Special Interest Housing applications due Wednesday

The application deadline for new and existing groups looking to create a unique living experience on the special interest community floors located in the Mahoney-Pearson residential colleges is quickly approaching – those interested must file their applications by Wednesday.

The university currently has five Special Interest Housing (SIH) floors, which accommodate between 16 and 32 students. Each floor has a faculty adviser who helps plan programs and serves as a mentor to the residents.

“SIH allows students to develop their own living community from start to finish,” said Emily Vaughan, the program coordinator at the Office of Academic Enhancement.

One of the newest floors is the International Quarter, which opened at the beginning of this school year. The floor houses students who are culturally curious about international experiences and diversity.

Group coordinator Cybele Safadi, a sophomore, couldn’t believe that an internationally-themed floor did not exist in a place as diverse as Miami.  Consequently, she and some friends submitted an application last year, found a faculty adviser and got approval from the director of housing.

“We wanted to explore Miami,” Safadi said. “We take advantage of diversity and resources,” adding that in a globalized world, it is important to meet people beyond your borders.

So far, IQ has been involved in several campus-based events and community service opportunities. Floor residents worked with other groups at the International Affair, which featured a variety of foods and activities, and helped raise money for Haiti.

The students also have taken trips to an Ethiopian restaurant, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the Art Deco District.

This spring the floor plans to raise money to financially adopt underprivileged children through

IQ consists of 30 students, mostly from the U.S., who speak more than 10 languages collectively – and there is room for more.

The group plans to reapply for recognition for the 2009-2010 school year and will open up to applicants interested in living on the floor.

In addition to IQ, the other special-interest floors in Mahoney and Pearson are La Casa, Wellness, Strive and Living the Green Life.

“Special Interest Housing creates numerous on-campus leadership opportunities for students wishing to join their communities e-board,” said Vaughan.

* For more information, Go to and click “Special Interest Housing”
* Get an SIH application at the Department of Residence Halls office in Eaton Residential College, Suite #153 – The application deadline is Wednesday.
* Or e-mail Emily Vaughan at or Cybele Safadi at

February 8, 2009


Elena Schmidt

Contributing News Writer

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

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 on Thursdays during the regular academic year.