The votes are in and tallied, and the winners are now clear. Here’s what University of Miami students declared to be just the worst.
WORST BATHROOM: COMMUNAL BATHROOMS IN THE FRESHMAN DORMS
Ah, the freshman dorms … we can all agree that we swallowed a little hard on move-in day when we first saw the white-walled pseudo jail that we’d be calling home for our first year at college, and a little harder upon discovering that a trip to the bathroom would soon be a social affair. There’s nothing quite like strategizing how to acquire the one working shower in the morning, or realizing that the maintenance crew just doesn’t have the superhuman abilities needed to keep up with your floormates. On the bright side, it makes moving to a place with that lost thing called “privacy” all the sweeter.
WORST STUDY SPOT: THE RAT
If you’re looking to study an extensive list of drafts, then the Rathskeller is definitely the place to be. But if you’re trying to cram for your upcoming finance test, a place full of rowdy upperclassmen pregaming their pregame is probably not where you want to end up. Outside on the gliders, you’ll get distracted by all the people walking by and the conversations surrounding you. Inside, you’ll be too focused on the smell of sizzling burgers to concentrate on your work. And if for some reason you think that studying upstairs by a pool table will be conducive to relearning the semester’s material, think again. Please. If you’re looking to get some peace and quiet while you’re cracking open those books, don’t go study #AtTheRat.
WORST “RITE OF PASSAGE”: STEPPING IN DUCK POOP
Unfortunately, one of the intramural teams didn’t just have a paintball party on the sidewalks. You hear that infamous splat and feel that sticky slide under your shoe as you’re walking to class, and … yup, it’s duck poop. Of course, you and your other 12,000 closest friends have all been there. Anyone who’s step foot onto UM’s campus has seen the Muscovy ducks, and where there’s birds, there’s poop. Yet, there’s something about the ducks that makes UM so uniquely UM. They’re a part of campus, like it or not, and at least our feathered friends are a bit cute (that is, before puberty hits). Next time, pack a few Lysol wipes and, erm, “Make Way for Ducklings.”
WORST BUILDING: COX
Esther Ponce De Leon
You can certainly ace your biology test, but finding your lab classroom in Cox? Impossible. While Cox may at first appear to be an amazing marvel of architecture, anyone who has taken a science class at UM can tell you that it’s actually just a maze. Hundreds of students traverse to Cox every day for their introductory science classes and labs, warily eyeing the taxidermy animals inside. Add this to the fact that the classrooms host some of the biggest weed-out classes at UM, and anyone can see why students do not look at Cox as fondly as other buildings.
WORST TECH HASSLE: DUO MOBILE POP-UPS AND LAG
You’re giving a giant presentation today in class and, finally, the professor calls your name. It’s your turn to present. Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy – you know the rest. After giving yourself a mental pep talk and taking in a few deep breaths, you grab your laptop and make your way to the podium. After searching for Office 360 to log-in to your email and open your PowerPoint, you’re hit with the usual authentication prompt. Boy, talk about a talk-block. After awkwardly fumbling back to your seat to dig your cellphone out of your bag and click the button, the prompt has already expired and you’ve got to do the whole authentication dance all over again. Fortunately, your classmates can all empathize. We’ve all been there. Next time, use the “remember me for 30 days” feature.
WORST ON-CAMPUS FOOD SPOT: DINING HALLS
Esther Ponce De Leon
The first time many students step into the dining halls on campus, they are on tours showcasing the great amenities UM has to offer. The first day of school, students once again see the great variety the dining hall has to offer. After the 100th day in a row of eating salads and greasy burgers and pizza, however, some students might become disillusioned. On the bright side, the dining hall does have two stations that rotate meals. They might not be vegetarian-friendly, and sure, sometimes they taste a little off, but that’s the beauty of the dining hall! Forget about all the meal troubles by picking up some delicious cookies or soft-served ice cream, and you’ll be prepared to eat there again the next day.
WORST FOOD NEAR CAMPUS: MCDONALD’S
Taking the edge by just two votes, McDonald’s has served up yet another huge disappointment after officially being crowned the worst place to get food around campus. With meals that somehow burn a hole through your stomach the second they go down your throat, every bite is a mouthful of regret. There’s a reason McDonald’s is always empty, and quite honestly, it should stay that way. Next time you’re looking to satisfy your late-night cravings and Micky D’s is the first place you see, spare your digestive system the distress and push yourself to cross the street into the comforting pancake-filled arms of Denny’s.
WORST DORM: STANFORD
Looking for a place where you get to wake up to the (not-so) dulcet sounds of the Band of the Hour every Saturday morning? Look no further, Stanford Residential College has you covered. In a truly one-of-a-kind dorm experience, hundreds of unfortunate freshmen and their gatekeepers are held prisoner. What makes it even more painful is that a mere minute’s walk away are the bright and shiny doors to Hecht, which, let’s be honest, will always be superior. But instead, Stanford’s residents have the pleasure of dwelling in the one building specifically not included on the campus tour … any guesses why?
But every cloud has a silver lining. At least Stanford has covered access to the dining hall for those rainy Miami days. But otherwise, it’ll always be Oh yeah, Hecht yeah.
WORST PLACE TO DUMP YOUR S.O.: THE HURRY ‘CANE SHUTTLE
Well, it’s time. You and your beau no longer “click” like you used to, and a breakup is inevitable. You’re not one for waiting around, and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to bite the bullet and be the one to call it quits. Fortunately, though, you both live near each other, and you’re conveniently one stop before him on the Hurry ‘Cane. So, at the end of the day, you two pack into the musty-sardine-can-called-the-shuttle and stand next to each other. “It’s over,” you murmur. The bus hits a bump and you try not to fall into a stranger’s lap. Before your boyfriend can process what you’ve said, you’re at your stop. “This is me. See you later,” you say, and you’re off in a whisk. The deed is done.
Note: please don’t actually break up with your significant other on the shuttle. Just, don’t.
WORST RICHTER LIBRARY SPOT: FIRST FLOOR COUCHES NEAR STAIRWELL
Studying in the library can be a win-or-lose situation. Among the worst spots to study is the first floor couch area, near the staircase. If all the other locations in the library are taken, you might as well study somewhere else – the couch area is full of people socializing and watching Netflix. Another common complaint is how exposed the couches are. There’s a steady flow of students casually walking through the area, distracting those few who are actually trying to do work. Much better spots to study include the second floor and the stacks, both places with fewer distractions and a more serious academic environment conducive to heavy-duty concentration.
WORST ROUTE TO CLASS: TO FLIPSE
It’s tough to be a psychology student at UM. For the first half of this year, there was major construction outside the building, and even though that’s now over, Flipse is still stuck as the most inconvenient building on campus. If you can even call Flipse an on-campus building; it’s so far removed from most of UM’s main buildings that it barely qualifies. Unless you’ve been hanging out at the new UHealth hospital, you’ve got a long, sweaty walk in store no matter where you’re coming from. If you have a class in Dooly before or afterward, forget about being on time. On the plus side, you’ve gotten your cardio in for the day!
WORST CHEESY NICKNAME FOR MIAMI: NORTH CUBA
Miami has a lot of nicknames that range from mildly annoying to downright offensive. “North Cuba” definitely falls closer to the latter than the former. All of us in Miami are proud of the city’s Cuban culture, and we’re big fans of experiencing the best Cuban food in the nation. But let’s not forget that Miami has its own unique flavor, culture and nightlife, too. Let’s celebrate what makes Miami unique from anywhere else in the world, and let this “North Cuba” reputation bite the dust. Better yet, let’s get rid of all Miami’s awful nicknames. Pitbull, I’m looking at you.
WORST UM SLOGAN: “THE U INVENTED SWAGGER”
To say “The U invented swagger” is like telling the rest of college-aged America, “You’re right, we are that bad.” Look, I’m all for Hurricane pride, but maybe this one is just laying it on a little too strong. First of all, we all know that Thomas Edison invented swagger along with electricity back in 1492 (wait… that’s not how it goes, is it? Maybe I should pay more attention in class), so what is this slogan saying about our academic prowess? And, secondly, The U doesn’t need a cocky slogan like this to assert our dominance. We’ll just use our money.
WORST CITY CLICHE: THERE’S ALWAYS TRAFFIC
Esther Ponce De Leon
Miami drivers have a reputation for being impatient, rude and disobedient of basic traffic laws. While that may be true, it’s one of the facts of living in Miami that makes it lovable. Going out at 6 p.m.? Be ready to take three hours to go 10 miles on US-1. To be fair though, Miami traffic only becomes a problem during popular times, like when classes finish or when you want to eat dinner somewhere off-campus. Just choose to only drive at odd hours of the day, and you can theoretically never have to deal with the traffic cliche!
WORST SONG ABOUT MIAMI: LITERALLY ANYTHING BY PITBULL
A great poet once said, “Me not working hard? Yeah, right, picture that with a Kodak. Or, better yet, go to Times Square. Take a picture of me with a Kodak.” Was it Thoreau? Yeats? No, my friends, it was Mr. 305 himself – the pride of our great city – Pitbull. I can’t, with true journalistic integrity, speak ill about this Miamian Mozart of our generation. Whether it’s shouting out our city, injecting a much needed “Dale!” into our lives or finding himself entrenched in scandal over accepting a million dollars from the state to help promote tourism, Mr. Worldwide is an artist providing us with not only music, but a deeper gaze into our own souls.
WORST THING ABOUT CLASS: MANDATORY ATTENDANCE
Mandatory attendance is probably the top reason why some students switch out of a class after they read the syllabus. It happens – you told yourself that you’ll only stay in the Grove until midnight, but, you could say things got a little carried away. Getting up for your mandatory 8 a.m. on a Friday after staying out late is the absolute worst feeling, and then you’ll catch yourself nodding off in class anyway. Sometimes, you can’t make it to the class because of reasons unrelated to spending your Thursday evening in the Grove – maybe you need extra time to study for a test you have later. Even if you have a totally legitimate reason for missing class, if you actually end up skipping, you’re probably jeopardizing your grade. Some teachers can drop up to a letter grade if you miss a certain number of classes, so be sure to check the professor’s policy before enrolling!
WORST ACADEMIC REQUIREMENT: COGNATES
Students hate cognates for a reason – there is nothing a chemistry major dreads more than taking a history class, and an English major could find way better things to do than spend time in Cox. Cognates are classified by STEM, Arts and Humanities, and People and Society, and are aimed at broadening students’ horizons by exposing them to classes they otherwise would not have taken. Sure, cognates might help students discover formerly unknown passions, but chances are, they just fill up a schedule with unnecessary classes. Especially passionate about their dislike for cognates are humanities students, because they often stay far from STEM classes if they aren’t math or science-oriented. Popular STEM cognates for these students are ones containing minimal math or science, including “Fitness, Nutrition, and Physical Well-being” and “Earth and Society,” often jokingly deemed “Rocks-for-Jocks.” The goal of cognates is to help diversify a curriculum, even though they’re dreaded by students.
WORST CLASS SCHEDULE: START AT 8 A.M.
When you sign up for an 8 a.m. class, you might convince yourself it won’t be so bad. This is your chance to finally become a morning person! You’ll get up before the sun, maybe go for a run or do some yoga, eat some real breakfast for once, and come to class feeling energized and ready to learn. But let’s not kid ourselves. By week two of the semester, you need 10 alarms to roll out of bed and head straight to class. By midterms, you’ll forgo the alarms and skip straight to snooze. Do yourself and your grades a favor and opt for a later class.
Catch the print version of “Worst of UMiami” Thursday, April 6 in stands.