Opinion

Coral Gables city government thinks you’re irrelevant

Once again this month, the Coral Gables city government has made it clear the degree to which they hold you and this university in contempt. For several years, UM has sought to improve the facilities and resources available to its students and faculty. Much of these improvements will take the form of infrastructure upgrades and new construction. Additional residential facilities are also in the works. All of this is aimed at providing an increase in UM’s national collegiate ranking, an increasingly important element in student and faculty recruitment.

As many of you remember, the process UM had to navigate just to break ground on University Village was difficult. This was a result of the actions of the City Commission and certain citizens of Coral Gables who exhibit near complete hostility toward UM and its students. Just recently, that hostility toward UM’s interests was evident once again in the City Planning Board’s decision to recommend disapproval of any amendments to UM’s master infrastructure plan, the UMCAD. The ‘no’ vote would be bad enough, but it came at the tail end of a three-year refusal by the board to even grant the school a hearing on any amendments to the UMCAD. Now that they’ve finally heard us out and made a decision, the only thing they could bring themselves to do was flip all of us a metaphorical bird.

This type of nonsense by the city government has to stop. Our university provides a multitude of economic benefits to Coral Gables, not the least of which is its status as Coral Gables’ largest employer. Even with this in mind, the city government continues to appear to do everything it can to stifle UM even though the student body overwhelmingly supports infrastructure improvements like the new University Center. Unfortunately, if the current trend continues, University Village will be the last new thing the city will allow UM to build.

Although it would be easy to leave this tale with a blanket condemnation of the Coral Gables City Commission, it’s not as simple as all that. While I strongly protest the actions they’ve taken with reference to UM, in the end they are merely responding to those of their constituents that would like to see all of us just go away. The reason for that is very simple; those city residents do something most of us don’t do – they vote in Coral Gables elections.

This spring, the mayor of Coral Gables and at least one city commissioner will be up for election. Normally, city elections bring out just a few thousand voters and are normally decided by several hundred votes.

Currently there are just under 15,000 students attending UM. If we just count resident students and commuter students who live in Coral Gables, we’re still talking about several thousand votes, enough to determine any city election.

Don’t let another year go by without letting the Coral Gables City Commission know your voice matters.

Register to vote in Coral Gables!

Scott Wacholtz is a graduate student concentrating in Middle Eastern history. He may be contacted at s.wacholtz@umiami.edu

January 19, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami coach Jim Larranaga and his staff spent recent practices pushing his players to whip the ball ...

The University of Miami confirmed in a written release Sunday that starting cornerback Malek Young s ...

In 2016, the Miami Hurricanes had tight end David Njoku, who went in the first round of the 2017 NFL ...

Four days had passed since his University of Miami basketball team squandered a 13-point second half ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ search for offensive line help is set to continue on the weekend of Jan. 26, w ...

Presidents at three higher education institutions in Miami "lend our unified voices” to the cal ...

Thirty high school English teachers from Brazil are spending six weeks at UM in a new skill-building ...

Global and local efforts needed to respond to biological threats, UM President Julio Frenk warned at ...

As artificial Intelligence takes hold, tech visionary David Kenny stresses keeping human values in t ...

UM’s First Black Graduates Project committee visits an iconic D.C. museum for inspiration to create ...

Bruce Brown Jr. scored 19 points leading Miami to victory over NC State in Raleigh. ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team picked up its third straight win in eight days ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team (1-2) closed out its opening weekend with a 5-2 loss ...

With the help of dominating victories and dramatic comebacks, No. 19 Miami finished the day with an ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team (1-1) returns to action on Sunday, as it travels to N ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

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.