Campus and Residence Hall Life
UF SSTP participants and residential staff live in the Beaty Towers residence hall on the UF campus. The Beaty Towers residence hall has suite-style rooms where each suite has two double-occupancy bedrooms, a kitchen, living area and a bathroom. There are eight suites per floor with two residential counselors per floor. The Beaty Towers Commons offers participants a place to gather, and offers activities such as pool, table tennis, a TV, lounge space, and a study hall. Additionally, students will have internet and Wi-Fi access both in the residence halls and on the UF campus (please refer to the FAQ for details on how to access these services).
UF SSTP residential counselors facilitate campus living through community building and help participants adjust to living away from home. Students get to know one-another through floor activities, shared meals, student socials, and small group get-togethers. Counselors engage students in activities such as pick-up basketball games, running/walking groups, playing guitar/musical instruments, and other shared interests. Cooking help, laundry how-to lessons, and other practical advice are provided by counselors.
One focus of UF SSTP is to create a multicultural community in which students are encouraged to live and learn with students from varied backgrounds and experiences. Towards this goal, UF SSTP does not accept roommate requests and students from the same high school are not roomed together. The program does take into consideration such factors as a student’s study, house-keeping, and sleep preferences, as well as general interests when making roommate assignments. Student selected to attend UF SSTP complete a Roommate Matching/Personal Interest Sheet on which he or she may indicate such preferences.
While at UF, students have the opportunity to enjoy participating in outdoor recreational activities with a membership to the Broward Outdoor Recreational Complex (BORC). Students also have access to outdoor swimming pools and outdoor green space for both program-organized and self-organized activities. Students enrolling in the UF Dual Enrollment Program will have access to indoor gym facilities.
All UF SSTP students participate in program-sponsored social activities, fieldtrips, and a service project. Weekly activities include a variety of social events, such as dinner socials, dances, bowling and game room activities at the Retiz Union, and UF sponsored Gator Nights. Additionally, UF SSTP sponsors weekend fieldtrip to destinations such as the Whitney Marine Lab, St. Augustine Beach, Disney World or Busch Gardens, and swimming/tubing at a local spring.
Participants are responsible for the majority of their meals during the UF SSTP. Students may shop and prepare meals with their roommates, shop and cook on their own, or eat at the many dining facilities on and around campus. Transportation for grocery shopping will be provided periodically or students can easily take public bus transportation to the grocery store in between program provided grocery runs.
There are eating locations scattered across campus, including Burger King, Pollo Tropical, Panda Express, Papa John’s, Subway and home-style meals from the two campus Dining Halls, Gator Corner Dining Center and Fresh Food Company. Also, there are many off-campus restaurants within walking distance from Beaty.
For those interested in eating on campus, UF Gator Dining Services offers an optional Declining Balance account which allows a participant to eat anywhere on campus ( see map of on-campus restaurants) by simply swiping their Gator-1 ID card. The Declining Balance account acts like a checking account with the Gator1 ID being the debit card. Participants who choose to set up a Declining Balance account should talk with their parents to decide how much and how often to deposit. If a student does not plan to cook at all it is recommended that he/she start with a balance of $200. There’s no fee to establish the account, no minimum balance to maintain, and adding money is done on-line through a secure UF Declining Balance Website. Unused balances can be refunded at the end of the program, although the refund process may take up to 8 weeks and there is an administrative fee. All UF dining locations also accept cash and credit/debit cards.
Please note that UF SSTP participants will receive a Gator1 ID Card as part of his or her program fees. Cards will be made on the first Monday of UF SSTP. Student may open a declining balance account prior to arriving at UF once his or her UF ID Number has been created.
Please visit the Gator Dining Service website for more information on the Declining Balance account. As a summer program we are unable to offer our students a Residential Meal Plan for the Dining Halls.
Vegan and Vegetarian Options are available on campus and throughout Gainesville. At the end of 2011, UF was named the second most vegan friendly large university by PETA’s Most Vegan-Friendly College Contest. PETA has also placed UF in the Top 10 most vegetarian-friendly campuses. UF has prepared a Guide to help students find vegan and vegetarian options at the various dining locations on campus. UF Gator Dining Services participates in the Meatless Monday’s campaign, which increases the amount of meat-free meal options in the Dining Halls on Mondays. Although the selection is increased on Mondays, there is always a Vegan Station offering vegetarian and vegan meals at the Dining Halls. Also, many of the dishes at the various stations around the Dining Halls may be prepared without meat if you ask.