Rumor has it that the “University of the Best City Ever” isn’t USF’s only nickname. The university has apparently acquired a small variety of unofficial nicknames, all derived from the simple three-letter acronym “USF.” But how true are the stereotypes? This week we explore the facts and hear the opinions behind USF — the “University of Single Females.”
Last year, there were 6,246 students enrolled in USF’s undergraduate program, according to the USF Fact Book. Of these students, 63% were female and 37% were male, making campus home to 3,935 females.
Information on relationship status was not made available through the USF Fact Book, (this isn’t Facebook, y’all), though some students correlate the nearly 3:2 female to male ratio with USF’s rumored status as a hub for single women.
“There are more girls than guys, which means less people to date for straight women.”
“I think the fact that there is such a high percentage of girls compared to boys might give the nickname some truth,” Sarah Halvorsen, senior math major said. “I definitely noticed it a couple of years ago when so many USF girls would go to the bar scene at an early age, a lot of times, just to meet guys. However, nowadays, I’m not sure if the label fits — at this point, the majority of my USF friends are in relationships!”
Senior Sarah White, a psychology major, dismisses the stereotype, stating, “I know a lot of students here that are in a relationship. People just think there are a lot of single girls because of the guy to girl ratio.”
Kahanu Salavea, a junior psychology major, puts it practically: “There are more girls than guys, which means less people to date for straight women.”
According to one student opinion, another possible reason for USF’s “Single Female” nickname might stem from a second stereotype. “There is a big assumption that a lot of the men here are gay, so girls think there are less guys on the market,” Kristian Balgobin, sophomore psychology major and intern at the Gender and Sexuality Center said.
Halvorsen believes that whatever truth that may lay behind the nickname is something that changes with time. “Guys aren’t mature enough for a relationship early in college,” she said. “Now that we are all seniors and getting closer, it’s different.”
But is it really all about the guys? Salavea said he has never heard a male student say anything about the “University of Single Females.” “I think that it’s mostly heterosexual women who are perpetuating this stereotype,” he said.
The reason why remains a mystery.
Still, there are students who disagree with the nickname completely. “Everyone has boyfriends coming into school,” TJ Armand, senior finance major said. “And a lot of the girls are foreign.” Could language barriers be contributing to the stereotype of “single females”?
John Zamora, a counseling psychology graduate student from the Philippines, elaborated. “University of Single Females? That’s a first. The most common nicknames I hear of are either ‘Spoiled Filipinos’ or ‘Spoiled Foreigners’ — although I am not spoiled… nor consider myself privileged. I do consider myself lucky that my parents did support me, though.”
Verdict? USF may be home to more females than males, but student responses suggest that the stereotype is inaccurate. Next week, we investigate “University of Spoiled Foreigners.”