Opinion

EDITORIAL: Political speakers will provice needed image boost

As UM President Donna E. Shalala revealed in an interview with The Hurricane, she has gotten presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to agree to speak on campus during her campaign. This should come as no surprise, given Shalala’s tenure as Secretary of Health & Human Services under President Clinton-but what may come as a shock is the fact she wants all the presidential candidates to speak on campus as well. And it’s not just Democrats: Shalala has also approached Republican candidates as well.

This is incredibly ambitious on her part, and we’re glad she’s attempting it; more candidates mean more exposure, and not the type of exposure you get from football brawls, either. Having more candidates speak on campus will bring us a level of exposure that falls just short of the 2004 Presidential Debate, which will help us re-boost our image as an academically reputable institution, which we seem to be losing.

Once again, Shalala’s connections have come through, just as they did for the Presidential Debate, as well as so many speakers who have come in the past (such as Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie, the Dalai Lama) and are due to come in the future (Al Gore). Besides bringing the image boost that is so beneficial to this institution, these speakers provide just as big an opportunity for the students who go see them. These speakers have seen and experienced a lot, and have knowledge and wisdom to bestow upon the students. And if anything, it gives us bragging rights, and a good story to tell the grandkids.

Especially with the candidates, the students will have even bigger opportunities to engage the speakers, as the more politically-natured student organizations will have the opportunity to sponsor individual candidates. Shalala hopes to encourage more students to register to vote and become more involved in the political process, which would be another beneficial side effect of having candidates speak to our school.

Fact of the matter is, the many distinguished speakers who come visit us contribute to our prestige much more than a new University Center or greenhouse will. While athletics may be our claim to fame, for better or worse, it is the speakers that help us be taken more seriously, and help raise the value of a UM degree. If several presidential candidates visit our campus, especially during an election year, it’ll provide an even bigger boost. Let’s hope Stephen Colbert will follow them down here, so the circle can be complete.

February 6, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

He is considered among the finest defensive line coaches in the nation. And now, according to a writ ...

This is the time of year when every win or loss can make a difference in a team’s NCAA Tournament ch ...

Mike Brey doesn't pay much attention to the NBA draft stock of opposing players, but the Notre ...

He used to be a Gator. But junior Danny Reyes is plenty happy to be back home and playing for the Un ...

It’s a Wednesday morning, and one by one, the familiar Hurricane faces make their way into the non-d ...

Members of the University of Miami first response teams remind us of resources available and what to ...

Mexican activist, poet and novelist Javier Sicilia deplored the violence stemming from the “drug war ...

From the North Pole to the South Pole and everywhere in between, the art of UM alumnus Xavier Cortad ...

A panel of University of Miami faculty talked about the impacts of climate change during a meeting o ...

Walker IV scored 19, Izundu scored 14 and the Canes picked up a crucial win in South Bend. ...

The No. 25-ranked University of Miami women's golf team moved into a sixth-place tie on day two ...

After a standout first weekend at the plate with the No. 24 Hurricanes, Miami's Danny Reyes was ...

Miami women's basketball notched an impressive 77-62 triumph Sunday at Virginia, giving head co ...

Former University of Miami track and field standouts Shakima Wimbley and Tiffany Okieme were among t ...

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.