“It’s about bringing back traditions that we’ve had for years at the university and bringing a new touch to what homecoming looks like this year,” said Grace Tenke, chair of the Homecoming Executive Committee.
During the all-day celebration, employees at "The Rat" offered tired students a break from class with an activity dubbed “Stuff a Plush.” Attendees stuffed fluffed animals, such as turtles, sloths and more, taking some students back to their adolescent adventures to Build-A-Bear.
“It was exciting to kind of get back to normal; the campus was more lively; but rules on masks and things of that nature are inconsistent,” said UM Football wide receiver Jarius Howard, a junior majoring in broadcast journalism.
Sandra Perez-Alvarez, a secretary for three years in the theatre arts department, said that the opening weeks of classes left her concerned about the number of students not wearing masks as required. “The students are still not respecting the mask mandates, which is overall disappointing,” said Perez-Alvarez, a UM employee for nearly 11 years. The university recently updated its masking policies to require mask-wearing in outdoor settings while in groups of four or more.
The announcement comes on a day when Florida set a daily record for positive test results, reporting 27,584 cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday. The previous high of 26,203 confirmed cases was set on Wednesday.
“I have a seven year old at home, so I hope that while I’m doing my part to keep the students safe, they’re doing their part as well to not allow me to transmit something back to my household,” said UM chemistry professor Valentine St. Hilaire.
Last week, from Aug. 16 to Aug. 22, the University of Miami welcomed the Class of 2025 and transfer students for move-in, and 'Cane Kickoff, a week-long orientation program that included events such as the President's Welcome, Canefest and more orientation programs.
“Last year I thought that it would have been the most challenging time, but if anything I think we’ll have more challenges this fall than what we could have anticipated,” said Student Government President Landon Coles.
The Office of Emergency Management recommends that all students download the University of Miami app, which provides access to the U.S. emergency guide and other action guidelines for disaster preparedness.
Despite rising COVID-19 infection rates in South Florida, the University of Miami will open its doors for in-person classes on Aug. 23 after announcing updated safety protocols to prevent the spread of the Delta variant.
Senate faculty support of the dean comes two days after the law school’s tenured faculty adopted a resolution protesting Varona’s removal, just hours after the president announced the dismissal.
“I have determined that new leadership is vital for the benefit of the institution, our students and our community,” said UM President Julio Frenk in the May 25 email announcing the termination.