82.4 F
Coral Gables
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Home Blog Page 2

The do’s and don’ts of freshman year, love a senior

The U statue in the center of the Coral Gables campus on July 9, 2022. Photo credit: Dan Snitzer
The U statue in the center of the Coral Gables campus on July 9, 2022.
The U statue in the center of the
Coral Gables campus on July 9,
2022. Photo credit: Dan Snitzer

Welcome to the U! There are a lot of unknowns associated with beginning college. The uncertainty of what you can, can’t, should and shouldn’t do can be overwhelming. So, while you are anxiously awaiting your arrival to campus, here are a few do’s and don’ts that I have learned in my three years as a Hurricane.

DO: Make friends with your roommate

This person will likely be the closest person to you during your first year, both literally and figuratively, so it is best to establish a good relationship with them and be on their ‘good side’ as you are going to be spending a lot of time together. It’s always good to establish some ground rules with your roommate, like what temperature you want to keep the room at and rules surrounding guests in the room, before you find yourself juggling drama and midterms at the same time.

DON’T: Group up with the first people you meet

It may seem like a good idea to have a squad for orientation week, but don’t close yourself off after the first three people you meet. It’s a sad cliche when people post hallway pics from Stanford with the caption “next 4!” then stop speaking to those people two weeks later. This school is bigger than it seems, so put yourself out there! Talk to people in your dorm elevators, lobbies and outside waiting for Ubers. Other students are just as anxious to make friends as you are. The more the merrier!

DO: Be nice to the Starbucks employees

These people are the busiest employees on campus and you will see why the first time you try to get a coffee at 10 a.m. on a Monday. However, when you do find yourself there during the slow hours, try to get off on the right foot with them. Ask how they are doing, be polite and make sure to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ That way you hopefully won’t end up getting yelled at 15 minutes before your English 106 final is due because you asked for light ice.

DON’T: Sleep through orientation programs held by your RA

Your RA will be your ride-or-die and the main source of authority on your floor. If they see you coming out to the events they organize for you, they will make sure to have your back. This doesn’t mean you have to attend every event, but make an effort to get to know them and take advantage of the events they host for you to get to know your floor.

DO: Invest in an umbrella

August in Miami is one of the worst weather months in the country. Without warning it will go from 98 degrees and bright sunshine to torrential rain in a matter of minutes. Forget about the weather forecast for the first few months of school because it is practically useless. Make sure to always carry an umbrella wherever you go out so you don’t wash away into Biscayne Bay.

DON’T: Get a ‘Saturdays Are For the Boys’ flag

I can assure you, Saturdays are not always “for the boys.” Sometimes Saturdays are for solo-beach trips, exploring the Coconut Grove farmers market with friends and unfortunately sometimes being held up in Richter Library finishing a paper you should have started weeks ago. It’s college, expand your decor horizons as your actual horizons expand as well.

Campus coffee: UM spots to satisfy that caffeine craving

The Archivist Cafe, located on the first floor of the Richter library, opened in the Aug 2022 and has become a popular spot for students to stop and grab a coffee on the way to class. Photo credit: Dan Snitzer

“Where can I get coffee on campus?”

No question is more important when you’re half awake, running late to class and looking for the closest place to get some espresso. From cold brew to cafecito, here are all the best places (in no particular order) to enjoy coffee here at UM:

The Archivist Cafe, located on the first floor of the Richter library, opened in the Aug 2022 and has become a popular spot for students to stop and grab a coffee on the way to class.
The Archivist Cafe, located on the
first floor of the Richter library, opened in the Aug 2022 and has become a popular spot for students to stop and grab a coffee on the way to
class. Photo credit: Dan Snitzer

Archivist Cafe

Right next to Richter Library, the Archivist is the best spot to grab some coffee before a late night study session. Founded by two UM alumni, you’ll be supporting a local craft coffee roasting company while also getting quality coffee. Their vanilla lattes are some of the best around.

Vicky Cafe

Do you really go to UM if you haven’t had Vicky’s cafecito? With lower prices than most of the coffee options on campus, Vicky’s is great for when your energy and your wallet are running low.

Brewbike Coffee

This student-run coffee brewery is perfect for cold brew fanatics. Brewbike operates off of a literal bicycle with two locations just outside Merrick Building and Lakeside Village. Brewbike’s two staple cold brews and third season brew are perfect for coffee on-the-go.

Starbucks is located on the first floor of the Shalala Student Center and is open seven days a week.
Starbucks is located on the first floor of the Shalala Student Center and is open seven days a week. Photo credit: Dan Snitzer

Starbucks

Located in the Shalala Student Center, Starbucks is always a go-to option. While the on-campus Starbucks may have fewer options than an off-campus store, you’ll still find favorites like hot and iced coffee, frappuccinos, non-caffeinated drinks and seasonal beverages.

Einstein Bros Bagels

This restaurant located in the University of Miami’s School of Law is a hidden gem on UM’s campus. While their bagels and lunch food are more popular, their coffee options range all the way from hot comfort cups to coffee to pick-me-up blended cold brew shakes.

Half Moon

With stands in the Business School, the School of Communications and Dooley Memorial, Half Moon is perfect for grabbing a quick and simple cup of coffee on your way in and out of class. Pair it with one of their empanadas and it’ll hold you over for that afternoon lecture.

Daybreak

This waffle-themed breakfast spot in Lakeside Village features waffles, toast and of course, coffee. With indoor seating and a simple aesthetic, Daybreak is another nice place to grab some coffee and get work done.

For a full list of all campus coffee, check out the UM campus dining map here.

A tradition is over: Miami football retires the turnover chain

Senior safety Amari Carter celebrates with the Turnover Chain 4.0 after intercepting a pass during the first quarter of Miami’s game versus Appalachian State at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 11, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon
Senior safety Amari Carter celebrates with the Turnover Chain 4.0 after intercepting a pass during the first quarter of Miami’s game versus Appalachian State at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 11, 2021.
Senior safety Amari Carter celebrates with the Turnover Chain 4.0 after intercepting a pass during the first quarter of Miami’s game versus Appalachian State at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 11, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Miami Hurricanes football head coach Mario Cristobal announced on Thursday, July 21 that the famous turnover chain will no longer be a part of the program.

The turnover chain, a staple part of the Miami defense for the past five years, was worn by a defensive player that had forced a turnover the previous play. However, after an underwhelming 2021 season and the transition to a new head coach, the chain is set to be retired.

“We just really focus on getting better as a program and have focused on technique, fundamentals, regimentation, academics, strength and conditioning, sports science, community service and that’s what the focus has been on,” Cristobal said during Miami’s Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) media day last Thursday.

UM was the first university to have something of its kind and quickly became a symbol of UM football success.

“It is not a shot or form of disrespect to anybody or anyone. Certainly history is history, and whether it’s positive, whether it’s inconsequential, whatever it may be, it’s still history and part of your program. We’re just moving in a direction that right now doesn’t involve it. That’s really the best way to address it,” said Cristobal.

The chain came into fruition in 2017 with former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz who told his players he had a surprise for them when they got a turnover. In the fourth quarter of their first game, an interception by defensive back Malek Young allowed Diaz to unveil the 36-inch, 5.5 pound, 10-karat gold Cuban link turnover chain.

“We’re just trying to motivate. It’s crazy what motivates them. Even the decals we put on our helmets, they cost maybe 15 cents apiece, but they like them. They like to get them on their hat,” former Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt said.

The 2017 turnover chain accompanied a ten game win streak getting both players and fans excited about the potential for turnover celebrations. In a 41-8 domination over No. 11 ranked Notre Dame that season, Miami had three interceptions prompting celebration among players and fans as the now infamous chain was brought out each time.

“It’s a tremendous win,” said Shaquille Quarterman, former Miami linebacker and current Jacksonville Jaguar. “It’s a tremendous moment.”

The following season against rival Florida State, multiple turnovers were able to generate a comeback from being down 7-27 to finish the game, winning 28-27. The turnover chain celebrations brought the crowd back into the game, disrupting Florida State’s momentum.

“It just took a spark,” Richt said. “And before you knew it, that spark turned into a flame.”

However, with these moments of triumph came moments of awkwardness as the team failed to capitalize on their turnovers in more recent seasons.

In their 2021 season debut against University of Alabama, the Crimson Tide was dominating 41-10 in the 3rd quarter when a fumble by quarterback Bryce Young produced a Miami turnover. Kam Kitchens, who forced the fumble, celebrated with the chain almost immediately after the turnover.

ESPN reporter, Paul Newberry, wrote in his analysis of the game that, “Nothing went right for the Hurricanes, who even wound up looking foolish for handing out their sparkling gold turnover chain after an apparent fumble recovery.”

Recent statistics also do not help the cause of keeping the turnover chain. On3 analyst J.D. Pickell explains, “If you look at Miami’s defense since the turnover chain’s birth in 2017, it has been a steady decline. They had 31 turnovers that they forced in 2017; they had 11 turnovers forced last season.”

Even though the chain brought fun to the Cane game atmosphere, it is clear that coach Cristobal wants his team focused on only one thing, winning. With the offseason looking promising, there is hope that the excitement that came from the chain can now come from winning games for Canes fans.

Miami’s 5 most Instagram-worthy locations

With an abundance of beaches, trendy restaurants and rich art, South Florida is a premier spot to cultivate content for an aesthetic feed.

From South Beach to Coral Gables, there are endless opportunities to take photos featuring lush palm trees, sparkling city skylines, vibrant graffiti and more.

South Pointe Beach

University of Miami students, Olivia Cole, Emma McKeon and Annalise Scorzari, pose during sunset at South Pointe Beach on Jan. 24, 2021.
University of Miami students, Olivia Cole, Emma McKeon and Annalise Scorzari, pose during sunset at South Pointe Beach on Jan. 24, 2021. Photo credit: Contributed photo
University of Miami student, Sophia Carter, poses for a photo during sunrise at South Point Beach on May 5.
University of Miami student, Sophia Carter, poses for a photo during sunrise at South Point Beach on May 5. Photo credit: Amanda Crane

South Pointe has crystal blue water at the southern tip of Miami Beach. The colorful lifeguard towers that line the beach automatically provide a unique photo spot that differs from a typical ocean and sky photo.

Additionally, South Pointe is the place to be for sunrise. The water is calm and inviting and some truly magical photos come from 6 a.m. outings there.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

UM student, Quentin Ascencio, captures the lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on April 3.
UM student, Quentin Ascencio, captures the lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on April 3. Photo credit: Contributed photo

The lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a perfect choice to add a unique element to classic beach-day photos.

Not only does this location offer views of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, but its star feature is a historic lighthouse built in 1825.

Sophia Carter, a rising junior at UM, shares her love for this photoshoot destination with her friends.

“Lighthouse beach feels more secluded and like a peaceful oasis than Miami Beach does,” Carter said.

Wynwood

UM student, Quentin Asencio, photographed in Wynwood in front of a mural on May 2, 2021.
UM student, Quentin Asencio, photographed in Wynwood in front of a mural on May 2, 2021. Photo credit: Contributed photo
UM student, Nikka Staron, poses outside of Sweetgreen in Wynwood on May 2, 2021.
UM student, Nikka Staron, poses outside of Sweetgreen in Wynwood on May 2, 2021. Photo credit: Contributed photo

Wynwood is known for its colorful murals, art galleries and rich nightlife. While the main walls exhibit costs money, is often overcrowded and provides obstacles to having a photoshoot with friends — there are painted walls all over the entirety neighborhood.

Rising junior Quentin Asencio explained Wynwood is a go-to photo spot for him, in part because of how plentiful the area is in art.

“Wynwood is part of the Miami Art District, everything is quite literally considered art,” Asencio said. “Each building is painted with bright, saturated colors that you can pose in front of for a free and artsy picture.”

Matheson Hammock Park

UM studnets, Emma Mckeon, Olivia Cole and Annalise Scorzari, pose for a photo during a picnic at Matheson Hammock Beach on Feb 14, 2021.
UM studnets, Emma Mckeon, Olivia Cole and Annalise Scorzari, pose for a photo during a picnic at Matheson Hammock Beach on Feb 14, 2021. Photo credit: Contributed photo
UM sophomores, Aly Kirsch and Haleigh Graichen, pose for photo at Matheson Hammock Beach on April 2, 2022.
UM sophomores, Aly Kirsch and Haleigh Graichen, pose for photo at Matheson Hammock Beach on April 2, 2022. Photo credit: Contributed photo

This beach is an especially popular choice for UM students, as it is only 10 minutes from campus, and the sun sets over the water at sunset.

Rising sophomore Aly Kirsch explained how this beach is much more peaceful than other areas in Miami, making it optimal for easier photo-taking.

“It’s much less crowded than the other beaches in Miami,” Kirsch said. “I go all the time for sunrise and sunset and have gotten great pictures.”

The Biltmore

Madi Mikan is photographed at the fountain of the Biltmore Hotel on June 24, 2022.
Madi Mikan is photographed at the fountain of the Biltmore Hotel on June 24, 2022. Photo credit: Contributed photo
Quentin Asencio poses for a photo during golden hour by the Biltmore pool on Feb. 18, 2022.
Quentin Asencio poses for a photo during golden hour by the Biltmore pool on Feb. 18, 2022. Photo credit: Contributed photo

The Biltmore Hotel is a gem of Coral Gables bound to make its guests feel like they have been swept abroad.

The combination of old architecture, rich history, luxury pool amenities and golf makes it an overwhelmingly scenic location to capture unique photos. Whether it be at the pool or a fancy dinner at the hotel’s fine Italian restaurant, there is a location that will work for everyone here.

“The Biltmore’s historic, vintage architecture provides a multitude of different backgrounds to use for picture taking,” Asencio said.

 

“You are truly not alone”: UM alumnus on mental health and world travels

Mofid celebrates the 75 country he has visited while in Antigua and Barbuda in April. Photo credit: Cameron Mofid
Mofid celebrates the 75 country he has visited while in Antigua and Barbuda in April.
Mofid celebrates the 75 country he has visited while in Antigua and Barbuda in April. Photo credit: Cameron Mofid

Whether it is riding along the Victoria Falls or trekking through the rainforests of Guyana, UM alumnus Cameron Mofid has carried with him a distinct goal: raise mental health awareness around the world.

Mofid graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami in the spring of 2022. Mofid is now finishing his Master’s degree in business administration at UM as he pursues a career in entrepreneurship.

Despite now pursuing business, growing up an avid tennis player, Mofid’s dreams once looked very different. From childhood and well into his teenage years, Mofid aspired to play Division I tennis. The summer before his senior year of high school, he attended Rafael Nadal’s Tennis Academy in Mallorca, Spain. It was at this camp that Mofid’s goals would change trajectory.

“I was living in San Diego and, at the time, I’d struggled a lot with my mental health and a lot of anxiety and depression,” Mofid said.

After his time in Spain and managing his mental health in an unaccustomed environment, Mofid realized that he did not want to pursue tennis at the collegiate level. Instead, using his tennis connections, Mofid worked for star tennis player Nick Kyrgios’s charity, the NK Foundation.

“The goal was to support underprivileged youth and their sporting endeavors throughout Australia,” Mofid said. “I went everywhere from Singapore to London to South America and Eastern Europe; it really opened the door for my love for travel.”

During his travels, Mofid noticed a persistent theme in every country he visited — people all across the world struggle with mental health issues.

“I thought I was the only one that was kind of having those problems, those issues and the more I traveled the more I kind of realized that there’s a lot of people out there my age or older than me different from me struggle with their mental health,” Mofid said. “I’ve learned that mental health doesn’t discriminate.”

Since this realization, Mofid has made it his goal to raise global mental health awareness. So far, he has visited 86 countries and worked with countless people of all demographics from every nation.

It doesn’t take much for Mofid to decide where his next destination is. He simply does a couple searches on Google Flights and Skyscanner and away he goes.

“I try to go where the destination is the cheapest and start there,” Mofid said. “It’s a freeing feeling hopping on a plane to the other side of the world where you know nobody.”

Once he arrives, Mofid travels around local communities, talking to as many people as he can.

“People, generally, genuinely have an inclination to want to connect and help each other,” Mofid said. “By approaching travel with a lens of openness, I have been able to develop meaningful relationships that I otherwise would not have been able to.”

Mofid poses with children from the Afar enthic group while traveling in Djibouti in April.
Mofid poses with children from the Afar enthic group while traveling in Djibouti in April. Photo credit: Cameron Mofid

On his travels, Mofid has stayed with friends from the UM who reside outside the United States. Ethan Naos, a Miami native and peer at UM, housed Mofid while he was exploring Europe.

“I was in Greece for the summer visiting my family and Cameron was in Europe,” said Naos, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering. “He stayed at my house for two days before going to Albania, it was amazing to be a part of his experience.”

Mofid relied on his peers and professors to realize his dream of traveling and advocating mental health awareness. Susan Amat, a professor of entrepreneurship in the Miami Herbert Business School, made sure that Mofid was supported in every way possible.

“From traveling for so many years I have a strong network of friends and colleagues in 180 plus countries,” Amat said. “The main thing is to make sure he is safe and has a trusted contact on the ground. I ask him to check in regularly from his travels so I can make a call if anything needs to be done.”

Amat said she has had many ambitious and gifted students but has never seen a student show so much promise and drive for pursuing his passion.

“The most important piece is Cameron making an impact and bringing this knowledge into his business and relationships,” Amat said. “I’ve devoted my life to supporting entrepreneurs and Cameron is a triple threat which makes it so much more fun!”

Mofid spoke to the University of Miami community about his advocacy during the TEDxUM event in April, 2021.
Mofid spoke to the University of Miami community about his advocacy during the TEDxUM event in April, 2021. Photo credit: Cameron Mofid

Now, Mofid is finishing his travels through Canada and continues to be an global advocate for mental health awareness. Mofid plans to go back to Eastern Europe to continue his efforts.

He has already spoken on a TEDxUMiami Talk and wants people to know that no matter who you are or where you are from, everyone suffers from mental health deficiencies and that mental health issues have no borders and affect people all over the globe.

“I met people who experienced civil wars in Ethiopia just by talking to them in a gym,” Mofid said. “It is important to treat everyone with kindness and know that you are truly not alone.”

Feast like a local in the Magic City

Bayside Marketplace is a popular Miami location where visitors can get a taste of South Florida cuisine at restaurants like Kuba Cabana. Photo credit: Josh Halper
Bayside Marketplace is a popular
Miami location where visitors can
get a taste of South Florida
cuisine at restaurants like Kuba
Cabana.
Bayside Marketplace is a popular Miami location where visitors can get a taste of South Florida cuisine at restaurants like Kuba Cabana. Photo credit: Josh Halper

With a 70% Hispanic population and Haitians as the second largest immigrant group, Miami residents have established their own communities through music, tradition and food. From Little Haiti to Little Havana, the city is full of diverse cuisine.

If you’re looking for hot spots that’ll transport you directly to Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua, look no further. Here’s everything you need to know to experience the Miami food scene the authentic way.

Did someone say croquetas?

52% of Miami’s population identifies as Cuban. With a multitude of Cuban dining options, it can be overwhelming to select the most authentic restaurants.

Sydney Stropes, a senior majoring in nursing and religion and healthcare who served as the 2021-2022 president of the Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos, describes Versailles as a “Cuban watering hole.” While she holds Rio Cristal near and dear to her heart for sentimental reasons, she admits that Versailles is a special place and recalls how her family exchanged memories of her great grandmother after her passing over croquetas and cafecitos.

“It’s like walking into my own family’s dining room,” Stropes said about the self-proclaimed world’s most famous Cuban restaurant.

La Carreta cannot be forgotten either. When it’s time to break out pots and pans because the Miami Heat made it to the NBA Finals, this chain restaurant is known for providing customers with homestyle food.

Haitian food for the soul

From being linguistically isolated to the negative stereotypes formed around the community, Haitian food has not always received the spotlight it deserves. But now, Haitian restaurants across Miami are often touted as the crown jewel of Miami’s food scene.

Not sure what to order for your first time trying Haitian food? Make sure to try staples like diri kolé ak pwa — the national rice of Haiti which consists of red beans and rice — and fried, marinated pork chunks.

Naomi’s Garden Restaurant & Lounge’s large portions and welcoming, garden-seating ambience will leave you feeling plenty satisfied. Chef Creole Seasoned Restaurant is widely known for its fresh food made from scratch. Don’t forget to try the conch salad!

Students that are new to Miami can eat like a local at all of the native South Florida restaurants that are featured on Ocean drive in South Beach.
Ocean Drive in South Beach is a frequented destination to stroll and taste the many flavors of Miami at one of the many restaurants on on the street. Photo credit: Josh Halper

Sweetwater or Pequeña Managua?

What do you get when you mix a devastating earthquake in 1972, a revolution starting in 1979 and a civil war lasting until 1989? An influx of Nicaraguans immigrating to Miami. The city of Sweetwater has coined the term “Pequeña Managua,” due to 20% of the city’s population consisting of Nicaraguans alone.

If you’re looking for the best carne asada (grilled skirt steak) and gallo pinto (rice and beans), you should take a trip to Fritanga Monimbo. Luckily for UM students, there is a franchise only 15 minutes away from campus.

These casual restaurants will serve you the best “abuela-style” Nicaraguan food to make your mouth water. With sides, such as tajadas (fried plantain chips), fried cheese and cabbage salad, you’ll have leftovers to last you a while.

If you’re looking for a more upscale experience, visit restaurants like El Novillo or Los Ranchos Steakhouse. The churrasco and chimichurri combo with tortillas as an appetizer will make you a regular.

With so many different cuisines to embrace in Miami, it can be overwhelming to try them all. This guide will ensure you get a taste of what Miami truly is all about.

––

Versailles

3555 Southwest 8th St.,

Miami, FL 33135

Rio Cristal

9872 SW 40th St,

Miami, FL 33165

La Carreta

8650 SW 40th St,

Miami, FL 33155

Naomi’s Garden Restaurant & Lounge’s

650 NW 71st St,

Miami, FL 33150

Chef Creole Seasoned Restaurant

200 NW 54th St,

Miami, FL 33127

Fritanga Monimbo

7173 SW 117th Ave,

Miami, FL 33183

El Novillo

830 SW 40th St,

Miami, FL 33155

Los Ranchos Steakhouse

The Falls, 8888 SW 136th St,

Miami, FL 33172

Student government: change-making, network building

Pictured above is the 2022-2023 student government featuring Vice-President Chika Nwuso, President Jaime Williams, and Treasurer Tatiana Alvarado. Photo credit: Contributed photo
Pictured above is the 2022-2023 student government featuring Vice-President Chika Nwuso, President Jaime Williams, and Treasurer Tatiana Alvarado.
Pictured above is the 2022-2023 student government featuring Vice-President Chika Nwuso, President Jaime Williams, and Treasurer Tatiana Alvarado. Photo credit: Contributed photo

Joining Student Government (SG) affords students a number of opportunities: creating change at the University of Miami, building professional and personal relationships and acquiring useful soft skills.

SG is UM’s democratic, student and faculty led decision making body. It creates on-campus initiatives relating to academics, campus life, housing, resources, dining and more.

SG encompasses the judicial, legislative and executive branches. Additionally, there are four agencies: Category 5, coordinating spirit events; ECO, advocating environmentally friendly improvements on campus; Elections Commission, overseeing elections and What Matters to U, finding and hosting unique speakers for the student body.

“At UM, I’ve found there are so many different outlets and leadership positions you can have across the board,” said Jamie Williams-Smith, president of SG and a senior studying business technology and strategic communication.

Student Government President Jaime Williams poses for her Spring 2022 campaign photos.
Student Government President Jaime Williams poses for her Spring 2022 campaign photos. Photo credit: Contributed photo

There are numerous ways students can get involved with Student Government, be it with one of SG’s agencies, with one of the three branches of government or with a subgroup associated with the branches.

For incoming first-year students, First Year Leadership Council (FLC) and senator positions are the primary ways to get involved.

In FLC, students participate in leadership building activities, projects to enhance student life and retreats. The year-long program selects 20 first-year students to the council. Students who have been a member of FLC said the program was not only a great learning experience but also a great way to meet peers and build relationships at UM.

“As a freshman, you’re new and you get a taste of everything,” said Chika Nwosu, vice-president of SG and a senior studying psychology and biology. Nwosu is a former member of FLC and now acts as chair for FLC. “Just having that core memory of us doing FLC together has created some lifelong friendships.

As a senator, students can represent a number of constituencies. For first years, these include representing a residential college, school or college, the freshman class or one of the many unique constituency seats.

The senate works with administration and the other SG branches to advance students’ agendas.

Williams-Smith, as a junior class senator, passed a bill that called for the school to put an icon on CaneLink that would link to sexual assault resources, making these resources more accessible. Now, a sexual assault resource icon can be found in CaneLink.

There are numerous ways to explore SG and how to get involved.

Paul Douilon is a transfer senator, former Speaker Pro Tempore of student senate and a senior studying criminology and sociology. He encourages news students to get involved with the senate by attending the public meetings or watching senate minutes online. He also recommends reaching out to those in SG to learn more about what they do and ask them questions.

“If there’s anyone out there who really wants to do this, I commend you for trying and I really encourage you to go for it and give it your all,” Douilon said.

Williams-Smith said she encourages students to go at their own pace. Those who want to get involved with SG, or any other organization on campus, have countless choices and opportunities as soon as they walk on campus. For those who are unsure of what they want to get involved in, there is no rush.

“Get involved in things you’re really passionate about,” Williams-Smith said. “You have four years to really immerse yourself in the university.”

In Williams-Smith’s first year, she was not involved in SG. Instead, she chose to focus on professional endeavors and a business fraternity. In her sophomore year, she began in SG as a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Now, Williams-Smith is the student body president.

For those who don’t want to hold a position in SG, there are still ways to make your voice heard and work with SG. Executives in SG, such as Williams-Smith and Nwosu, have office hours for students to voice concerns or initiatives. Further contact information is available via the Executive Board section of the SG website. The executive branch’s Outreach Committee hosts programs around campus to connect students with SG.

Also, students involved in cultural-identifier clubs, the Residential Advisor or First Year Fellow programs and many more groups have the opportunity to affect change, hold leadership positions and create friendships at UM. SG is just one way to achieve this.

“If you’re passionate about something and want to be involved, go for it,” Douilon said.

A commuter’s guide to campus

Maps are strategically place across campus to help students navigate UM. Photo credit: Dan Snitzer
Maps are strategically place across campus to help students navigate UM.
Maps are strategically place across campus to help students navigate UM. Photo credit: Dan Snitzer

Commuting is its own art form — a balancing act where commuters negotiate reckless Miami drivers, club meetings after hours, making it to class on time and pesky parking fees. Whether students stay with family or rent an apartment nearby, it can feel overwhelming at times. Here are some tips to help put those worries on mute for an easier commute.

Everything travel related

Miami may run on its own time, but class schedules do not. To arrive on time, commuters should leave 15 minutes earlier than originally planned. Miami traffic has no mercy; a blocked lane or accident could be the difference between being on time or 10 minutes late.

“When I commute it’s typically 10-15 minutes and traffic isn’t too much of an issue because I found the backroads to make it easier,” senior Olivia Carbonero said.

Apps like Waze or Google Maps are great resources for locating routes that aren’t traffic heavy.

Once on campus, it’s important for commuters to know where to park. The campus parking map is a helpful tool to get acquainted with the designated color zones. Color zones are heavily enforced by campus parking police between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The color zone restrictions are lifted on the weekend and after 4 p.m. which allows students with a permit to park freely through campus.

Returning commuter students can begin purchasing their parking passes July 25 at 12:01 a.m. and new commuter students can begin purchasing their parking passes Aug 1 at 12:01 a.m. through UM’s parking and transportation portal.

Multiple PayByPhone stations are also available throughout campus for students and visitors who wish to park for a limited amount of time. Paid with card only, the hourly rate is $2.00. A parking session of five hours or more automatically converts to all day parking which is $10.00.

UM students, using their UM credentials, can also obtain a month-long Metrorail pass for a 50% discount.

Alternatively, commuters who enjoy a nice bike ride to campus should park their bicycles in the allotted bike racks. Students can also register their bikes with the UM Police Department to receive theft protection and a free bike lock.

Campus involvement

Campus involvement is essential to the college experience. Getting involved in campus activities is often a challenge commuter students face as many organizations host their meetings and events in the evenings between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. While on-campus residents are able to walk home and can easily return for these meetings, commuters must decide between driving home and back or staying on campus an extra few hours.

The key is to prepare for the on-campus break. Students can pack homework materials to get ahead on schoolwork, bring gym clothes to get a workout in or cozy up with a good book and a snack — the options are endless. There is even a lounge just for commuters, located in the Shalala Student Center in Suite 210C, as well as commuter resources in the Office of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement (OCSI) on the second floor of Shalala.

Groups to join

The Association of Commuter Students (ACS) specializes in creating a community where commuters can connect and make the most of their time at the university. Isabel Marquez, a senior and Miami commuter, said she was hesitant at first about ACS but decided to give it a try.

“I’m really glad I did because it has made my entire college career really fun,” Marquez said. “The majority of my friends I’ve made through [ACS]. It’s full of loving and accepting people.”

The Department of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement (OCSI) works in tandem with ACS to provide commuters with a streamline transition to the university. They host Great Start, a program that takes place prior to the start of the fall semester where incoming commuters learn about the university and socialize with peers and ‘Cane Kickoff, a celebratory series of events at the start of the fall semester that acquaints students with life at the university.

In regards to incoming commuters, Carbonero shared her wisdom. “Meet as many people as possible. Explore as much as you can because these four years are going to help guide you for the rest of your life.”

 

Cristobal works recruiting wonders in lead up to season opener

Head coach Mario Cristobal fields questions from local media after the conclusion of his introductory press conference in the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility on Dec. 7, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon
Head coach Mario Cristobal fields questions from local media after the conclusion of his introductory press conference in the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility on Dec. 7, 2021.
Head coach Mario Cristobal fields questions from local media after the conclusion of his introductory press conference in the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility on Dec. 7, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

In December 2021, the University of Miami announced the hiring of head football coach Mario Cristobal as they stride towards reinstating a winning culture for the Miami Hurricanes.

Cristobal, who has had previous assistant coaching stints with the Hurricanes, was a graduate assistant under Butch Davis between 1998 and 2000 and a tight ends and offensive line coach under Larry Coker in 2006.

“My family and I are excited to return home to the University of Miami, which has been so instrumental in shaping me as a person, player and coach,” Cristobal said in a statement when he was hired. “This program has an unparalleled tradition and an exciting future ahead of it. I can’t wait to compete for championships and help mold our student-athletes into leaders on and off the field who will make our university, our community and our loyal fan base proud.”

It has only been about seven months since Cristobal was hired, but the announcement of his arrival has already had exciting impacts for Hurricanes Football, specifically in the quality recruiting that has happened since the former Florida International and Oregon head coach took over.

In June, Cristobal hosted the inaugural Legends Camp, at which former Miami players returned to Coral Gables to work with recruits to gain insight and help improve their games.

“This is month seven, there is work to be done,” Cristobal said at his Legends Camp in June. “We feel the gap is closing, that once people step foot [at UM], they realize how special the University of Miami is.”

Cristobal aims to usher Hurricane’s Football back into their golden years by returning to the basics: community and brotherhood.

“Look back at the days when Miami was doing what Miami does. Look at the sideline, you had an extra 40 assistant coaches in the form of Pro Bowlers and Hall of Famers,” Cristobal said. “Those are some of the things that we are encouraging and working on to make sure that alumni bond, that brotherhood, is there for the world to see and that it’s real.”

Cristobal, a Miami native, opened the window for some of his former players at Oregon to transfer to Miami. These players include center Logan Sagapolu and guard Jonathan Denis who both attended and played at Oregon before transferring to UM. They are both eligible to play in this coming season.

Additionally, Cristobal successfully brought in highly-touted high school recruits including commitments from 2023 recruits such as edge rusher Jayden Wayne and tight end Riley Williams.

Wayne, a five-star prospect at one point by the 247Sports Composite rankings and one of the best recruits in his native state of Washington, has always been on Cristobal’s radar. During his time at Oregon, Cristobal was the first to offer a scholarship to Wayne.

“Me and Mario Cristobal’s relationship, I’ve known him since 8th grade,” Wayne said to 247Sports after his pledge to the Hurricanes. “We have that bond.”

Williams, one of the best prospects from the state of Oregon, also had a strong connection with Cristobal and his coaching staff.

“One of the biggest reasons I picked Miami was because of the relationships I built and already had with the coaching staff and the way they made me feel like I was a part of the family,” Williams said to 247Sports. “I was just so familiar with Coach Cristobal and a few other coaches from them being a part of the Oregon staff previous to Miami.”

Headlined by five-star tackle Francis Mauigoa, Miami’s 2023 class has an additional six four-star prospects. This yields a class ranking of 10th in the nation.

With Cristobal’s arrival, excitement for a Miami Hurricanes Football season has been unlike any other in recent years. When the Canes kick-off their season on Sep. 3 at Hard Rock Stadium, a crowd of orange and green will sit anxiously waiting to see the fruit of Cristobal and his team’s offseason labor.

UM hosts Concordia’s 2022 Americas Summit: President of Colombia, Prime Minister of Bahamas, many more attend

Secretary general of the OAS, Luis Almagro, speaks with journalist Paola Serna on the importance of gender equality in the Americas. Photo credit: Patrick Mccaslin
David Luna, executive director of the International Coalition Against Illicit Economies, leads a roundtable to discuss free trade zones and illicit trade.
David Luna, executive director of the International Coalition Against Illicit Economies, leads a roundtable to discuss free trade zones and illicit trade. Photo credit: Patrick Mccaslin

Current and former heads of state, chief executive officers (CEOs) , lawyers, executives, ambassadors and local officials convened in the University of Miami’s Shalala Student Center for Concordia’s 2022 Americas Summit on July 13 and 14.

The summit, a two day event taking place on Wednesday and Thursday, brought together about 50 leaders to foster unconventional connections and friendships with the goal of innovating solutions in the Western hemisphere for issues such as democratic backslide, climate change, pandemic recovery and more.

“Concordia exists on the core tenet that human connection is the foundation by which anything gets done,” said Matthew Swift, co-founder and CEO of Concordia.

Concordia’s decision to host the Americas Summit in Miami reflects the city’s position as a geopolitical and economic capital of Latin America. The University of Miami further acts as an influencer in the Americas with plans to open offices in Latin American countries and through its role in the Hemispheric University Consortium.

“One of the big ideas in our strategic plan towards the centennial, the Roadmap to Our New Century, is to make the University of Miami a hemispheric university, meaning a university that has presence, influence, across all of the Americas,” said University of Miami President Julio Frenk.

Swift echoed this sentiment, saying UM’s intention to become a hemispheric institution has been the bedrock of the university.

“The University was founded on documents that recognize the importance of creating a pan-American university,” Swift said.

Swift and Frenk opened the Summit with remarks on the importance of Concordia’s work for the United States’ engagement in the Western hemisphere, an often overlooked region in American politics.

“The very meaning of the word, ‘Concordia,’ to bring hearts and minds together, aligns beautifully with one of the key roles that the university performs” Frenk said in his speech.

Secretary general of the OAS, Luis Almagro, speaks with journalist Paola Serna on the importance of gender equality in the Americas.
Secretary general of the OAS, Luis Almagro, speaks with journalist Paola Serna on the importance of gender equality in the Americas. Photo credit: Patrick Mccaslin

The Summit opened with a roundtable discussion on Free Trade Zones and the effects of illicit trade within the Americas, an issue Miami is in the throes of. In Dec. 2021, Florida Politics reported that Miami grapples with up to $2.2 trillion in illicit trade, including human trafficking, drug smuggling, counterfeit goods and exotic animals.

Jose Carillo, the executive director of AidLive, spoke on the importance of reframing the flow of migrants and refugees as an opportunity rather than a crisis. He stressed the role of education in accomplishing this.

“We are standing in the living proof that the mindset of development is much better than the mindset of seeing migration as a crisis,” Carillo said. “Universities play a key role.”

UM’s vice provost for innovation, Norma Kenyon, transitioned to a discussion of environmental sustainability in Latin America.

Crucial to that discussion is China which spearheads sustainable infrastructure projects, such as dams, in Latin America through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Professor June Teufel Dreyer, an expert on China, spoke on some of the failures and potential threat of the BRI to the United States, especially given Latin America’s proximity to the United States.

“One of the issues is pollution,” Dreyer said. “There was recently a major protest in a Chinese mine in Peru against the case of environmental destruction.”

Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Philip Davis, prime minister of the Bahamas, together spoke to the “value of regional cooperation in bolstering economic growth and crises responses.” These alliances are especially important in the face of international challenges.

“The relationship between south Florida and the Bahamas is more than just visiting. It’s friendship, kin and blood,” Davis said.

Gonsalves emphasized the vast Caribbean community in southern Florida and the billions of dollars generated by the cruise industry.

“We are joined umbilically,” Gonsalves said.

In a change of pace, UM student athletes took the stage alongside Jose Mas, co-owner of InterMiami, to elaborate on how sports empower students in their personal and professional lives and how this can apply on a transnational level.

“Coming up from squalor, there’s no way you should leave college broke,” said Demetrius Jackson, former defensive end for the Miami Hurricanes football team, who also advocated financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

Debbie Ajagbe, former thrower for UM’s track and field team, elaborated on her power as a public figure.

“I have the ability to advocate for others,” Ajagbe said. “I’m able to advocate for Black women, Black people.”

The following conversation featured several distinguished speakers including Alvaro Uribe, former president of Colombia, Luis Alberto Lacalle, former president of Uruguay and Luis Almagaro, secretary general of the OAS, to discuss the future of democracy in the Americas, a critical issue to many public and private institutions.

Uribe spoke primarily about remittances, the practice of migrants sending money to their family in their home country. Latin America receives 131 billion United States dollars (USD) in remittances per year, Cuba receiving a large portion of this, according to Uribe. In Miami, a city of over one million immigrants, this is a common practice.

Uribe criticized the lack of oversight of these cash transfers from migrant communities, like those in Miami, to Latin America.

“It is without political co-responsibility, without interest in the governed democracy,” Uribe said.

The day closed with remarks from Ivan Duque, president of Colombia and recipient of Concordia’s Leadership Award and Francis Suarez, mayor of the city of Miami. Duque thanked co-founders of Concordia, Nicholas Logothetis and Matthew Swift, for their work.

“The battle for democracy will continue. I encourage Nick and Matt to continue making Concordia this place where we defend private sector initiative, free press, independent institutions and the rule of law,” Duque said.

Thursday, UM will host similar conversations, highlighting the issues of migration and refugees in the Americas, a downturn in mental health, the role of women in national security and more general discussions of collaboration between the private and public sectors.

Making Miami moves: What to expect during new-student move-in

Lakeside Village on Feb. 11, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon
Lakeside Village on Feb. 11, 2022.
Lakeside Village on Feb. 11, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Moving-in can be hectic with cardboard boxes flung across the room, daunting piles of clothes spread across the floor and one too many trips to the nearest Target. However, the endless treks up-and-down Stanford’s painfully slow elevators will all be worth it, because this a move to the home of sunshine, Pitbull and palm trees. This is your “Move to Miami.”

In preparation for new student move-in, here are few things to note as you make your way down to the University of Miami:

New student and transfer move-in will be on Aug. 15-16.

Before getting to the dorms, all new students must first check in at their assigned date and time at the Lakeside Village Expo Center. At check-in students will receive their ‘Cane Card, which will give you access to your dorm and university buildings, and register for ‘Cane Kickoff, UM’s orientation program. Only one family member is permitted to join each student for check-in.

A map of the Coral Gables campus and parking with the check-in location, the Lakeside Village Expo center, circled in red.
A map of the Coral Gables campus and parking with the check-in location, the Lakeside Village Expo center, circled in red. Photo credit: University of Miami

It is essential that you keep your ‘Cane Card on you at all times as it provides access to the buildings and dorms around campus. If it is lost or stolen, it will cost $25.00 to replace.

Once the check-in process is complete, students will make their way to their assigned residential areas. At the Mahoney, Pearson and Stanford residential colleges, students will be able to utilize Cruise Ship Move-In, in which the student’s belongings will be brought up to their dorm.

As belongings are unpacked and goodbyes are said, new students will have the opportunity to meet one another on their floor and in their building. Jamie Moses, a junior at UM studying advertising management and political science, said that during her first-year move-in, making an active effort to meet others on her floor of Stanford Residential College made her acclimation to UM much smoother.

“My roommate and I met up with some friends and delivered cookies around,” Moses said. “I’m still close with some of the people I met that day.”

Anna Ceccarelli, a sophomore majoring in neuroscience, had a similar experience.

“My favorite part is when people down the hall just came to say hi,” Ceccarelli said.

In conjunction with meeting others in the dorms, news students will have numerous opportunities to meet their peers during orientation. The Office of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement (OCSI) organizes a week-long orientation program to give new students the chance to learn about their new home and life at UM.

“Go to orientation because you don’t want to be that person, who is two weeks into school, who still knows like one person,” Ceccarelli said.

How to make the most of your time at the U

Students walk through rows of booths showcasing a portion of the 300+ student organizations and departments at Canefest 2021 in the Watsco Center, on Aug. 22, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon
Students walk through rows of booths showcasing a portion of the 300+ student organizations and departments at Canefest 2021 in the Watsco Center, on Aug. 22, 2021.
Students walk through rows of booths showcasing a portion of the 300+ student organizations and departments at Canefest 2021 in the Watsco Center, on Aug. 22, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Starting college can be daunting. Traveling to an unfamiliar place, not knowing anyone there and trying to navigate adulthood all at the same time is a lot. But here at University of Miami, “‘Canes Care for ‘Canes’” and want to support you during the transition to college life.

Though you’ve likely watched all the UM “Dorm Room Tour” and “Day in the Life” YouTube videos that exist, here are six tips from The Miami Hurricane to make the most of your time at UM:

Get involved

Everyone says this, but it’s true — getting involved in something on campus. Whether it’s a club, job or leadership position, your involvement will make the college experience that much more fulfilling.

Learn more about all the clubs on campus through UM’s Engage page, where you can find everything from performing arts and volunteer organizations to club sports and multicultural groups. With nearly 400 clubs to choose from, it’s guaranteed that you’ll find one you love and actively participate in throughout your undergraduate career.

Immerse yourself in ‘Canes spirit

It’s great to be a Miami Hurricane! Don’t miss out on football games at Hard Rock Stadium, basketball games in the Watsco Center or volleyball at the Knight Sports Complex. The festivities during Homecoming Week are unforgettable and the school spirit at the Homecoming football game is unmatched. Above all, get ready for green and orange to become your most-worn colors.

Explore different majors/minors

On the Undergraduate Academics website, you’ll find over 180 undergraduate majors and academic programs available at UM. Often, students come in with one major and end up graduating with multiple majors and/or minors. It’s completely normal to change majors or pursue more than one. Given that you don’t have to declare a major until the end of your second year, freshman year is the best time to explore. Check out the Academic Bulletin for a full list of all majors, minors and concentrations.

Leadership, leadership, leadership

It’s never too early to hold a leadership position at UM — many student organizations have leadership positions open to first-year students. Organizations like Student Government, United Black Students, the African Students Union and the Department of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement (among others) all have first-year leadership programs where students get support for professional development, social networking and access to various leadership opportunities.

You might not be a club president the second you step onto campus, but taking advantage of these opportunities early on will pave the way for bigger opportunities down the road.

Take advantage of resources

Here at UM, there are people ready to help with all aspects of college life, from academics, career development, social life and more.

Looking for jobs or internships? Offices like the Toppel Career Center and the Office of Academic Enhancement frequently host events and workshops that promote opportunities outside of the classroom. Need mental health support? The Counseling Center is free for students and they provide individual and group counseling, among other services.

The Writing Center and Math Lab are excellent resources for students seeking help with any writing concern or personalized math tutoring. For academic help in general, the Camner Center offers peer tutoring for many courses here at UM. For a full list of resources and services, check them out here.

Embrace change

The friends you make during orientation may not stick around, but someone you meet in ENG 105 could become your best friend. Maybe you change your major three times before finding the right one. And if you’re not used to public transportation, taking the Metrorail might feel weird until you realize it’s one of the cheapest ways to get around Miami.

Change is inevitable, but it’s up to us to accept it or not. Starting a new chapter of life at UM means leaving what you’ve always known, but it also opens the door to even greater adventures.