UM flaunts its roots

When high school students search for universities they would like to attend, academic excellence is not the only factor they take into account. The campus ambiance, community and environment are big parts of the equation, and the University of Miami is no exception to this rule.
The campus’ $59,486 expenditure on trees may sound extravagant and absurd, but planting 358 palms is more reasonable than one may think.
Several decades ago, palm trees stood along Ponce de Leon Boulevard and added beauty to our now dull entrance. And now, they’re back.
Our campus community embodies a strong presence of tradition. These palms were once a part of campus, so replanting them allows us to restore UM’s entrance to what it once was. In Miami, universities should take advantage of the ability to be colorful and green as opposed to brick and stone. A blast from the past may be just what we need to create a pathway to new traditions that are still to come.
Unfortunately, the palms that stood across from campus in the past were destroyed by hurricanes and disease. But that shouldn’t stop us from wanting to create a lasting first impression.
With luscious green trees and beautiful landscaping surrounding the walkways, courtyards and patios on campus, the UM entrance often goes unnoticed. We may not linger around UM’s gate, but thousands drive past it daily and don’t see the beauty we see once inside.
Most universities have grand entrances covered with bushes, trees, gold beveled letters and vibrant flowers because it is the first thing people notice. UM continues to move up in the rankings, but in order to play the part, we need to look it, too.
Not everyone agrees with the palm tree addition on Ponce de Leon. Concerns regarding hurricane destruction and pedestrian safety are arising, but these factors shouldn’t be much of a worry.
In fact, Miami hasn’t seen a hurricane in more than six years and the tropical storm rain bands that have passed through have not caused major damage. Also, as long as students follow road rules and wait for signals to cross the street, the trees shouldn’t obstruct drivers’ views that can cause accidents.
UM has to represent the cultural and natural beauty that Miami encompasses. The planting of these palm trees will enhance our already iconic campus and its legacy. Next time you’re walking around, driving or riding the Metrorail, don’t forget to stop and appreciate these new university hallmarks.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.