The excitement is mounting for University of Miami baseball fans as March 22 approaches. This Friday, at the Alex Rodriguez Park in Mark Light Field, the UM Alumni Association and the Iron Arrow Honor Society will host “Burgers and Baseball.” The event, held right before the face off between the UM Hurricanes and the North Carolina State Wolfpack, aims “to engage alumni and supporters of the university,” said Andy Vittor, director of alumni engagement.
Vittor said he believes hosting the event alongside the Iron Arrow Honor Society is “a win, win.”
The Alumni Association is expecting several guest appearances, including head baseball coach Gino DiMare, in-stadium announcer Jay Rokeach, the Miami Maniac mascot and Sebastian the Ibis. The organization is “trying to bring people back to campus, get people involved and keep them involved,” said Vittor.
Due to the popularity of the event, Burgers and Baseball has become somewhat of a tradition. It has occurred every year since the Robert and Judi Prokop New Alumni Center opened in 2010 at a location right across the street from the UM baseball stadium.
Burgers and Baseball will take place between 5 and 7 p.m. at the Roper Plaza in front of the Newman Alumni Center. General admission is $15, children 12 and under are free. Attendees can purchase discounted game tickets at hurricanesports.net.
— Anthony Kean
March 7: Lowe After Hours returns with new food, music, art
A live DJ, cocktails and food provided by Bacardi evoke images of a fun party scene. Now, think of a party complete with art galleries and exhibits.
The Lowe Art Museum is preparing for their second spring installment of Lowe After Hours this Wednesday, Mar. 7 at 7 p.m. The event is open to students, faculty and the general public.
Yina Balarezo, Lowe Art Museum event planner, said that the event is meant to increase exhibitor attendance.
“The purpose is to bring in the UM community and general public to visit the museum in a relaxed, fun atmosphere,” Balarezo said.
Caitlin Fryer, an assistant to the events planner and membership coordinator at the Lowe Art Museum, said that the event has recently been targeting students at UM.
“We hope to get more UM students to come to the art museum and immerse themselves,” said Fryer, a senior majoring in advertising. “The museum only exists because of our students, so we want them to enjoy their museum. “
Fryer said the event, known as the LoweDown, had previously brought in upwards of 300 people. The Lowe’s last event that took place on Feb. 7 brought in 350 people.
“So many UM students were there and we actually ran out of food,” said Fryer. “This week we will be getting more food because we anticipate a high attendance again.”
Alexis Lacey, a sophomore nursing major that attended Lowe After hours, said she attended the past event and enjoyed being able to take a break from her STEM classes to do something that involved her passion for art.
“The atmosphere was really cool, it felt like a gallery opening,” said Lacey. “I loved being able to go to the museum after my classes and relax while seeing art and listening to the music.”
— Olivia Ginsberg
March 5- May 8: UAstronomy Club members share photography in the library
Along the walls of the Creative Studio’s gallery space on the first floor of the Otto G Richter Library hang images of the diverse landscapes that exist in Iceland– from the star filled sky highlighted with the Northern Lights to frozen waterfalls cascading down mountains.
The exhibit, titled “Ferðalangurinn í Íslandi: Images from a Journey Through Iceland,” showcases more than a dozen photographs that members of the University of Miami Astronomy Club took during their 2018 spring break. Featured student photographers include Sihan Chen, Bhargavi Pochi, Reese Pitts, Dünya Bulut, Josh Katz and The Miami Hurricane editor-in-chief, Rebecca Goddard.
The exhibit opened Tuesday, March 5, at a reception in the flexible program space of the library, during which club members shared their personal experiences from the excursion.
Senior Alexander Berne, who co-founded the club his sophomore year, said due to a detailed itinerary, the trip provided many examples of breathtaking scenery.
“This trip had a huge number of really good experiences just randomly interspersed,” Berne said.
What started as a joke when a member saw an advertisement for $99 flights from Icelandic carrier WOW Air, soon became a trip filled with unforgettable experiences, Berne said. In just seven days, the group visited the largest waterfall in Europe, walked on a frozen section of the Atlantic, crossed into the Arctic Circle and gazed upon the Northern Lights.
Despite frozen cameras and $8 per gallon gas prices, junior Dünya Bulut said she was more than happy with her decision to go on the trip. The creative advertising major said her passion for capturing the stars led her to join the Astronomy Club.
“We had this amazing trip to Iceland, and I got the opportunity to experience real astrophotography,” she said.
The club will travel to Chile in early July to witness a solar eclipse.
Student photographs from the University of Miami Astronomy Club’s trip to Iceland hang on the walls of the Creative Studio located on the first floor of the Otto G Richter Library. The exhibit opened on Tuesday, March 5 and will be up for the rest of the semester. Photos credit: Damaris Zamudio.
IF YOU GO:
What: “Ferðalangurinn í Íslandi: Images from a Journey Through Iceland” is a collection of over a dozen photographs taken by members of the University of Miami Astronomy Club.
When: The exhibit, which opened March 5 runs through Wednesday, May 8.
Where: Creative Studio, first floor of the Otto G. Richter Library gallery until the end of the semester.
— Damaris Zamudio
Feb. 26: UM’s historically-black Greek organizations to attend Miami Heat Black History Month Challenge
On Tuesday, Feb. 26, the University of Miami’s National Pan-Hellenic council will be attending the 10th annual Miami Heat Black History Month Challenge. The NPHC oversees the five historically black chapters on UM’s campus: Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta and Zeta Phi Beta.
Throughout the month of February, the Miami Heat basketball team recognizes notable achievements of African-Americans who have helped change the course of history through contributions in sports, literature, arts, community, education, music and military.
During the event, two high schools compete in black history trivia in a game-show-style competition. The winning high school wins a $4,000 grant and a Heat prize pack.
This is the first year NPHC has been invited to attend the event. UM organizations will perform a step and a stroll during intermission and lunch. Strolling is a tradition practiced by many black organizations. Members of a particular Greek organization line up one after another and dance special motions in sync with one another.
Senior D’Andre McIntyre, a journalism major and president of the Iota Chi chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, said he is excited to represent NPHC during Black History Month.
“It is important for NPHC to participate in this event because we are black history,” McIntyre said. “Members of the nine black fraternities and sororities that make up NPHC have contributed so much to America. This event gives us the platform to educate people who may not know much about us or these contributions.”
NHPC’s primary focus is to serve the black community, and Black History Month provides organizations with numerous opportunities for members to accomplish this goal, said Kyla Cook, a senior psychology major and the corresponding secretary for the Tau Rho chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.
“It’s amazing to be able to represent a black organization during Black History Month with the Miami Heat, especially for a good cause involving black high school students” Cook said. “I’m proud and honored that the Heat invited UM NPHC to perform and be a part of this event.”
It is unclear exactly which Heat players will be in attendance, Cook said. The event, presented by PepsiCo, will be held at the American Airlines Arena. Members of NHPC will be in attendance from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
— Alanna Cooper
Feb. 24-March 1: Greek Week returns
Greek Week is returning to campus, this year with superheroes as its theme. But while the team names and rosters are different, the event’s goal remains the same: to bring fraternities and sororities together to raise money for charity.
From Sunday, Feb. 24 to Friday, March 1, the University of Miami’s Greek organizations will participate in various activities as part of the annual Greek Week festivities. Sororities, fraternities and councils are grouped together to make up the teams that will compete against each other. This year, there are 6 teams participating, each named after a popular superhero: Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk and Supergirl.
Teams earn points based on event participation and monetary donations. The team with the most points will win. Members earn points by representing their teams in a range of events including the “O Cheer” cheering competition, the “Greek God and Goddess” talent show and the kickball tournament.
In addition to a trophy, the winning team will receive first choice in philanthropy dates for the Association of Greek Letter Organizations philanthropy date draft. The Greek Week executive board is also looking to plan a celebratory event at The Rathskellar in recognition of the winning team.
Jess Rubanich, a sophomore studying biomedical engineering and member of SDT, is the Greek week representative for Team Supergirl.
“The goal of Greek Week is to show how much of a positive impact Greek life can have on and off campus,” Rubanich said. “We donate to numerous foundations and raise as much money as possible towards all different causes.”
In 2017, Greek Week raised $50,000 for the United Cerebral Palsy charity. Last year, Greek Week raised $45,000 for Direct Relief, a nonprofit that helps survivors of poverty and natural disasters. This year, Greek Week will be raising money for sexual assault awareness, education and prevention.
Greek Week has partnered with the local restaurants Whip n Dip, Chipotle and SweetBlendz to fundraise for the national and UM chapters of “It’s On Us,” movement created by Barack Obama and the White House Council on Women and Girls to raise awareness and fight against sexual assault on college campuses. Fundraising for Greek Week will also benefit Kristi House, a nonprofit organization in Miami dedicated to healing and eradicating child sexual abuse.
The chair of Greek Week, Caroline Smolkin, is a senior majoring in biology and a member of Alpha Delta Pi who will be competing on Team Wonder Woman.
Smolkin and the rest of the Greek Week executive board select the charities that will receive donations from week-long event.
“We wanted to support sexual assault awareness because we think it is an important cause that everyone should be aware of,” Smolkin said. “College campuses all around the country are plagued with a lack of awareness of the resources available to those in need. With our efforts, more people will have the necessary knowledge and the organizations that are helping will be better able to do just that.”
While the majority of Greek Week events are exclusive to UM Greek life participants, the general public is allowed to attend the art show and food fundraisers.
“We will be selling donated art from student artists, alumni and professionals,” Smolkin said. “We also encourage anyone and everyone to attend our food fundraisers around the Coral Gables area.”
In addition to the food fundraisers, anyone interested in directly donating to the charities can donate on Greek Week’s Gofundme.
Smolkin provided a list of the teams, listed below.
Team Batman: ZTA, Pi Kapp, Phi Delt
Team Wonder Woman: ADPi, AEPi, Sig Chi
Team Iron Man: ChiO, Kappa Sig, Sammy, Pike
Team Black Widow: DPhiE, SAE, Alpha Sig
Team Hulk: Tri Delt, Sig Ep, Lamda, MGC/NPHC
Team Supergirl: SDT, Beta
— Alanna Cooper
April preview: First-ever Panhellenic prom coming to UM
For the first time in University of Miami history, the Panhellenic Association will be hosting a prom. The event will be held on April 27 in the Watsco Field House and all of the proceeds will go to Circle of Sisterhood, a non-profit organization founded and powered by sorority women who work to remove educational barriers for all women facing poverty and oppression.
Amanda Beyrer, a junior studying biomedical engineering and member of Tri Delt, is planning the prom. Beyrer, who is the vice president of philanthropy for Panhellenic, conceived the idea when she was brainstorming philanthropic events over winter break.
“I really loved prom in high school and I’ve also been to some galas that raise money for charities,” Beyrer said. “So, I did a little twist and came up with a philanthropic prom. I presented it to the rest of my executive board and Dean Wilson and they liked the idea, so we started planning.”
The prom committee is in the process of planning the event, which will have a 007 James Bond theme.
28 student members of the Panhellenic Association make up the general prom committee as well as four subcommittees: set up and clean up, sponsorships, decorations and logistics.
Panhellenic and recruitment dues will partially fund the prom, donations and sponsorships will be the primary financers. The sponsorship committee is working to secure more monetary, food and gift donations that will be raffled off at the prom.
Tickets for the prom go on sale online one month before the event on March 27. Students will receive a link to the signup page at that time. Tickets will be $10 for Panhellenic members and $15 for non-Panhellenic members. Any student may buy a ticket to attend the prom regardless of Panhellenic affiliation.
“The prom is open to everyone,” Beyrer said. “We are attempting to raise over five grand for Circle of Sisterhood.”
In Style Catering, a catering company that is located on UM’s campus, will cater the event. One or more student fraternity DJs will provide the music and there will also be a photo booth for guests to use.
The prom committee will be attending Panhellenic and IFC chapter meetings and putting up graphics around campus to raise awareness for the prom, but many people are already excited.
“Panhell prom is such a cool concept,” said Brenda Combs, a member of Zeta and a senior studying business management. “Every frat and sorority has its own philanthropy and spends a lot of time and effort to raise money and awareness. This is an opportunity for all of us to come together and help a cause we’re passionate about.”
Although the committee has been formed, anyone who wants to help is encouraged to do so.
“If people want to help out or have contacts for potential donors, we would love to have them,” Beyrer said.
Anyone interested in helping can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Alanna Cooper
Feb. 17-18: LGBTQ+ Symposium brings inclusivity to campus
The University of Miami is hosting a two-day human rights symposium that will focus on inclusivity and human rights issues within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning and intersex community.
The first-ever 4WARD Americas LGBTI Human Rights Symposium will take place Sunday, Feb. 17 and Monday, Feb. 18 at the Newman Alumni Center.
Gisela Vega, UM’s new LGBTQ Student Center director, has encouraged the UM community to attend the free event.
“This symposium is in line with the UM president’s mission to become a hemispheric hub for the world,” Vega said. “I have only been here for a month, and I would love to work to get more students engaged in events like this.”
4WARD Miami, which was founded in 2015 to promote civil rights for members of the LGBTQ+ community, created the symposium to connect communities through education and advocacy. It also seeks to create national collaborations through networking.
Vega said she hopes the “event will allow our school to make a difference not only locally but globally.”
The symposium, which begins Sunday, includes speakers and participants from throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada. Speakers and panelists represent leaders in government, business, education, LGBTQ advocacy and research.
United Nations Human Rights Officer Fabrice Houdart will deliver the keynote address, titled “The Role of Business in Confronting the Backlash Against Human Rights of #LGBTI People.” Houdart works on the Free & Equal campaign, a UN global public education campaign for LGBTQ equality.
Jessica Ashley Osborn, an administrative assistant at UM’s LGBTQ center, will moderate a panel that focuses on the sports industry.
Osborn said she plans to ask panelists about their experiences in the sports industry as someone who identifies as queer, a person of color or an ally of the LGBTQ+ community. She said she hopes to increase awareness of injustices in the sports industry.
“This will not just be hitting a like on Facebook,” Osborn said. “This is about actually educating people, meeting together, and starting those important conversations.”
To register for the symposium, visit https://4wardamericaslgbt.org.
— Alexis Hurwitz
Feb. 9: Intramural supervisors keep football orderly
The field lights were bright Saturday night as rival residential colleges played flag football on the intramural fields. The teams competed to earn points for their residential college’s overall tally in SportsFest.
The “Pearson Magikarps,” one of the two teams representing Pearson Residential College, claimed the men’s championship title, while the “Eaton Spaghetti” won the as women’s tournament.
With constant cheers from the crowd and choruses of “Let’s go!” ringing in the air, it was successful night for student workers at the Wellness Center.
Monét Bennet, an intramural supervisor in her senior year studying ecosystem science and policy, was running between the Wellness Center and intramural fields all afternoon. As one of the head intramural supervisors, she helps organize SportsFest and strives to maintain smooth, orderly transitions of events throughout the day.
Even among all the chaos and energy, and despite a slight concussion she sustained earlier in the day, Bennet was relaxed.
“It’s been running fairy smoothly compared to years past,” she said. “We have much better staff this year. They’ve helped a ton with preparation.”
Although rain had poured onto the field before the tournament, the crowd’s excitement was rampant. “
The rain hasn’t affected flag football,” Bennet said. “But the field conditions aren’t what we want them to be, so we’re on the lookout for ankle injuries.”
Michael Aaron McCune, a facilities supervisor in his junior year studying quantitative economics, said this was the smoothest SportsFest he’s seen in 3 years.
“Intramural supervisors have done a great job at staying organized,” McCune said. “They’ve been a great help to everyone.”
— William McNeill
Feb. 8: SportsFest starts with a splash
The University of Miami’s annual SportsFest began with a game of battleship between competing residential colleges on Friday afternoon at the Herbert Wellness Center pool.
Unlike the board game, this version of battleship involved three teams, each with three people sitting in canoes, throwing pales of water in an effort to sink their competitors’ boats.
The tournament was divided into two sections, men and women. “Welcome to Chilis,” the men’s team from Pentland floor 11 won the final game of their tournament. Afterwards, the women of McDonald floor 5, known as “The Swamp,” claimed their title as female battleship champions.
The teams who won the finals earned points for their residential college in the overall SportsFest tally.
The men’s tournament began at 4 p.m and the women’s at 4:15 p.m with games interchanging every fifteen minutes until the finals at 9:45 p.m and 10 p.m., respectively.
SportsFest is a time of competition and celebration, it can be overwhelming for intramural supervisors. They’re overseeing nearly every event this year, which means events are held back to back almost all day long, said intramural supervisor Will Sickle.
Despite the chaotic scenes, for some employees at the wellness center, SportsFest brings a little leisure.
“I think it’s great, it’s so much fun,” said lifeguard Juanfelipe Cabrera, a junior studying finance. “It’s not much responsibility as a lifeguard because not many people want to swim in the pool while SportsFest is going on.”
— William McNeill
Jan. 30: Donuts with Duerk
The first idea was “Pizza with the Provost.”
“But donuts rolls off the tongue,” said University of Miami Provost Jeffrey Duerk at his informal greet-and-eat session with students Wednesday, Jan. 30.
“Donuts With Duerk” attracted several students who chatted briefly with the provost and received a Krispy Kreme cane-colored donut.
During the two-hour session, students entered the Citizens Board Suite in the Shalala Student Center, signed in and stood in line for their personal chat with the provost.
Giselle De La Rua, a sophomore neuroscience major, said she came up with a question to ask Duerk while waiting in line.
“I asked him if it would be possible for academic advisers to be available over the summer,” De La Rua said. “I worked here over the summer, and it was a huge issue with admissions because students who have been admitted come to tour the campus and they want to meet with their advisers but the advisers have very tight schedules, so it is hard to send students to them.”
The provost said he would look into her suggestion.
Duerk, who stood while he talked with each student, said he was impressed by students’ “passion about the University of Miami and how much they love it.” Students, he said, “share a commitment with the staff and faculty to improve the university.”
Duerk said he learned one other important fact about students:
“How much they love donuts.”
– Erica Jones
February preview: Black Awareness Month
The University of Miami’s United Black Students organization is offering a month of events and activities in celebration of Black Awareness Month. The festivities begin Friday, Feb. 1, with a family-reunion themed cookout on the Foote Green.
A long revered summer tradition in African-American communities, family reunions serve up barbecue ribs and other soul food favorites. Reunions typically include a card game of spades, as well as a “Soul Train” line and other popular dances.
While Black Awareness Month has an entertainment element, it mostly serves as a recognition and observance of black achievement.
Observed primarily in the United States since 1926, the celebration was started by African-American historian Carter G. Woodson. He selected the second week of February for the remembrance since that week marked the birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation and freed African-Americans held in slavery.
The week also recognized the Feb. 14 birthday of Frederick Douglass, a noted orator who became a prominent leader of the 19th century abolitionist movement. The week was extended into a month-long observance in 1976, when it also gained the title Black History Month.
At UM, the UBS sponsors activities each year in a celebration they call Black Awareness Month.
“Some of the events that we chose to accomplish this is with our forums, community service and gatherings that show off our interests,” BAM chair Jory Opara said.
The scheduled events include an open mic night with the Speak What You Feel Poetry Club, the “House of Black Culture,” which will celebrate different cultures from throughout the African diaspora. There will also be a Sunday morning church service.
– Glen Howard
Jan. 27-28: Greek Life New Member Symposium
In an effort to explore and dispel stereotypes about sorority and fraternity members, David Stollman, an alumnus of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, told a joke at the recent Greek Life New Member Symposium to illustrate just how poorly society
views college students involved in Greek life.
“How many sorority girls does it take to screw on a light bulb?” Stollman asked.
“One hundred one,” he said. “One girl to screw it on, and 100 girls to wear a T-shirt showing off the event.”
“The joke was not meant to be funny but rather to challenge the University of Miami’s newest sorority and fraternity members to “buy in” to the true meaning of Greek Life,” said Cristina Luna, dean of the Association of Greek Letters Organization.
“There is much value and benefit in joining a Greek letter organization, and we wanted to prepare our youngest members to understand the standards of excellence set by those who joined before us,” Luna said. The alternative, she said, is “to get out now if you were not committed to living out our values.”
Dispelling stereotypes was not the only focus at the three-hour mandatory symposium, which took place Sunday, Jan. 27 and Monday, Jan. 28, in the Shalala Center. Sponsored by AGLO, the information session reviewed key aspects of Greek
life, including the organizations’ standards, leadership and values. The symposium also emphasized what it means to be a part of the Greek community and taught students the importance of taking pride in their Greek letters.
Freshman Leyla Shapiro, 18, and a new member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, said societal stereotypes about “frat boys” and “sorority girls” is frustrating.
“There is clearly a reason for all these stereotypes, and they keep evolving every year,” said Shapiro, a business major. Shapiro said while stereotypes cannot be abolished, more needs to be done to educate the community about the positive aspects of Greek life.
“Greek Life is more than parties, booze and T-shirts,” Luna said, “This session served as the first commitment to their new journey.”
Ethan Terp, 20, a second-year member of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, said he was glad to see that Luna and other members of the administration had come out to support the new members.
“The fact that our Greek administration here on campus hosts this mandatory event shows how proud they are to be UM Greeks and how important it is to maintain a respectable community,” said Terp, a sophomore biomedical engineering major.
Terp said he supports the idea of making the symposium mandatory for new members.
“It is easy to lose sight of the priorities in Greek life, so it is very important that the new members attend this session and learn about what the Greek community truly values,” Terp said.
– Erica Jones
Jan. 28: UM’s College Democrats and Model UN team hosts documentary screening
The University of Miami’s College Democrats in conjunction with the Model United Nations team will be hosting a documentary screening on criminal justice from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28 in the Storer Auditorium.
“Model United Nations is an organization that strives to research, discuss and debate about complex and pressing issues,” said Kinnon McGrath, president of College Democrats and a member of the Model UN team. “I believe that the movie’s message is an important topic that anyone, regardless of political affiliation, should learn about.”
“Life after Life,” a 2018 film directed by Tamara Perkins, follows the lives of three men in their pursuits after serving time in prison. The documentary highlights controversial issues within the criminal justice system and hones in on possible reforms.
“We hope that by the screening the movie, it will bring attention to our criminal justice system’s policies and practices that contribute toward racial inequality,” said McGrath, a sophomore majoring in international studies. “Our goal is to bring an important and frank issue to campus about the holes plaguing our prison system.”
The event is free and open to the UM community.
Andrea Wright, a senior majoring in marine science and geology, said that as a member of the Model UN team, it encourages students to be aware of social and criminal justice issues and become involved.
“I think it will be a very fun and exciting event, and I’m glad that I have the opportunity to attend,” Wright said. “Moving forward, I feel that more organizations should collaborate like this in order to foster new ideas and perspectives.”
– Esther Animalu