Tag Archive | "Student Affairs"

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Tunnel Sheds Light On Oppression


Interactive exhibit raises awareness about issues surrounding racism, religion, climate change, human trafficking, and more.

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

Tunnel of Oppression 3[2]

Um President Julio Frenk and Dr. Felicia Knaul tour the Tunnel of Oppression with a group of students.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 27, 2016) – A wall covered with photos of transgender women of color who have been murdered in the past year. A poster displaying a United Nations statistic that says as many as 4 million men, women, and children are sold into slavery each year. An illustration showing what sea level rise will do to buildings in Miami. And a black and white photo of human remains discovered at a Nazi concentration camp.

Those are among some of the disturbing images and facts on display inside the Tunnel of Oppression, an interactive exhibit on the third floor of the University of Miami’s Shalala Student Center that raises awareness about such issues as race, gender identification, human trafficking, and climate change.

Students, faculty, and staff who tour the exhibit are guided through a series of nine themed rooms designed to educate and challenge people to think more deeply about issues that impact society.

“We get so caught up in our campus bubble sometimes that we forget what’s happening in the real world,” said Saskia Groenewald, a student assistant at the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development and co-chair of the committee that organized this year’s Tunnel of Oppression. “That’s why we made the theme of this exhibit Headlines, to focus more attention on what’s happening today.”

UM President Julio Frenk, the son of German-Jewish immigrants who fled to Mexico to escape the persecution of Nazi Germany, and his wife, Dr. Felicia Knaul, whose father was a Holocaust survivor, toured the tunnel on Tuesday with a group of students.

Frenk called the exhibit a “powerful experience” and applauded the students who organized it, saying their efforts help raise awareness about harsh realities.

As many as 800 students will tour the exhibit, an official event of UM’s presidential inauguration week, during its three-day run, according to Vice President for Student Affairs Pat Whitely.

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Haiti Remembrance Takes Place Tuesday

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Haiti Remembrance Takes Place Tuesday


Haiti.RemembranceSix years after Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake left tens of thousands dead, Planet Kreyol is inviting the UM community to the Shalala Student Center at 4 p.m. Tuesday, January 12, to remember the victims of the disaster that unleashed the University’s unprecedented emergency response and strengthened the U’s commitment to the hemisphere’s poorest nation. Read more about that enduring bond in the Haiti Special Report.

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A Homecoming Celebration for the Decades

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A Homecoming Celebration for the Decades


By Robert Jones Jr.
UM News

Fireworks illuminate the Shalala Student Center during the 2015 Alumni Weekend and Homecoming celebration.

Fireworks illuminate the Shalala Student Center during the 2015 Alumni Weekend and Homecoming celebration.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 7, 2015) — Along with the fireworks, food trucks, and fun that marked another Homecoming celebration on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus Friday evening, a history lesson on wheels helped educate revelers about some of the important milestones and moments in UM’s past.

It came in the form of parade floats designed by students, who themed their rolling platforms around different decades as part of Homecoming’s “For My City” concept recognizing the spirit and tradition that make the University and Greater Miami community unique.

With their 1960s-themed float, students from Hecht College Council and the Association of Commuter Students gave parade-goers a mini-tutorial on some of the iconic figures who visited UM during that decade, dressing up as Martin Luther King Jr., Janis Joplin, and members of The Beatles. One student even dressed up as UM’s third president, Henry King Stanford, whose administration ushered in groundbreaking changes at the University, such as establishing an Office of Minority Affairs to promote diversity in admissions and becoming the first major college in the Deep South with a black football player, Ray Bellamy, on scholarship.

A shovel embedded in a pile of dirt to mark UM’s 1925 founding and wooden exteriors of 1930s-era Art Deco buildings in Miami Beach were among the features of a float designed by Zeta Tau Alpha and Pi Kappa Phi. But coming up with the different elements for their 1925 to 1939-themed float “wasn’t easy,” admits senior Melissa Wyatt, who made good use of the Otto G. Richter Library’s extensive archives to learn more about UM and local history.

A float designed by the Council of International Students and Organizations (COISO), Alpha Kappa Psi, and Spectrum, the University’s undergraduate LGBTQ organization, didn’t look like a float at all, but one of the popular gliders located outside UM’s new Rathskeller. The glider-styled float was themed around the 1970s, when UM’s original Rathskeller was built.

It was the culmination of a planning process that started back in February for the student-run Homecoming Executive Committee and Division of Student Affairs, and it was the first Homecoming celebration for new UM President Julio Frenk and his wife, Dr. Felicia Knaul.

“We wanted to show how UM impacts the Miami community, and also how Greater Miami impacts UM,” said senior O’Shane Elliott, chair of the Homecoming Executive Committee. “We really wanted to increase participation in a way that everyone at UM could relate to one theme.”

And that’s where the “For My City” idea came in, Elliott said.

Reggie Wayne, B.L.A. ’01, a former Hurricanes star wide receiver drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft, served as grand marshal of the parade.

Of course, Homecoming was more than just a march. A weeklong slate of events included the Alma Mater Competition, King and Queen Pageant, Organized Cheer, a Hurricane Productions concert, the Miami Hurricanes versus Virginia Cavaliers football game at Sun Life Stadium, and more.

Meanwhile, thousands of alumni returned to campus for Alumni Weekend activities, joining the the University of Miami Alumni Association on Alumni Avenue for mojitos and jambalaya at a Mardi Gras-themed event that harkened back to the Carni Gras festivals students held on campus for 40 years

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Former Stanford Dean Cautions against Overparenting during UM Family Weekend


UM News

New York Times bestselling author Julie Lythcott-Haims gives advice to parents during UM’s Family Weekend

New York Times bestselling author Julie Lythcott-Haim, who has written and spoken extensively about overparenting, gives advice to parents during a UM Family Weekend talk.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 24, 2015) – As dean of freshman at Stanford University during the early 2000s, Julie Lythcott-Haims noticed a disturbing trend: more and more parents, determined to play a role in the day-to-day existence of their college-enrolled children, were coming to campus and not wanting to leave.

The trend set off alarm bells for Lythcott-Haims, who felt such overparenting was causing kids to become “existentially impotent.” Students, she said, “didn’t seem to be able to plan and see things through on their own. They lacked a familiarity with themselves. They had great résumés, but couldn’t tell you how they had accomplished it.”

Lythcott-Haims left Stanford three years ago to pursue an M.F.A. in poetry, but her compassion for young people lived on, inspiring her to write How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, a New York Times bestseller that cautions against helicopter parenting that keeps children from growing up.

On September 18 during a University of Miami Family Weekend 2015 talk, she discussed many of the pitfalls of overparenting, telling a roomful of visiting mothers and fathers gathered inside the Shalala Student Center’s grand ballroom that while a certain amount of parental assistance can be good, too much can be harmful.

“The concern is that will these young men and women be able to fend for themselves one day,” said Lythcott-Haims during a sit-down conversation with UM Vice President for Student Affairs Pat Whitely. “Many weren’t fending at Stanford. Mom and dad were calling to help with roommate problems and grades, and to wake up their kids.

“When it’s time to hand off the mantle of leadership to the next generation,” she continued, “we want to know that they’ve got what it takes.”

She gave the parents some advice, telling them not to argue with every coach and referee and to allow their children to advocate for themselves.

“When they call home with a problem, listen and care, but ask, ‘How do you think you’re going to handle it?’ ” advised the former Stanford dean. “Leave them with the impression that it’s theirs to handle.”

 

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Students Gain New Perspectives at Summer Leadership Programs


DisneyLeadershipEvent

Ten UM students and three staff members attended the leadership summit at the Walt Disney World Resort.

A select group of UM students participated in various leadership programs hosted by the National Association for Campus Activities across the country this summer, including ten students who attended a summit at Walt Disney World. The programs, which are aimed at promoting student engagement on college campuses and fostering meaningful volunteer experiences, included trips to the S.P.I.R.I.T. (Spirit, Pride, Involvement, Relationships, Impact, Traditions) Institute at Clemson University and the Concert Management Institute at Marquette University.

Representating different UM organizations, the students were grateful for the opportunity to meet and share ideas with fellow students from universities across the country. “It really helped give me perspective into some of the challenges that other universities are facing and how we can improve student spirit at UM,” rising senior Nicholas Kaleel, chair of Category 5, a student organization dedicated to fostering student spirit at UM, said about the S.P.I.R.I.T. Institute in South Carolina he attended with about 150 others.

Ja’Shondra Pouncy, social justice education coordinator at UM’s Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development, described the Summer Leadership Event at the Walt Disney World Resort as “a diverse group of individuals that all care about their work and are working towards a common goal.”

Students representing Hurricane Productions, the Homecoming Executive Committee, and Hurricane Productions Concerts also attended National Association for Campus Activities summer programs and hope their experiences will not only help them in their current roles but also when they graduate and become working professionals.

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