President Shalala: she keeps going and going…

It is a great time to attend and study at the University of Miami under the leadership of Donna Shalala. Asked to co-head a commission to investigate problems at the Walter Reed Medical Center with Senator Bob Dole, President Shalala is returning to the political spotlight.

As former secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration, President Shalala has always been an individual working for the people. She continues to demonstrate this quality as she leads UM through each semester. Last year when UNICCO workers were protesting for higher wages, she and her staff recognized the workers’ needs and created a positive, rational solution.

Along with her great leadership, she comes with her political connections and her vast friendships with people in influential places. Throughout my time at UM, President Shalala has consistently used her personal ties to benefit the students. With the first Presidential Debate of the 2004 election held at the BankUnited Center, President Shalala put the university at the forefront of the political scene. Students did not hesitate to take advantage of watching “Hardball” live from “The Rock” and some even had the privileged opportunity to attend the debate.

Students, who today lack a general political fervor, could not help but take part in all of the events that took place on campus to promote election awareness. Now with the 2008 presidential election taking shape, we are sure to have our share of respected political guests as election time nears. President Shalala’s commitment to keep her students engaged in today’s politics is obvious by the recent appearances of Vice President Al Gore and President Bill Clinton.

President Shalala’s willingness to lead the Walter Reed investigation to help correct a national disgrace proves her everlasting commitment to public service and the American people. It is a huge honor for her to be selected among her other capable peers and this high honor reflects on this university. Having a president that is so respected and admired throughout the nation is an invaluable asset to this school.

Those students past, present, and future, who have the good fortune of studying under the leadership of President Shalala have an opportunity to develop in an educational atmosphere that not all students are privileged to. We have the guidance, leadership, and example that President Shalala offers by her service.

Over the next few years, it is going to be a great time to be a Miami Hurricane.

Sam Rega is a junior majoring in motion pictures and philosophy. He may be contacted at