REPRINT: The Miami Hurricane Needs to Declare Independence

(This is a Life & Art Quality Smack Overdose prescribed by Hunter Stephenson, L&A Editor 2002-?)


Wow. The old men on the UM Board of Publications really screwed up. You practically fire our Editor-in-Chief Brian Poliakoff, one of the few UM students in the School of Communication who have been in-and-occasionally-out of The Miami Hurricane office over the last four years because you do not like Life & Art?! And then you leave us with three issues left! Hah, hilarious. As L&A’s Jonathan Twiggar, a great man, says, “Servus.”

That’s cheers in German, which I find ironic right now in light of our current situation.

This is the end, as Jim Morrison says. We’re blasting that song in the office tonight all-night, racing off Ritazza coffee from the UM C-store (thanks “Campus Living”). After working here as a feature writer-to-Accent Editor-to-Life & Art Editor, I find it horribly awry who exactly makes up our Board of Publications. All of the students studying journalism here, all of the parents slaving to pay their aspiring journalists’ tuition here, need to know how much incompetence surrounds The Miami Hurricane.

See, this is a private institution; therefore, the university owns the student newspaper, unlike many respectable collegiate publications at traditionally public institutions. These people [try to]put the fear inside of you until the paper simply becomes a PR piece for their own agenda (see this last semester’s entire News section).

Thus, we have a News editor who also works for Student Government – can you say “conflict of interest?” Thus, we have an axed (only after Photo Editor David Eppolito spoke out and L&A followed) supposedly factual and un-biased column entitled “Greek Gossip” that was taken off a PR Web site for Greek life.

Thus, we now have a newly elected editor-in-chief for next semester, Leigha Taber, the current assistant News editor who is not majoring in Journalism. No, she’s majoring in Psychology and has a Public Relations inclination. “That’s bullshit.” I agree, Sven. Pass me another Amstel Light and turn up the Doors.

While I wasn’t present at the election, where Taber was chosen over the incumbent Poliakoff on Wednesday, here is who was (all have a vote, unless otherwise noted):

Sigman Splichal, Director of Journalism/Photography at UM and The Miami Hurricane Senior Advisor

Norman Parsons, Director of Wellness and Recreation (he does not get a vote, unless there is a tie)

Jorge Arauz, Hurricane News Editor and Student Government representative for the Board – again, make note of the conflict here (that’s like Sadowski being a Hurricane fact checker) and add many exclamation points. While the rest of the Hurricane staff can merely write recommendation letters endorsing a candidate (which were barely read at said meeting), he has a place and a vote on the Board of Pubs. Rumor is, he has been intimately involved in the past with his assistant editor, Leigha Taber.

Randy Stano, Knight Chair of Advertising and Public Relations and Ibis senior advisor (did not show up at the election, therefore, no vote)

Ambar Hernandez, President of Society of Professional Journalists (also a writer for Life & Art) (UM student)

Robert DuBord, Student Publications Financial Advisor, Associate Director of Residence Halls, WVUM 90.5 FM Financial Advisor (a busy man, perhaps too busy)

Omar Giritli, The Miami Hurricane Business Manager (UM student)

Ronald Newman, Associate Professor of the English Department (we are asking ourselves why he has a position determining the future of The Miami Hurricane, when he has absolutely nothing to do with it – yet he has a vote deciding our editor-in-chief)

Brian Poliakoff, Editor-in-Chief of The Miami Hurricane (obviously: no vote) (UM student)

Kristian Rodriguez, Editor-of-Chief of Ibis (UM student)

William Sandler, Dean of Students (one of the men responsible for the ongoing investigation of our newspapers being stolen from campus) (again, why a Dean has a vote is beyond us, as it creates possible conflict in what the Hurricane can publish regarding campus)

Donn Tilson, Associate Professor of Advertising and Public Relations (wait, associate professor of what?)

Now, connect the dots here (the final vote was 5-4), and guess who voted for Mr. Poliakoff (and not-so-indirectly, Life & Art) and who voted against. Whether you like Life & Art and (no need for an “or”) the person writing this, understand that there are people on the Board deciding the future of this student publication who have large outside interests.

Name another reputable publication where a good number of the people on the toppity top are straight out of a match of Guess Who? by Milton Bradley? That is almost like Bill Keller being elected executive editor by a publisher, a doctor, a lawyer, an Enron exec and…an English professor.

Enjoy the future of UM journalism. And if you’re a freshman, here is some drunken advice from a senior editor: If this paper does not become independent, do not work for it. And, to the staff already working here, word is, pay cuts are underway because, somehow, paying writers $8 an article and editors $280 bi-weekly has left this paper $40,000 in debt.

“Well, I’m sure I’d feel much worse if I weren’t under such heavy sedation.” – David St. Hubbins.


Yeah, so after our memorable meeting, after you stated, “I do not care about The Hurricane,” and opened up a folder of my L&A Quality Smack columns and sighed, and after giving me two semesters of strict disciplinary probation for, “B.16 Distributing or Posting Printed Materials,” aka 5,000 Life & Art “Mustachio Bashio” glossy flyers, I go to my CVC class for once in Wolfson, where some girl is reading “Campus Living” like a sales-ad for The Limited.

After class, I walk back to the over-crowded parking lot, only to discover a flyer (above) on my driver’s side window (I couldn’t even make this up, hah). What is it for you do not ask? Well, the UM Men’s Soccer Club and L&A faves, Alpha Sigma Phi are selling a sexy calendar. Except on the back of said flyer, it says, “This advertisement is neither the responsibility of nor endorsed by the University of Miami.”

So, Dean Singleton, are you going to give the president of each organization the same punishment you issued me? I didn’t ask for this flyer. I don’t want a calendar. I’ll call you in four days and publish your answer. But if there is no reply, isn’t that a contradiction? And by the way, Life & Art and former Editor-in-Chief Jordan Rodack would like to give a big piss-off and good riddance to AEPi. This is the end?


Life & Art was going to review your sex tape, but then another one popped up, reportedly starring a Playmate and Simon Rex, who ex-ex-L&A staff writer Rachel Cusick “interviewed” at Opium a month ago. Anyhow, the first tape is bomb, especially when your celly rings and when you’re watching – I’m guessing BET late night – bobbing for apple. And, how diesel is that 90210-dating dude? Pounds.

Hunter Stephenson can be reached at Huntlaed@hotmail.com.

December 5, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.