New baseball club kicks off season at Al Lang Stadium

USF St. Petersburg’s new student baseball club kicks off its exhibition season against USF Tampa at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Mayor Rick Kriseman will throw out the first pitch in what is being dubbed the “Battle of the Bay.” It is free and open to the public.

“We are very excited to have Mayor Kriseman participating in this history-making event for USF St. Petersburg,’’ said baseball club co-founder David Stern.

The USFSP Baseball Club was formed by Stern, fellow senior Tyler Thomas and sophomore Jeremy Burger. They are students in the College of Business.

“We all have a huge passion for baseball,” said Stern, an Entrepreneurship major. “I’ve always had the vision to start a club here and when I bumped into Jeremy, we decided to pull it together.”

Student government donated uniforms and the Division of Student Affairs will help cover costs of the game at Al Lang, including free food and t-shirts for students.

The club practices at city parks Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and will play the rest of its home games there. It has scheduled home games with clubs from Kansas, Iowa and Canada, among others this spring at city parks.

“We have a no-cut policy,” noted Stern. “But that said, we’re pretty competitive.”

For more information about the USFSP Baseball Club or the “Battle of the Bay,” email

Tropicana Field at night

RNC prompts cancellation of Freshmen Convocation, other changes

Restrictions put in place for the Republican National Convention will have an impact on USF St. Petersburg, prompting the following changes.

* Freshmen Convocation is canceled.
* Residential students will move in on a single day, Saturday, Aug. 25.
* Watercraft at the USFSP Waterfront will not be available all day on Sunday, Aug. 26.

The changes have been made to avoid potential conflicts on Sunday, Aug. 26, when 20,000 people are expected to attend the official kickoff of the Republican National Convention at Tropicana Field.

The entire campus falls within a 7.4 square-mile RNC event zone that extends from 22nd Street to Tampa Bay and from 5th Avenue North to 7th Avenue South. Temporary rules for the “event zone” will be in place Aug. 26 through Sept. 1.USFSP will remain open throughout that period and most of the restrictions will have little impact on the campus. The biggest impact will likely be the expected closing of Interstate 175 on Sunday, Aug. 26.

Many downtown streets that will be closed for that Sunday event, so getting into and off of campus will be difficult that day. The street closures will begin late Saturday afternoon after the Tampa Bay Rays-Oakland Athletics game.

All classes will begin as scheduled on Monday, August 27.

Move-in for residential students had been planned for Aug. 25-26, with freshmen arriving on Saturday and returning students on Sunday. Now, all residential students will move in on a single day, Saturday, Aug. 25.

The potential conflicts on Sunday also prompted the cancellation of the annual Freshmen Convocation, originally scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 26 at Harbor Hall.

Students and parents walk to residence hall

A summer rite of passage for incoming students

At first glance it looks like students are being dropped off by their parents for a great big slumber party somewhere on campus.

But it’s far more than that.

Dozens of students and their parents arrived on campus early Thursday morning in preparation for a two-day orientation session, an annual rite of passage at USF St. Petersburg.

Students and parents shared breakfast at Harbor Hall before breaking off for various meetings all over campus.

Parents learned about student safety and housing. They met the deans, spoke with financial aid advisors, and got answers to any pressing questions. Students had a similarly packed day as they met with academic advisors to finalize course schedules, had their photos taken for ID’s, and learned about their rights as USFSP students.

After dinner the parents said goodnight and headed home or to local hotels before the students enjoyed skits about diversity presented by their Orientation Leaders. Day one ended with a pool party at the waterfront that went well into the night.

Day two started bright early for students as they learned about living on campus and becoming an active member of the USFSP community before heading home in the early afternoon.

This was just one of six orientation sessions for more than 700 freshmen, and seven sessions for about 600 transfer students this summer. (The transfer students do not spend the night.)

On the heels of USF St. Pete’s largest graduating class to date in May, the largest freshmen class ever is expected with more than 700 students.

Both Residence Hall One and the new residential student tower at the University Student Center are expected to be full, bringing the total number of students living on campus to nearly 550.