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Nudity Misunderstood

Soon after I mentioned Brazilian g-strings in the first column I wrote for the Hurricane, George, a friend of mine, requested that I fill him on what they are all about. I promptly and gladly obliged, happy to diffuse information about that one tiny piece of clothing that graces our beautiful beaches and of which we Brazilians are very proud.

It had been a while since I last talked about nudity and sensuality without being too careful about it, afraid of offending someone and labeled a jerk, especially by the female student body. American society seems to be too attached to keeping high moral standards, or at least pretending it does so.

Take Howard Stern. May the first person that never ever watched him on E! throw the first stone. Stern and his co-hosts talk openly (and bluntly) about the human body – the way it should be – and the audience thoroughly enjoys it. But when it comes to showing a nude person, this country’s false puritanical standards kick in and we see the good old blur on the person’s “private parts.”

I have studied the FCC rulings and its many cases on obscenity throughout the history of this country, and they still make no sense. How come the media are allowed to talk about naked bodies but not allowed to show them?

Granted, nude bodies should not be aired early in the morning or mid-afternoon. But late at night, when kids are sleeping (or supposed to be sleeping), adults should be able to hear, do or see whatever they desire – without having to pay a premium for it.

This country’s false puritanism objectifies the human body. It breeds the idolatry of plastic icons such as Britney and Christina instead of the appreciation of our nakedness. Who can forget when Jennifer Aniston graced the cover of Rolling Stone with a white sheet barely covering her body? Or the 1991 Vanity Fair cover of a nude and very pregnant Demi Moore? Such examples of artistic photography should always be cherished, not criticized, for they show how beautiful a person can be, blond, brunette, skinny or pregnant.

Before I came to this country, my image of cheerleaders was the same as anyone’s who grew up watching teenage movies from the 1980s: blond, stupid bombshells, with really great bodies and really bad attitudes. Fortunately, my image of them changed completely in the last three years.

I have a friend, Ashley, who’s one of the cheerleaders for the Hurricanes. From her I learned that cheerleading is more than a beautiful face and great smile, or jumping as you wish. It requires great time-management skills, self-discipline, a lot of will power and brain cells. And she’s as nice as people could be.

I’d love to be able to walk shirtless, wearing nothing but shorts anytime I go out of home. I used to do that back in Rio de Janeiro and haven’t done so since arriving here, just because I feel uncomfortable; not because of me, but because of how others will feel. It’s been three years since I last wore shorts to go to class because it doesn’t fit the image of a “respectable graduate student,” whatever that means.

Let us be able to look at a person on both sides, on the inside and also on the outside. People should not be ashamed to show their physical beauty – of any kind – and we shouldn’t be ashamed of acknowledging how beautiful they are.

I hope to see the day when people here can show off their beauty however they want and whenever they want. In the meantime, I’ll be counting down the days until the winter break, when I’ll be walking around shirtless, soaking up sun – and G strings – at Ipanema’s beach.

Daniel Paskin is a doctoral student in the School of International Studies.

Letters to the Editor

To Mr. Senior-in-Political-Science & Marketing (a.k.a. David Stein):

Honey, all I can say is: Speak for yourself.

On Oct. 26, you attempted to rescue the reputation of all young Americans for their global ineptitude (i.e., everybody thinks we are “blundered by world geography [and] apathetic toward overseas happenings”). But all I read from you, the self-proclaimed worldly erudite, was big-worded fluff. Typical (dare I say?) American behavior. For example, you closed with this: “In the end, it is [a] symbiotic harmony.” What “it” might this be, the dilettantes’ dance of conversing internationals sipping Starbucks extravagance?

I didn’t get your point, much less that you proved anything. With words that tried to elevate poorly defined arguments above daily slang, your meaning remained tiresomely yearning. You blame our shortcomings on society (individualistic focus), our education system, and the “unbelievably high” level of global interest foreigners instinctively possess. It might follow that society’s values are reflected in schools, and I agree, our elementary lessons should emphasize learning another language. But we still lack concern on both domestic and worldwide current affairs (aside of the emotive gullies overrun by the 9/11 events).

I don’t know much about U.S. education policy, or the dualism of religion and science in guiding (or dividing) humankind. But even at our level of higher education there are very few classmates willing to discuss. What many seek (particularly if they’re rich and can spend/drink copious amounts of money/liquor) is knowing where’s the next party: Ibiza, Amsterdam or a sultry Balinese shore. Not that this mental languish is surprising or wrong, for every generation in history (whatever the country) complains of people not knowing or caring. The deeper loss is that we lack a stronger sense of wonder. If somebody doesn’t give us flashy paper that glitters and honks (screaming about the next SoBe bash), we ignore it.

As a marketing major, isn’t it obvious to you how the media controls things? (After all, your background should’ve taught you to use that tool to communicate and sell stuff.) Even if the stance taken or portrayed by media in delivering the “news” is judged erroneous by the critically-thinking populace, the majority population usually does not see that. If we stopped gazing at whatever new waxing salon opened, we’d see the idiocy in buying what magazines/newspapers/Net ads/radio tell us to. As far as newspapers go, they may have a “responsible journalism” code, but their business is selling their paper. Don’t blame them for not leading us from egocentrism.

You also cite the “accessibility of other cultures within [Europe that] doubtlessly fuel an impetus to travel.” But Americans travel lots, too, and in either case, you don’t have to pass a “current events quiz” to go; such concern is not requisite. Do you think Belgians care more about Portugal or Greece than we care about Canada or Mexico? I don’t, especially since the Americas are tied by NAFTA and immigration issues. Your accessibility hypothesis is moot.

The point you contested was we young Americans don’t care about things outside America, or, if we do, it’s a pitifully tiny amount. But nobody can make us care – that decision is ours alone, and so far, we have not lived up to it. Also, we all know our economy, resources and defense system are going to shut up anyone who thinks we’re lacking. Maybe, then, UM should have a kind of competition, where students who are interested in knowing other places can apply, write an essay – then we can send them there.

Oh wait, we already have that, it’s called the Study Abroad Program, and it took me to Australia for a semester.

Joy Yoshina

Greeks and the ‘Hurricane’

The final disciplinary action against members of Alpha Epsilon Pi for the theft of the Oct. 5 editions of the Hurricane should not be seen as an indictment of the university Greek system.

The theft was clearly the misguided action of certain individuals. These people sought to deny us of our right to publish and distribute the paper and your right to read it.

Any reasonable person would agree their actions were deplorable.

However, there are some who have sought to cloud the issue of the theft by attempting to drive a wedge between the Greek community and this newspaper. Regrettably, we suspect those people are guided by their egos rather than a desire to help lead our university community.

That is clearly unacceptable to us.

We believe that the vast majority of those in UM fraternities and sororities strongly support our efforts to bring you the news. And we strongly support their efforts to improve our community.

The Truth Will Always Win Out

We ended our Oct. 9 editorial regarding the theft of 9,000 issues of the Hurricane four days earlier with those words.

And despite attempts by others to continually cloud the issue and distort the facts, the truth did, indeed, win out.

Two members of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity have been suspended and a third put on probation as a result of a University investigation into the theft. As we have noted before, the theft was a deliberate attempt to rob us of our right to publish the news and your basic right to be kept informed.

We believe the University’s investigation was thorough and the penalties handed down were just. There can be no compromises when it comes to dealing with those who seek to deny anyone their rights.

We applaud the university administration for its zero tolerance decision.

Let these penalties handed down serve as a warning and a deterrent to others to never attempt this sort of thing again.

We also hope it will put to rest the sometimes bitter and decisive debate over the theft of the papers. It no longer serves any useful or constructive purpose. It’s time to move on.

For in the final analysis, the truth has won out.

Basketball Review Hurricane women

Martha Bodley (45)
C, 6-3, Senior, St. Croix Educational Complex
Last Year: Bodley saw spot duty off the bench, averaging two points and 1.3 rebounds in 18 games.
This Year: As the only true center on Miami’s roster, Bodley should see a significant block of time early on. She will have to show results in order to keep earning minutes.

Kathryn Fowler (33)
F, 6-0, Senior, Christ the King
Last Year: Fowler continued to see time off the bench, playing in 23 games. However, her numbers decreased to 2.9 points and 2.5 rebounds.
This Year: As one of the more experienced players, Fowler will give the Hurricane bench some help and will likely see at least a similar role as last year.

Melissa Knight (3)
F, 5-11, Freshman, William Penn Charter
Last Year: According to the All-Star Girls Report, Knight was ranked the 111th best player in the class of 2001.
This Year: Knight brings an ability to add several things to this ball club. She will likely be one of the first players off Ferne Labati’s bench.

Yalonda McCormick (10)
G, 5-8, Freshman, Monsignor Pace
Last Year: Leading Pace to a 26-2 record, McCormick averaged 21.5 points, 10.5 assists, and an unheard of 10.1 steals per game.
This Year: The wildcard of the Hurricanes, McCormick’s potential is endless and if she doesn’t start the season at point guard, she will likely receive significant time at the position.

Amanda Papuga (21)
G, 5-10, Junior, Lyons Township
Last Year: One of the most improved players on the team, Papuga saw some starts at the point and overall, averaged 5.5 points and 2.8 assists.
This Year: Papuga is recovering from a hamstring injury and hopefully will be available for the start of the season. When healthy, she will give Miami some much needed depth at guard.

Fallon Phanord (22)
G, 5-9, Freshman, Michael M. Krop
Last Year: After a promising junior campaign, Phanord missed all of last season due to injury.
This Year: Phanord has worked extremely hard in recovering from injuries and has earned herself a spot on the team. Now her goal is to earn some significant playing time off the bench.

Yolanda Whigham (14)
G, 5-8, Freshman, Plant City
Last Year: Ranked No. 24 in the nation by Blue Star Index, Whigham also saw action with the Big East summer team.
This Year: Unfortunately, the summer also brought a torn ACL to Whigham, and she is expected to be out of action until December. When she returns, Whigham will look to give Miami an immediate boost.

Shaqu ana Wilkins (23)
F, 6-2, Sophomore, Winter Park
Last Year: As a freshman, Wilkins saw minutes off the bench, averaging 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 53.6 percent from the field
This Year: Wilkins may be Miami’s first forward off the bench and will definitely be looked upon to continue improving in her play.

News Briefs Campus Calendar

parking garage closed for maintenance
To facilitate required annual maintenance while minimizing inconvenience to the University community, the Ponce Garage (5665 Ponce de Leon Boulevard) will be closed during the Thanksgiving break, Nov. 22-25. The garage will re-open at 6 a.m. on Nov. 26. To accomplish the necessary work, the garage must be cleared of all vehicles. Vehicle owners and/or responsible parties must remove their vehicles from the garage no later than 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21. Failure to comply with this request will result in vehicles being towed at the owner’s expense. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. For more information, call 305-284-3096, option 1.

um pr students offer skills to YMca
Students enrolled in the University of Miami’s Public Relations Campaigns course are gaining valuable work experience by conducting a public relations campaign for the YMCA of Greater Miami’s annual Youth and Government Pre-Legislative Workshop.
The workshop, to be held tomorrow at the UM School of Law, will prepare Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe high School students for the YMCA’s 45th annual Youth and Government Conference in Tallahassee next January. There, students will learn the value of democracy by overtaking the Florida Government as State legislators, Executives and Supreme Court Justices.
This is the forth year students will be handling the campaign for the YMCA. This gives the public relations students a great opportunity to gain work experience. The skills obtained through this course will help the students in their pursuit of a career in public relations.

resource guide available at msa
The Department of Multicultural Student Affairs has a terrific resource guide for and about African/Black-Americans and Hispanic-Americans titled: Anuario Hispano – Hispanic Yearbook African American Yearbook These publications focus on reference materials and issues concerning the African/Black and Hispanic American communities. In addition, these books contain valuable information on scholarships for African and Hispanic-American students. For more information regarding these wonderful resources, please contact MSA, Building 21-P or call 305-284-2855.

Flu season is upon us and the flu vaccine is available free of charge at the Student Health Center.

Calendar Events 16th November

National Hunger and Homelessness Week Ends

Ford Focus sponsors a Road Rally today on the University Green from 9am-3pm. All participants receive great prices and even tickets to see LIVE in concert.

Focus Forum. Informal roundtable discussion about smart choices, careers and dreams hosted by Jay Mohr including Ed Kowalczk from LIVE and Pieer Perabo from Coyote Ugly.

UM Surfrider presents The Surf Party at the Rathskeller tonight at 8pm-1am.

The newly established University of Miami Young Democrats will be holding their latest meeting today at 4pm in the UC ballrooms. Special guest Jimmy Morales will attend and discuss his bid for Miami-Dade County Mayor. Pizza and drinks will be given out. Come and Share your ideas!

november 17
The Indian Students Association will hold its annual “Diwali 2001 Celebrations” tonight at 7:30pm at the North Miami Performing Arts Center. Tickets are on sale at $10, $15 & $20. Come and see this beautiful exhibition of Indian Culture at its finest ever and celebrate the Indian New Year with us as we dance, sing and share our food and heritage with you. Part of the proceeds will go to “United Way” fund. For more information e-mail us at isaofum@hotmail.com visit our website at www.miami.edu/studorgs/isa.

The Lowe Museum presents Once Upon A Saint today. Admission is free to students.

november 18
Hurricane Productions is proud to announce That Grammy award winning spoken word artist Henry Rollins will be performing at the Storer Business Auditorium at 7pm tonight. All tickets distributed previously will be valid for the new date, however seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Doors will open at 6:30pm and guests will be admitted for $15 at the door. Please call the Hurricane Productions office at 305-284-4606 for more information.

november 20
UM’s Law School has Open House from 9am-1pm

november 21
Inquiry: The Research Connection. Professor Chatterjee will be discussing his fascinating career as a documentarist. Eaton Classroom 145 at 4pm.

Sidewalks coming to San Amaro

The construction on San Amaro Drive has been a project the University and the City of Coral Gables have been working on for more than a year and is now underway.

When finished, it will provide sidewalks, lighting, signage, medians, a traffic circle, landscaping and irrigation. The construction work extends to Miller Drive up through the Doctor’s Hospital area.

“The University was required by the City to provide sidewalks and lighting only along the perimeter of the university,” said Janet Gavarrete, University Campus Planner.

“We recognized the importance of being a good community partner and neighbor and the need to address the vehicular traffic along San Amaro Drive as part of the project. The University worked with the City staff, city consultants and neighborhood to deal with the street calming recommendations made to the city by their traffic consultants,” Gavarrete said.

The University of Miami offered the City of Coral Gables the funding for the professional services for the construction documents and the construction work. The City accepted and is now a City project.

Alberto Delgado, City of Coral Gables Director of Public Works was unable to get in contact with for comment.

The University retained engineers to design the improvements to comply with the City requirements, said Gavarrete.

“The University felt that going beyond the city requirements was a more comprehensive and proper manner of dealing with the safety issues expressed by the city and the community,” said Gavarrete.

The construction though has created some problems for commuter students that drive as well as walk through San Amaro Drive. While city workers renovate the area, drivers have been inconvenienced, having to detour through Urbino Avenue.

“There are no pedestrian signs anywhere along San Amaro Drive and it makes it dangerous to cross the street,” said John Lopez, a senior who walks through San Amaro.

“I think it’s great they’re putting in a sidewalk because being a runner it’s safer for students,” said Lopez.

David Shair, a senior and Eaton resident, said, “The sidewalks are good but why is taking so long?”

Students serves as tranlator on trip

Hiking to the waterfalls of Central America, making trips to the long strand beaches of Nicaragua and helping one’s fellow men all along the way.

UM student, April Runkle did just that, last summer on a mission trip to Central America organized by International Service Learning (ISL).

Runkle and a small team of predominately pre-med students-as well as registered doctors and nurses from the US-volunteered for a medical mission trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, providing health services and clinics to needy recipients in the villages they visited.

It was mission-based but they didn’t push it on you. It was very relaxed. You participated in what you want to participated in,” Runkle said.

Runkle is not a pre-med student but the Latin American studies and Spanish major was the translator for the group, which, “definitely helped my Spanish,” she said.

“Particularly being able to translate on the spot…it was great practice and a good work skill for later on,” she said.

“The kids were really the highlight of the trip,” said Runkle, “they were the real positive sparks.”

Since most of the students on the trip wanted to talk to the kids, April spent a lot of time as the intermediary, she said.

The two-week trip started off in San Jose Costa Rica, where they had a brief orientation for the pre-med students, familiarizing them with the tropical diseases that they would encounter there, like malaria, worms, dengue fever, and cholera, said Runkle.

“For me there was a special list of medical terms that I had to learn,” she said, particularly ways people would be describing pain and discomfort, since she was the intermediary between the ailing, Spanish-speaking patients, and the American students and medical staff.

After the orientation in San Jose, the group headed north through the rainforests of Costa Rica to the Nicaraguan border.

ISL offers two types of programs, one is more urban-based and students visit hospitals, and the other was on the road less travelled-literally.

“We were on the more rugged, backwoods trip,” said Runkle. “Most of the places we went to were only accessible by horseback or boat, sometimes a two-hour or more bare back horse ride through the rainforest.”

Once they arrived in a village, they would notify everyone close to the village, and set up the clinic, usually in a church.

“People would come and bring their children, and we’d give out medicines, like antibiotics, aspirin, and ibuprofen. Also lots of vitamins for the kids,” said Runkle.

“Their health looked alright”, said Runkle except on an island in Lake Nicaragua where most of the people were malnourished, she said.

Time spent with a Nicaraguan dentist stood out in Runkle’s memory.

“All she did was pull out teeth left and right, very seldom using anesthesia,” said Runkle.

“But people wanted it done. It was obvious we were helping because the people would be lining up at the clinics.”

Despite not being a medical student, April did get some actual hands on experience while helping the dentist, “cutting away” at a patient’s gums with the dentist’s supervision. Some of the methods were a little crude, but it was the only help these people could get, said Runkle.

“We saw this lady cut worms out of this guy’s head,” said Runkle, relaying her craziest experience on the trip.

“It was a life learning experience, really once in a lifetime…you don’t get that experience in America” said Runkle.

“I got to intermingle with the people and learn their culture and language first hand.”

April highly recommended the trip, first for pre-med students, then anyone else who is interested in Latin American culture.

“They will learn a lot,” Runkle said. “It doesn’t matter how religious you are, you can still be a valuable and appreciated member of the group.”

Runkle was one of only two students on the trip who were not pre-med-another girl was an elementary education major who sat in on classes in some of the Nicaraguan villages where the medical clinics were set up, and accompanied Runkle as a translator.

She also added that the experience was a great way for pre-med students to build their resume and stand out it in the crowd of applications.

“You don’t even have to know Spanish-all of the trip leaders were English-speaking Americans and not all communication is verbal,” Runkle said.

She mentioned a pre-med student from Hawaii and a young Nicaraguan boy drawing pictures to communicate.

“They were laughing and carrying on for hours,” she said.

As mentioned above, the group also takes some time out for sightseeing. The group went for hikes up volcanoes, to waterfalls, and also went to the beautiful long strand beaches on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast.

To increase safety, the Houston-based ISL had a network of contacts throughout the country, and they had the same support staff (e.g. bus drivers) for all of the trips.

Also, everywhere they went people knew about the program and were excited to see the group, said Runkle.

ISL offers programs like the one Runkle went on throughout the year, starting this December 30th, with more trips over Spring Break and including a new one to Belize and Guatemala, as well as six other two-week courses in the summer.

The trip costs about $1,700, plus airfare, but since it was a mission trip, many people get pledges from churches or other well-meaning philanthropists.

Runkle will be giving a presentation November 18, at 3 pm in Mahoney Classroom #103, where she will be showing pictures and answering any questions.

If you have any questions e-mail Runkle at: a.runkle@umiami.edu.

Secretary of Education speaks on campus

As part of UM’s 75th Anniversary celebrations, the U.S. Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, addressed the nation’s educational challenges to an audience of professors, faculty, students, students, alumni, and representatives of the community at UM’s Storer Auditorium on Nov 13.

Paige, who has served as School Superintendent in the Houston area and was Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University, was invited to UM to speak about the nation’s position on education.

“He has a real feel for education,” said Leonard Miller, Life Trustee of UM, Chairman of the Board of Lennar Corp., and Chairman of South Florida Annenberg Challenge. “His sense of collaboration in the way he brings in the community gets things done”.

“I came because I thought it would be interesting to learn about the field I plan to go into,” said Rebecca Stead, senior in Elementary Education.

Among Paige’s most noted achievements is his involvement in creating the first independent school district in the Houston area, a model for the national charter school concept.

During his lecture, which was hosted by the School of Education, Paige shared a proposed bill by the Bush Administration known as No Child Left Behind.

Among the agenda for the bill is defining curriculum standards; setting clearer academic goals; giving more control and flexibility to local school districts; and expanding parental choice.

“This bill will allow us to educate one hundred percent of our children,” said Paige. “However, this is a difficult task that will require all of us to work together”.

“Magic happens in the classroom when teachers and students come together under these efforts,” he said.

Paige mentioned that all these efforts must be confined to data-based research in order to assure that ineffective actions are not taken based on public opinion. Also, he stressed the importance of including the local community in the schools.

“Currently, 32% of fourth graders can’t read at a proficient level,” said Paige. “This is not an educational system worthy of our great nation.”

“We not only have the capabilities, we have the responsibility to better our educational system,” Paige said.

Paige also said that once the bill is passed, five billion dollars will be dispersed into the nation’s schools in order to aid in the formation of reading programs.

“I am very happy that a significant amount of money will be going towards reading literacy,” said Cindy Amar, Counselor at Claude Pepper Elementary School and Alumni from the UM School of Education. “At the same time, I am opposed to the idea of viewing schools as a business”.

“I think it’s important for the government to talk and get feedback from teachers out there in the field”.

After the speech a Q&A session took place.

Issues of teacher accountability in regards to student achievement, special education, funding for construction of school buildings, standardized testing criteria, and the availability of federal funds for higher education were among the issues discussed.

“I think it’s important to learn the standards of the country as a whole in relation to education,” said Julie Defina, Elementary Education major. “Most of the courses offered here only mention guidelines for the state of Florida”.

In summation of the ideals set forth in relation to the nation’s system of education, Paige quoted the words of our nation’s greatest leaders, Martin Luther King:

“We may have all come on different ships, but we are all on the same boat when it comes to education”.

Hurricane Note

A male student was taken away in handcuffs after an act of violence brought the Coral Gables police to the University Center (UC) Tuesday afternoon.

A UC Information Desk employee who arrived for work immediately after the incident subsided said he saw an African-American male in handcuffs in a first-floor office of the UC.

“All I heard is that he was choking a girl and took her to the floor,” he said.

“The guy was 5’7 or 5’8 and immensely built,” the source said. “He was huge for his height.”

Officers Faborido and Cuerdo from the Coral Gables Police Department were called to the UC at approximately 1:30 p.m., the time of the incident.

“I’m not at this point able to divulge any information.” Lt. Bill Gurlock of the Coral Gables Police Department said.

More information concerning the incident will be available in upcoming issues of the Miami Hurricane.

Divali Show celebrates culture

In their 8th year running, the Indian Students Association is planning for their annual Divali show this Saturday. Divali is the Hindu Festival of Lights.

This year, with a new committee board, the emphasis of the show has shifted from religious to educational.

“I don’t want to say that we’re being really politically correct but that’s what’s so great about this board,” said Roshan Shah, public relations director for ISA. “Not even all the Hindus in the organization understood the significance of everything, so we made it more educational. The content is the same, but the emphasis has shifted.”

ISA is one of the most active student cultural organizations on campus with over 60 student members taking part in the festival this year.

Members of the board include Additya Vora, president; Mitesh Jivan and Deepak Thani, webmasters; Angelique Kirpalani, secretary; Neha Patel, freshman representative; Shah and four others.

The organization is made up of some students of Indian ethnicity, much less all of Hindu denomination.

“The board realizes that our members are made of a lot of different religions-Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs-so we wanted to make it not just an event for Hindus, but an event about cultural understanding,” Shah said.

Shah also said that the ISA board decided that they needed to attract more people who were not Indian to the show.

There will be 25 dances exhibiting Indian culture from all over the country such as Bengali and South India. UM’s Filipino Student Association’s Mag Ka Isa dance troupe will also perform, as well as students from Coral Reef high school.

“We’re really close to ISA and they asked us to dance to add diversity,” said Theresa Maramag, Mag Ka Isa dance captain.

They will be performing the Filipino national dance called the Tinikling in which dancers jump through bamboo sticks placed on the floor imitating the Filipino tikling bird, said Maramag.

“It will be a full night of culture and education,” said another ISA PR director, Quang Ton, who is also president of the Filipino Students’ Association on campus.

“It’s eclectic, mixing different generations, but it will also be humorous,” Ton said.

The event will be hosted at the North Miami Performing Arts Center because the cost of having it on campus is too high, Shah said.

“We wanted to bring it back to the university at Gusman Hall but they have less seating,” Shah said.

In addition to cultural dances there will be a play done by the masters of ceremonies and a Hindu prayer- or aarti.

An aarti is a short prayer made to the Hindu god, Ganesh. While a song is played and a picture of Ganesh is laid out on the altar, participants rotate small candles in clay dishes called diyas.

The profits from the festival go towards an as-of-yet undecided charity and an annual cruise the members of ISA take at the end of the school year.

“Usually, we make quite a nice profit. This is our biggest event,” Shah said.

Tickets are being sold in the Breezeway today for $10, $15 and $20. For more information, contact Shah at 305-689-4939.

Plane Crash hits close to home for students

The first thought that ran through most people’s minds after hearing about the plane crash in Queens, New York, early Monday morning on Nov. 12 was: “Not again,” and the first question: “Was it another terrorist attack?”

But for senior Nicole Mingo, the fear was immediate and the question was much more personal.

Nicole heard the news about an hour after the crash, driving to school with her boyfriend.

She panicked.

There was a major possibility that her mom was on that flight.

“I kept calling and calling her, but apparently so was everyone else because it was busy,” said Nicole.

Eventually, to Nicole’s relief she got through.

Nicole’s mother, Emily, has been a flight attendant for American Airlines for the past 30 years, and Nicole’s fears were understandable because her mother flies constantly from New York to Santo Domingo, the same route the flight was taking before it crashed.

“She’s always flying, and she could have been on that flight – she was supposed to be,” said Nicole. “I had no idea until I spoke to her where she was.”

Fortunately for both Emily and Nicole, a senior fight attendant had outbid her for that flight, and Emily Mingo did not fly that day.

“Everyone wanted to fly on Veteran’s Day because if you fly on one holiday in November, you don’t have to fly on Thanksgiving,” explained Nicole.

While Nicole has always been afraid of flying, her mother, naturally, had become used to it.

“She’s scared now and she’s distraught,” said Nicole. “It hasn’t hit her yet, but she knew the whole crew on that flight.”

Nicole’s dad, Roy, a general manager for Special Services at American Airlines, agreed that his wife is distraught, but said she is not scared to fly.

“She’s upset because the crew was made up of friends of ours, but there is more sadness than fear,” said Roy. “Flying is safer than driving a car and security has been extremely tight since Sept. 11.”

Juniors Paloma Helm and Chris Fererras were also flying out of JFK airport in New York last Monday.

“There was no way I wanted to fly but I had to get back to school,” Helm said.

JFK Airport was closed until 6:30 p.m. on Monday so Helm and Fererras had to reschedule their flight in order to make their connection in Georgia. They eventually got a flight heading to Fort Lauderdale.

“Our flight was supposed to be sold out but there was no one on it,” Helm said. “there was some turbulence towards the end and I got so freaked out.”

Roy Mingo explained that he doesn’t fear for his wife, himself or his daughter, all of whom will be flying again by next week.

He said that both the planes his wife flies in-the airbus and the Boeing 757-are safe.

“My dad’s been in love with planes since he was a child, and he’s not scared at all,” said Nicole. “But I’ve always been scared.”

Despite her reservations, Nicole will be going home for the Thanksgiving break.

Many students share Nicole’s worries about flying home this Thanksgiving, and have had to decide whether to stay in Miami or go home.

Junior Diana Silverio, who has always been cautious about planes, is now more frightened than ever and has chosen to stay rather than go to her home in Cancun, Mexico, for Thanksgiving.

“I don’t like flying, and I wasn’t sure about whether to go home or not,” said Silverio. “The flight to Cancun is not long at all, but I’m just too scared to go on a plane so soon.”

Other students are going home regardless. Junior Eric Figueroa has no fears about flying home to Dallas, Texas, next week.

“Honestly, I’m not scared,” said Eric. “Security’s tighter than ever. I’m more skeptical about flying, but it’s not going to keep me from doing it.”

Helm lives in Tortola, one of the British Virgin Islands. Although she is not flying home for Thanksgiving, she is definitely making the trip for Winter break.

“I have to fly home for Christmas. Everything will be ok by then, plus I think this crash was an accident,” Helm said.

Figueroa, whose mother is also a flight attendant for American Airlines, admitted that he does fear for her.

“I’m terribly scared for my mom,” he said. “She’s up there much more often than I am.”

His mom, however, is confident about flying.

“My mom loves it, she’s not scared,” said Eric. “If she’s not scared, and she does it all the time, then why should I be.”