our extracurricular programs and the development and experience that we could get from them We didn't have very much, but we were in a very creative and challenging position St Julien : So it was more like a family? Sudsy : t Very definitely a family in the most positive sense of the word I can remember we had intramurals like volley ball and we would have teams made 3
up of faculty and students, and administrators and students We would have little round robin tournaments It was really great fun We would have a semi-yearly social event in the early days with the chicken lunch We would get a live band and we would get box chicken lunches and everybody would come in and have a good time That was back when the auditorium had fans and no carpeting But it was a good family St Julien : Did you participate in the development of the library or the bookstore? What about student activities? Sudsy : t Well, I have to mention that I feel like I made a large contribution to the development of the bookstore as all students do Actually, my contributions, if any, were in the area of the development of the Office of Student Affairs When I came here in 1969 I had planned to pursue a degree in journalism We did not have that curriculum here at the St Petersburg campus We had an English curriculum which I pursued and supplemented it with alot of courses in journalism that were offered here, but not leading to a degree in journalism In that context I wanted to write for the student newspaper which was the Oracle I can remember my early frustration I think I may have been the first student from our campus to write an article for the Oracle and it was published on the front page Then never again would my name see print because we had apparently produced the obligatory story about a St Petersburg campus Anything else that was submitted was gone So that led us, my friends and myself who had been involved in journalism at the junior college, to develop a campus newsletter That was first called the USF/St Pete "Bulletin," and then the following year we had a contest and it was named The Crows Nest and that name was submitted by Dr Garrett So that got me 4
involved in campus life real early in that context through the student news letter This all came about because we, the students, had a conversation with Mr Brahmas, who was the center administrator at that time, and said, "Well, what is there for students to do here?" And he said, "Well, let's have a meeting and get you all together and see what you want to do ." So we had a meeting and out of that came the student newsletter and our programs and eventually a student association which evolved into a student affairs committee which was made up of students, faculty, and staff It was a little comprehensive representative body for the campus So the main thrust was student input The second year here a director of student affairs was hired and his name was Wayne Hoffman I had the great privilege of continuing my work for the first year with Dr Hoffman Dr Hoffman was a creative, imaginative innovator and he was the ideal person for developing an Office of Student Affairs I was so fortunate to have an opportunity to work with a man like Dr Hoffman as a student assistant in the capacity of the student news letter and the student government I graduated with a degree in English in 1971 and left the country for my travels for the summer in Europe I came back and I had quit my job I had worked in local movie theaters for years and years I quit that job to go to Europe I came back and there I was penniless with a college degree and nowhere to go Low and behold the Department of Student Affairs had begun to expand and they needed a receptionist for B building We had a counter, you may remember, over in B building which was the student lounge and sort of the hub of action I became the receptionist for the Department of Student Affairs I posted bulletin board notices and made posters and worked with all student organizations, continued my work with The Crows Nest, and sold tickets We had a very innovative 5
6 program with ticket sales, discounts for students, and we had day care and we had the swimming pool, we had the coffee house We were really doing all kinds of things in trying to develop programs that would enrich us as students and also give us practical experience in organizing and providing leadership to programs As luck would have it this job became available and voila, there I was, an employee of the University It was particularly appealing because I could work with Dr Hoffman and secondly, because I was able to pursue a graduate degree, which I started in 1971 and completed in 1983 with a number of lapses in and out of there So I have been with the Department of Student Affairs ever since and I have worked basically in student activities beginning with the receptionist and then moving up to my current position now As people came and went I stayed on As we grew we had more responsibilities and the excitement of creating new programs to meet student needs Just for your information, the Office of Student Affairs currently encompasses the student activities, financial aid, veterans affairs, we work with Project Thrust, Career Placement, and some academic advising It really has grown since its early days and I feel privileged to be a part of that St Julien : Could you tell us something about the early curriculum at the St Pete campus? I know it must have been much different from what they had in Tampa Sudsy : t Most definitely When I came in 1969 we had full degree programs, but there weren't alot of them I believe in English we did Obviously, that is the area I had my degree in We had psychology, several business programs, accounting, general business, and of course, general education We had alot of education courses We had internships That was a very
7 early program That education program was very early We also had courses in history, geography, philosophy, and political science Many of us took those as electives I had basically a second degree if I wanted to complete it in either mass communications or psychology At that time we didn't have minors so you just built up alot of extra courses The geography program was very popular as electives It was a very difficult course where Harry Shalmen was the pioneer there and he was really terrific I can remember our first class There were five of us in that course including the mayor's wife It was really quite an enlightenment All five of us were chugging away at world history St Julien : How difficult was it at that time to complete a degree here? Did you have to go to Tampa? Sudsy : t I took absolutely no courses in Tampa Again, the benefit of having your . Your advisors worked closely with you You knew what courses were coming up and you scheduled yourself appropriately As a full-time student I took at least four courses and at that time most of them were worth four or five hours So that was sixteen hours I worked at a full-time job I was able to arrange my schedule differently each quarter so that I could take all my courses in two days I remember I did that one semester and that just about killed me I had courses on Monday and Wednesday for two hours, and then two hours in the afternoon, and then a night course each of those nights Again, the faculty who served as academic advisors were very conscious of our needs as students and the fact that many of us had families, jobs, and other commitments though academics did not come second With the small enrollment almost every class was like a seminar So you got the maximum from your education
8 St Julien : Do you feel that this campus was different than most universities because it was a retirement community at the time and also because it was all commuting? Did you find most of the students to be older than what you would expect at the University of Florida? Sudsy : t Yes to your last question I learned to appreciate that difference We had such an age variation in the classroom that we had many perspectives Sure we came in with our 1960s ideas that were somewhat naive and perhaps idealistic, and then we had people who had very different ideas from ours and, of course, we had the Vietnam War going on at that time You can imagine some of your American history classes got a little bit hot That is what education is about If you can't test your ideas and obtain some kind of growth in the University, then where are you going to do it? The students in business felt the same way too They were in classes and they were in class with business professionals who were finishing their degree that they never completed or were trying to keep current in their own profession What a mixture that provides It was just an incredible opportunity And you meet friends of different age groups and that is really valuable I guess I didn't notice it as a big giant change because at the junior college it was very much the same thing I made friends with alot of people who were considerably older than me and had different points of view and it really was valuable As far as the University being located in a retirement community, I had no big problem with that It really never stood out St Julien : Do you think that might be one of the reasons that the extracurricular activities built, especially by the faculty and the students, for the
9 small campus might have had something to do with it because you wouldn't find alot of outside activities? Sudsy : t Yes, we kind of had a dichotomy in that regard because we were developing activities on campus during times when students would want to take advantage of it But it was somewhat difficult to get everybody back on campus on a regular basis That is still true Part of the development of the Student Affairs Department in the whole campus was to address that issue We were forced at a very early age to deal with commuter students and we developed programs utilizing resources in our community For example, the ticket sales program where we got discounts for students at local plays, concerts, etc ., that we could not afford to duplicate on the college campus So we went into our community and used its resources while at the same time looking at the resources we had on the campus and developing them to the maximum We did not have alot of money Most of our student money went directly to Tampa and then they gave us back a pittance for our programs So we were forced to be creative early on I will add that I was able to get the traditional college fun time by going up to the University of Florida on weekends as time permitted and I got to a University of Florida homecoming So I felt like I never ever thought I was lacking in something because you can always make up for the losses that you feel you have to We had such a creative situation here that I am eternally grateful for the creative challenging situations that this campus provided me St Julien : Let me ask you about the quality of life on this campus You talked alot about the atmosphere and the personal contact between the students and the
1 0 faculty Do recall any kind of student protests or anything that dealt with social issues or political issues? Sudsy : t Generally, not on the campus Again, since we were an urban university with commuter students, many of us were already involved in those activities through community groups and it was not really necessary for us to duplicate that when we were already involved in very active and established programs within the community So we were looking more at developing communication within cur own family as it were--ways that we would be able to have interaction with the business students so that it wasn't a place where you just came and went to class and left We did get to meet each other a little more and develop student organizations and bring in speakers We did not Ignore those things, but like I said, more people were involved off campus I was looking through the old Crows Nests to give myself some jogging of the mind and I noticed in there that we had a peace rally on October 30th in Tampa So we were conscious of those things and I'm sure that there were alot of heated discussions I can remember some of those very well in the student lounge, but again we were more interested in bringing students together so we could have those kinds of conversations with people that didn't have our own point of view St Julien : What about race relationships? I know that at that time the public schools were not completely integrated I am almost positive that the colleges had begun integration much sooner than most schools Did you notice any kind of difference at the St Pete campus? Were there more black students or less than the Tampa campus? Sudsy : t I was never consciously aware of that, so it is very difficult for me to comment on it I know that with the small student body that there were
1 1 not alot of minority students I know that we attracted more minority students as we, in general, attracted more students to the campus Of course, this was in the later '70s and there was really no problem Again, when you are in a small family situation and everybody is here to get the most out of the academic curriculum, I have never noticed it as any kind of problem I would like to see more minority students having access to the universities, though I really don't know what the problem is, whether it is some promotion that we are not getting the information to minority sources so that they know that there are scholarships and opportunities here I would like to see that grow more I think that we are pretty low in our percentages and like I mentioned earlier, I think it is very important the more perspectives you have in your students in the classroom, it is so much more beneficial to everyone It creates much more tolerance and awareness of other points of view St Julien : What about the role of women in the development of this campus? Sudsy : t It's kind of funny while I was going through the old Crows Nest I was looking through minutes of old student government meetings and the first group was all women All nine were women students So that was kind of fun However, I can more seriously recognize that it was a combination At least in the student area their leadership was probably equal, but in different areas You found alot of men in the business clubs and more women in the liberal arts Concerts and films were more done by the women and the accounting club and the management club were more organized by the men That may have been because those were the groups within those courses It was very natural As far as for the whole campus, I point to the people who made such an impact on me There was Dean Tuttle and Donna
1 2 Christiensen The two of them were just superb In later years there was Mr Kennerson and my boss, Don Haney, who became the Director of Student Affairs about nine years ago and was here for seven years in that capacity or at least with the University He had several jobs, but worked for a number of years as Director of Student Affairs He was a terrific man My first year there was Harriet Deer and Bill Garrett So it is pretty much divided I would say St Julien : As a staff person now, have you had any problems in your working relationships and as a female? Sudsy : t I hate to say it because it sounds so trite and it sounds like a typical thing that a woman staff person would talk about I was very fortunate in my first boss, Wayne Hoffman, to have a genuine visionary as a boss There was absolutely no problem in my relationship with my first boss here Subsequent directors I don't think were so enlightened and there was a very strong male administrative core at USF in Tampa Some of those characteristics flowed over here in some of our relationships We did have alot of people from Tampa coming over here either to teach courses or perhaps to take on administrative responsibilities Our second Director of Student Affairs was a Tampa campus staff person and he had quite alot of Tampa orientation Of course, we were not very independent at that time We did our own thing over here, but we had very strong ties to Tampa Administrative policies were dictated by Tampa in many regards With student funds, they came to us from Tampa We paid them in and then Tampa said that they would give some of it back There were slot of bitter fights with students to students, and students to administrators on the Tampa campus trying to get some kind of recognition for the
1 3 development for our programs I was involved in that as a staff person and as a student I think that we have come some way in that regard I think that it is more difficult for women to move up in the system St Julien : Could you tell us about the relationship between the St Pete campus and the Tampa campus? Sudsy : t It has been a changing relationship It's been a difficult relationship and alot of it has to do with the growth, not only of the regional campuses, but the growth of the University of South Florida There is not enough time to do everything and I mean that in relationship to Tampa administrators It is alot easier and it has been traditionally alot easier to just say this is what you will do, now do it And not have to worry about the little campus over in St Petersburg that may siphon off students There has been some perceptual problems regarding the St Pete campus In the early days it was kind of stuck over there to idealistically provide college education in Pinellas County for upper division students The idea was to spread that opportunity around The city of St Petersburg and Pinellas County has always been supportive of the University of South Florida and the development of the St Pete campus But too often the St Petersburg campus was perceived as an unwieldy stepchild and a facility that siphoned off the attention that should have been focused on the Tampa campus and its growth, many problems, and its result of growing You always have your growing pains That has been a traditional source of problem for us We often felt like there never was enough attention paid to us and our problems The value of the St Pete campus is not always recognized in the context of the overall picture of the University That can be extremely demoralizing Often it seems that
1 4 we could not get promotions as easy as you could if you worked on the Tampa campus Our classifications were not equivalent to those in Tampa because we were just a little campus and had little to worry about Whereas we here are wearing many hats If you were in my situation as the coordinator of student activities, I was also the advisor of student organizations I was the coordinator of the recreations facility We had multi-hats and alot of responsibilities which were wonderful, but our counterparts in Tampa seemed were always getting much more opportunities for growth, professionally and monetarily We went through a very difficult period in relation to activity and service fee money That is money that is generated right out of students' tuition for programs That was a long bitter struggle In that process as always there is a light and we have been so fortunate to have people like Phyllis Marshall, who is the Director of University Centers and has been at USF forever, and another person, Chuck Hewitt, who is the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Both of them were very supportive of student programs and student affairs on our campus before it became fashionable to be aware of the St Pete campus They were willing to stick their necks out to help us and they were willing to give their time to us In one case when we were trying to get our fair share of activity and service fee money and Dr Hewitt was the budget officer, he encouraged students on the Tampa campus to listen He said that they are generating that money dime for dime and they should get it back That was an unpopular thing to say on the Tampa campus, but he was an honest man and he continues to be a superb administrator in my opinion The picture was not totally black between the two campuses The development of the other regional campuses has enhanced our credibility in the whole university system, though there are
1 5 still those kind of problems that when you are not on the home site it is a little easier to say why can't you just do it this way and we don't have to worry about it St Julien : Do you think that one of the problems that the branch campuses might suffer from is the fact that the University of South Florida has not received its fair share of money from the legislature so it must filter down through the branch campuses and they suffer even more so? Sudsy : t Absolutely I don't have any statistics to back this up, but I think that they are available One of the constant sources of problems has directly related to funding When you are the lowest on the totem pole there is not enough to get to you and you have a choice You can take it or leave it Well, that is not very good for morale When the legislature appropriates money to USF it is appropriated to USF, not to USF/St Petersburg If we have it on our documents that we need some amount of new faculty to maintain an equivalent proportion of faculty/students in the ratio and Tampa needs it, well, Tampa takes the money I can remember some years where we were very distressed because our legislative delegation has been extremely valuable in promoting USF/St Petersburg, kind of pumping the St Pete campus and our needs They assumed that in the total budget if it was for St Pete campus or new faculty and the legislature informally assumed that they were going to go here, that didn't necessarily mean that they were coming here When you are the low man on the totem pole, you are low man Too often we have had that attitude thrust upon Us Another thing that I will mention is that we are concerned regional campuses I believe our campus is the first regional campus in the state university
system Branch is not a term we use for our campus because branch means little tiny thing and we are a regional campus St Julien : Has that always been the case or is it just recently? Sudsy : t It has been about ten years Since I am mentioning it and making a big thing out of a little thing, it is just that was kind of an important step in growth to us That we were recognized as a regional campus, not just a little branch St Julien : I think probably due to the fact that St Petersburg and Clearwater area has grown so much and those students seem to be filtering down to the St Pete campus How much influence do you think that has had on the expansion of the St Pete campus? Sudsy : t In the development of the St Petersburg campus there were several locations under consideration to develop this campus One was in Clearwater, one was this location here, and another one was in Seminole The city of St Petersburg was absolutely enthusiastic about having a university in its city to enhance the city and provide the cultural and academic resources that a university does We do service Pinellas County and the interstate has facilitated travel to our campus and of course that helps alot for students coming from up county like yourself You remember that long drive Since we are located two blocks from the interstate that really helps alot I think alot of students are attracted to us because we are small Because we are small, you don't have to wait in huge long lines It is a tranquil atmosphere It is really nice When you come on campus you are coming through downtown St Petersburg off the interstate where it is all hectic and crazy Then you come here to the tranquil 1 6
1 7 harbor It is like the best of both worlds I anticipate lots of growth There is a real push by the city of St Petersburg to continue its revitalization of downtown St Petersburg and more and more cultural resources are springing up I am very optimistic that it will continue We have an excellent relationship with our neighbor the Dali Museum and the Ware Institute for Media Studies Of course, they came after we were here, but before us were places like the Museum of Fine Arts I think these are appealing resources for students St Julien : The last thing that I wanted to talk about is community relations I know, especially in your capacity, how important community relations have been with the University Could you give us an overview from the late 1960s and up to the present point in time? Sudsy : t As a student in 1969 it was very evident what our community activities or community relationship was at our own time When we were at the University we were doing things in the context of a brand new educational facility We just didn't have the resources as I mentioned earlier to outreach into the community other than making the community aware that we were here and that we had courses So early on there was as much attention paid to getting the course schedule organized So those of us who were involved in community activities were involved not because of the University, but because we had already been involved This slowly grew into such things as the Lecture Series which is difficult to compare to now where we have a regular lecture series Every Wednesday we have the Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series and we have huge support from the community We have a group called the USF/St Pete Singers that I am extremely proud of This group had its beginnings in a small group of us back in the early '70s
1 8 In our own free time, not as an organized group from the University, but friends who also went to the campus, we would go and do little song fests to senior citizen centers In 1974 we actually formalized this into a group called the USF/St Pete Singers, which is a community service organization We go out several times during the year and do fifty odd shows, mainly for senior citizens at the Veteran Hospitals and the Psychiatric Center and as needed for art shows or whatever This has generated alot of publicity for us and the University We wanted USF/St Pete to be known that we are here and that we are not taking from the community, we are giving back in our own way We develop more student organizations that in turn develop more community ties Like the Accounting Organization would have regular meetings and would invite local accountants, big accountants, corporate accountants, IRS accountants, CPAs, and private accountants to come in and talk about what it is like and what to do and how to prepare and in turn making those folks aware of the St Petersburg campus Alot of those community relations were simply making the community a little bit more aware of the St Petersburg campus And of course, now we have the Poynter Library which is making much improvements in library circles and in the community in that way and we will continue to develop our concert series, our movies series, and of course, in the last five years we have developed major semi-yearly programs such as the China program and the Festival de Brazil in semester one where we have a two week celebration of a topic or country and we look at it from all angles, academic and social . These are extremely well received by the community and by the academic community as well St Julien : You also used the rooms on campus for community organizations, renting rooms so you have more involvement with community organizations
Sudsy : t We don't rent, we make them available for free St Julien : So it is more of a community service? Sudsy : t Right We have done this forever The unfortunate problem is in the process of growth we just have not had enough rooms to do this Since we have had Bayboro Hall in 1980 and Nacoteno Hall in 1984, we have a little more space, but we are still bulging at the seams, particularly in the evening We just don't have enough classrooms for everything and we don't have enough student space to accommodate all club meetings and this and that But where we can we try very hard to make our facilities available off campus as long as there is no conflict with the primary purpose, which is classroom space St Julien : It would seem to me that because of the difference in the age of the students that you get such a diverse group of people who graduate from the campus that it must contribute to the community support so much more than alot of universities Sudsy : t We like to think that, but when you look at numbers our enrollment is probably twenty-six hundred bodies and alot of people just come for a course here and there, and they don't really take the time or see the kind of programs that they could get involved with or the typical problem--that many students feel like they only want to come and go to class and then go home They don't want to recognize the opportunities that involvement in the student organizations can give them like developing leadership skills, organizational skills, management skills, speaking skills, things that they will have to develop in the professional world This is a good 1 9
2 0 opportunity to learn or hone some of those skills or tackle a skill that you didn't know you had Maybe you don't have it, but at least give it a shot That is a problem that keeps us on our toes and the diversity of the student body means that a program that worked last year may not work next year But that makes it really challenging It helps you avoid becoming stagnant and stale I never dreamed that I would be here this long I had not planned to complete my master's degree in English in 1983 1 thought I would be done alot earlier t In terms of students extracurricular programs you can really see changes in where people's interests are There is alot more attention in these days to careers and dressing for success and interviewing skills Back in '69 and the early '70s there were more conversations about social interests and social concerns and how you could apply your talents and skills to those It is interesting to watch those changes It is hard to believe it has been fifteen years One of the other things that is very exciting in terms of the diversity of the student body and also the community, we are getting more and more cooperative programs with facilities like the St Pete Art Center They hold an annual art show here each fall We have a revolving art show concept in the library We still don't have a gallery on campus I hope we get that one of these days We don't have suitable exhibit space as a result of that, nor do we have an ideal facility for lectures and concerts Our auditorium is a reconverted cafeteria/gymnasium back in the old merchant marine days It holds 300 It has a flat floor and not ideal acoustics Our small conference room holds 150 But when you are fortunate enough to bring in people like Ralph Nader and Jack Anderson and Allen Ginsburg, national and international names where you anticipate an audience larger than 150 and in some cases 300, it becomes a problem Of
2 1 course, looking back to 1969 I am absolutely ecstatic that the auditorium would be too large for a program In those days a closet was too large St Julien : Do you feel that you gained more political support among the city council or the Pinellas Council? Do you think that helped the University in the long run in development of new buildings? I know there is alot of controversy about the airport versus the University Sudsy : t Yes, I am somewhat saddened by those kind of airport versus university arguments because I think part of the root of the problem has been the lack of a full redevelopment concept for this area and I'm not sure that you could ever have something like that We have so many major contributors to our environment--the Bay Front Medical Center, All Childrens Hospital, the Airport Bayfront Center, the Dali Museum, the Poynter Institute, and the University all in the same area and with various projected growths That there is only so much land and if we could look at the big picture I think it would be better for us in the long run We have enjoyed historically support from our council and the Pinellas delegation for the University of South Florida and particularly University of South Florida in St Pete I'm sure that is walking a fine balance because when you have that much political support, sometimes with the all for one and one for all university concept, all that enthusiasm might be channelled right in to the University of South Florida and not the St Pete campus or Sarasota or whatever So sometimes there is a bit of a fine line Again, it continues to grow as we become more visible and as we build enough facilities to have more courses, you hear time and time again students saying, "Oh, I wish I didn't have to make the drive to
z2 Tampa My course starts at six and I have to be on the bridge at the worst time I would give anything Why can't you offer that course here?" Of course we have to say that we don't have the space or we don't have the money to have a faculty member and so many of those things are tied up in the purse strings that are held by the Tampa campus That is just the nature of the beast I hope that we can not look at just the negative relationships that we have in this situation when you have the big campus and the little campus It is very critical in my mind to the USF growth to recognize the advantages each type of campus holds for the community We are here for students That is the bottom line We are here to be educators, to provide educational opportunities, to enrich our Tampa Bay area That is what we are here for We must look at ways of appreciating each other's differences and making the most of them at USF and not tearing ourselves apart while maintaining the integrity of each of the individual campuses I am a staunch supporter of the St Pete campus and will always be St Julien : Is the curriculum here more liberal arts oriented or is more business oriented? Sudsy : t I would say it is a combination of all of the above However, some areas in the liberal arts are lacking--the sciences--and that has worried alot of people We don't have laboratory facilities We don't have labs for language programs We don't have space for fine arts programs Our sciences are all at the graduate and the Ph .D level We have a very strong business college, but I think that is part of the signs of the times More people see careers in business as something that is immediately within one's grasp We would very much like to have more of the
2 3 broader base of liberal arts here, but when you don't have the space for it, it becomes a problem Where are you going to put it? Buildings mean money and money, we all know, there is only so much to go around I don't really see it as being heavily weighted in business It may be that the business colleges are very visible at this particular point in time I think that the administration, at least on our campus, is very concerned about having a broad base in its curriculum and I think historically has shown this to be true Looking back at the courses that were here in 1968 and 1969 they are very much the same We have just grown and added more degree programs One of the things that is quite exciting is a new program at USF, the master's of liberal arts, and we will have that program here on the St Pete campus within the next few years There is a faculty committee headed by Steven Turner on this campus developing that here, so that is a good sign too St Julien : If you look back over the time that you have been here as a student and staff person, what would say were the best or the worst changes that have happened on this campus? Sudsy : t Both of those relate to growth It is like the two-sided face It was very hard for us to actually move into Bayboro Hall for those of us who had been here for a long time That includes some of the marine science students and some of the eternal students who had been here as an undergraduate and then continued on It was fun watching the building rise out of the mound of dirt and sand It was fun watching the old Sunrise Tavern and all those great places of our undergraduate days But when we actually made the move from the humble barracks, which we all grew to love as a second home as odd as that may seem It was so homely that it became
St Julien : Thank you very much for the interview 2 4 homey and you became very protective of those old barracks I remember not too long ago after we moved into Bayboro Hall, a part of B building was taken down to make a parking lot for the Department of Natural Resources which also is housed on the peninsula here One of those former students went absolutely insane trying to get the plaque with the room designation on it He had had so many courses in there that he really wanted that piece of memorabilia for his personal memories I think that we were all like that to a certain extent We really thought it was terrific moving into this new building right here on the water front It was a little hard leaving the old comfortable shoe So that was a positive change in the sense that it gave us optimism for growth, developing new programs, and new facilities to do things in But at the same time we lost alot of our sense of being a family because in the new buildings there are lounge areas that you pass through and then you go to your little offices and you don't necessarily intersect as much anymore In the old barracks you had one hub and all of the classrooms jutted out in the hallways that were adjacent to the main hub Everybody ran into each other You had to Students, faculty, and staff that was the only place to go virtually Of course, our delicious snack machines were in that area and our snack bar provided an opportunity to have a cup of coffee and conversation We really miss that It was harder to get around in these new modern building They were more like a maze of modern architecture and not the homey, old comfortable shoe It was kind of a shock to have new faculty and new staff and, most importantly, new students come on campus and not even get to know them or see them until they were seniors We didn't like that too much