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Tampa students say no to attack on video game club by USF administration

By staff |
May 22, 2020
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Tampa students say no to attack on video game club by USF administration

Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) hosted an email-in on Wednesday, May 20, fighting back against the University of South Florida’s administration. Under the panic of the COVID-19 crisis, USF administration has defunded, suspended and effectively disbanded the Video Game Club (VGC) at USF. The student organizers demanded the reinstatement of the VGC, in addition to maintaining students’ prior demands of refunds for ‘distance learning fees’ and all activity and service fees, as the mandatory off-campus learning gives the fees no reason to be charged.

The suspension of student-run Video Game Club came along with the announcement of a new electronic sports, or esports, program hosted by the school. Esports is an industry that has generated over a billion dollars in revenue. The decision to create the program while shutting down the group that has been a student video game club is no coincidence. The actions of the school’s administration highlight the intentions of the university as it focuses on adding programs and punishing student organizations, instead of providing relief and aid for students.

The event was successful in inspiring students to fight back against the administration’s disbanding of other organizations in pursuit of profit. Gareth Dawkins, a student organizer with Tampa SDS said, “This event exposed the amount of power the school has and how they use it to exploit students on both a small and large scale.” Tampa Bay SDS will continue demanding that the university provide aid to students and cancel their fees while continuing the fight to meet these demands through action.

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