News

A conversation with the president

University of Miami President Donna Shalala spoke about personal influences, politics and gave a few words of advice to students at the Council for Democracy meeting Tuesday. “A Personal Conversation with Donna Shalala” created a forum between students and their president and was based on a question-and-answer session.

Dan Kalvig, vice president of the Council for Democracy, started the question session by asking Shalala to name her political role models. Among them were President Woodrow Wilson, a fellow college president who fought for international peace and President John F. Kennedy, whom Shalala credited as being responsible for her joining the Peace Corps in 1962.

Also a topic of the conversation was Shalala’s eight years in the Clinton administration as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was the only member of Clinton’s cabinet to serve the full two terms.

“[President Clinton is the] smartest politician that I know personally,” Shalala said. “He always had a book in his hands. He loved a good debate. He would sit and talk to people.” One of her major accomplishments as HHS secretary was making sure that most children are fully vaccinated by the age of three, she said. Shalala was also instrumental in initiating the carding system to stop underage smoking. The president emphasized that sometimes in public policy you lose the big battle but win in the long-run with a cumulative set of small victories that change attitudes.

“Networking makes the difference,” Shalala said, adding that in order to get ahead in politics, students should work in campaigns, remember the people that they work with and keep in touch with people.

In terms of the University, Shalala spoke about her goals to make UM more affordable to middle-class families through more grants and scholarships and increasing scholarships for upper-level students. On the subject of education, she felt that the real test is whether the college education prepares the student for life twenty years into the future.

University current events were also a topic of conversation. Regarding the Unicco living wage campaign, Shalala said she could not comment, saying that the University plans on staying neutral in the issue.

A big reaction was heard from the audience when Shalala responded to what she would want to accomplish as President of the United States of America: she said she would eliminate all college tuitions. Her desire would also be to provide universal health care.

Shalala also had advice for the UM students. She believes that students in college should make friends for a lifetime. She also suggested that they take a course in a subject that currently holds no interest to them, as a way to broaden their horizons.

“I think it was really successful,” said Alejandro Callirgos, executive director of Council of Democracy, after the event. “The whole title was a personal conversation, and she had said she preferred being more personal with the students, which she was.”

Melissa Dore can be contacted at m.dore@umiami.edu.

December 2, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami baseball coach Gino DiMare didn’t want his Hurricanes this past Sunday looking ahead to the we ...

When UM spring practice begins in a month, here’s one of many things the coaches need to determine: ...

Jaiden Francois already had a reputation as one of South Florida’s top defensive backs for the Class ...

It could be a fruitful year for the Miami Hurricanes in the 2019 NFL Draft. NFL Draft analyst Mel Ki ...

A quick six-pack off UM coach Manny Diaz’s conversation with Joe Zagacki and Don Bailey Jr. on WQAM’ ...

Students are invited to participate in the second annual Students of Color Symposium this weekend, f ...

The University of Miami connects scholarship recipients with the donors who helped make their educat ...

From eliminating waste to reusable containers, there are simple steps you can take to make UM more s ...

UM public health experts try to help tackle Venezuela’s ongoing health care crisis. ...

The Ring Theatre’s contemporary reworking of Molière’s “The Misanthrope” showcases the skills of UM’ ...

The University of Miami got off to a dream start at the ACC Swimming & Diving Championships Wedn ...

The sophomore first baseman smashed two homers to help power Canes to 4-0 start. ...

The University of Miami track and field team is set to compete at the 2019 ACC Indoor Track and Fiel ...

The Hurricanes will wrap up a four-game homestand with a midweek game against FAU on Wednesday at 6 ...

The No. 14 Miami women's basketball team is set to cap its longest road stretch of the season T ...

TMH Twitter
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.