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Drunk driver convicted

Nearly a year after freshman Michelle Shore’s death, her family finally received closure in a Broward courtroom Tuesday.

Shore was killed by drunk driver Ramon Herrera on I-95 last Feb. 24 at approximately 3 a.m. Herrera, who has three children, was charged with manslaughter, but had not received his 15-year jail sentence until two days ago.

Shore, who was a pre-law student on full scholarship at the University of Miami, is survived by her parents, Betty and Richard, and her older sister Danielle.

-Karyn Meshbane

UM’s progressive campaign raises $1.4 billion, breaks record

Momentum, the University of Miami’s campaign for progress and reform in the university community, has raised $1.4 billion, making it the first university in Florida to reach the billion dollar milestone.

The campaign raised its initial goal of $1 billion 18 months ahead of schedule in early 2006.

According to President Donna E. Shalala, Momentum “has been the catalyst of one of our most dynamic periods.”

Since its launch in 2003, Momentum has been responsible for the construction of various facilities on campus, including the construction of the Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center, the University Village, the Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library and Technology Center, the School of Communication International Building, the M. Christine Schwartz Center for Nursing and Health Studies, and the Kosaw/Epstein Faculty Office Wing at the School of Business.

Also, UM’s national ranking in the US News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” has risen 14 spots in the last five years, from 66 to 52.

“The University, our Board of Trustees, under Dean Colson’s leadership, realized that our supporters would make it happen – and they succeeded in a way that no one expected,” Shalala said of Momentum, which was supported by over 130,000 donors.

As a result of Momentum’s success, more plans for campus transformation are underway including a new Student Activities Center and a renovated Whitten University Center.

—Chelsea Kate Isaacs

High school coaches engage in foul play to get athletes into top schools

A recent study by essaybay.com revealed that high school athletic coaches are breaking the rules in their efforts to assist student athletes in the college application process.

Problems arose when an EssayBay writer refused to provide service to a football coach who had plagiarism in mind, said Jed Hallam, an EssayBay representative. The coach said he needed the essays for football players who wanted Ivy League scholarships but did not meet the academic credentials to receive them.

Launched in September 2007, the essay company serves as a legal resource that connects customers with professional EssayBay writers who edit or change their work.

EssayBay expects customers will seek help without committing academic dishonesty.

But a customer profiling exercise conducted by the company divulged surprising news: Over 45 percent of EssayBay customers are using the service to ensure that they have adequate academic scores to finalize sports scholarships and 70 percent are doing so with the full consent of their sports coaches. The study also revealed that 92 percent of these customers are competing for a spot at top universities.

EssayBay learned that over 80 percent of customers had turned to the service because they felt pressure to succeed from parents or teachers. Since its debut, sales at EssayBay have doubled every month.

“Our primary market is the student population; we provide them with the help they need that they can’t get from their educational institutions,” said Hallam, who added that the company is part of the Academic Answers Group, which strives to protect academic values and prevent plagiarism.

Hallam also noted that the writers, many of whom attend Ivy League institutions, often retain full copyrights of their work.

—Chelsea Kate Isaacs

February 14, 2008

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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.