Taste of Miami returns to Hecht

On Wednesday,  local restaurant vendors and school organizations will pack the lobby of Hecht to immerse freshmen students in the diverse cultures of Miami.

“Taste of Miami” is geared towards freshmen students who have not experienced the attractions beyond campus or university activities within campus.

“The main goal is to expose freshmen to the area,” said Jake Krupa, a sophomore resident assistant and program team member. “We want to let them know what is around here for them.”

“Taste of Miami” will begin at 8:30 p.m. in order to accommodate students with night classes, and avoid the dinner rush at restaurants. The event is free for all UM students, regardless of standing or meal plan purchase.

Restaurants including Chick-fil-A, Outback Steakhouse, Johnny Rockets and Deli Lane will be handing out food samples. Other vendors include Juice Blends and Butter Cream Cupcakes.

“Last year I was able to familiarize myself with local restaurants,” said sophomore and former Hecht resident Leah Polito. “Looking back, I realize how informative the event was because now I know where to find good food in the Gables area.”

This year the main focus of the event is cultural groups on campus. Students representing the Multicultural Student Affairs office will be tabling at the event.

The African Students Union intends to recruit students to their organization.

“Our organization promotes awareness about the continent of Africa and the issues that surround it,” said Feeta Capharp, junior and president of the African Students Union. “We are presenting at the event so freshmen students can learn about the goal of our organization and perhaps join our dance team.”

University of Miami Police Department will be presenting general safety information at the event.

The organization called Prevention, Intervention, Education, Referral or PIER 21, will also attend the event in order to promote alcohol and drug consciousness.

“Taste of Miami” began on campus over five years ago and continues to be one of the most popular programs of the residential colleges.

The program team includes five resident assistants and Hecht resident coordinator Leyla Al-Mansoori. The team began planning the event before the semester began and they anticipate a flock of students.

“This is one of our most popular events at the beginning of the year for the freshmen students,” said Al-Mansoori. “Every year we try to make it even bigger and better than before.”