The Miami Hurricane celebrates 90 years

Imagine spending hours using X-ACTO knives, rulers and hot wax to cut and paste pieces of the newspaper together.

“You literally had to physically put together the the headlines, the cut lines, the text, the photos that came out of the type-setting machine and make sure everything was in order,” said George Haj, managing editor of The Miami Hurricane who graduated in 1984.

That was how the The Miami Hurricane was printed for the majority of its history.

“It was a very tedious process, and we would spend hours and hours getting our pages ready,” said Michelle Kaufman, sports editor in the late 1980s.

When The Miami Hurricane was first published in October 1929, the paper was very different than what it is today.

Text covered the page from top to bottom. Photographs first appeared in 1930, and not until 41 years later was the first full-color image printed. The format of the newspaper was broadsheet until it changed to its current tabloid style in 2002.

Today, 90 years later, one thing about The Hurricane remains constant: It serves as the official student newspaper for the University of Miami.

But, TMH wasn’t the first student newspaper at the University of Miami. In October 1927, University News published its first issue. In March of 1929, it ceased operations due to lack of funding.

About seven months later, The Miami Hurricane was created and published its first edition on Oct. 15, 1929.

Throughout the past nine decades, TMH staff has been there to report on all campus happenings.

Their consistent coverage of sports throughout the years has brought the most readers to The Hurricane.

Bruce Garrison, the advisor for The Hurricane from 1985 to 1995, said during his time at the newspaper, the football team was the most exciting subject to cover.

“Around the time I became the advisor, we just won our first national championship in football,” Garrison said. “Then a couple years after that, we won another championship. And then two years after that, we won another one.”

Kaufman, who was on staff around the same time as Garrison, said she also remembers the excitement covering football during the age of national championships and perfect seasons.

“The team was stacked with first-team All-Americans and first-round NFL Draft picks,” Kaufman said. “There was no Internet then and no ESPN or sports cable TV at all, so all the coverage was in print, radio and TV.”

Kaufman said that the other big topics in sports back then included the end of the men’s basketball hiatus and protests regarding South African tennis players and coaches.

Through coverage of UM sports amid big wins and bitter losses, TMH has been there every step of the way.

Since the first issue, the front pages have been filled with campus news coverage, whether it be accomplishments or controversies. TMH has consistently served as a key source of information covering every tuition hike, construction project and milestone. From Greek life scandals to the introduction of coed dorms after years of student complaints, for 90 years, TMH has always informed students on issues they otherwise wouldn’t hear about.

The Hurricane has also reported on historic events and how they affected the UM community such as Vietnam War protests, the Civil Rights Movement and World War II.

Amanda Herrera, news editor in 2017 and 2018, said that one of the most “monumental” moments for her was when she and other staff members traveled to Washington, D.C. for President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

“We covered the Women’s March as well at the time,” Herrera said. “Knowing that in textbooks for years to come, those events will be included, it feels amazing to know that I was actually there.”

During the peak of the #MeToo movement, The Hurricane did a hard-hitting story on sexual assault survivors at UM.

“It was an explosive piece that our editor-in-chief at the time, Isabella Cueto, created,” said Hunter Crenian, photo editor in 2018 and 2019. “I was proud to have contributed to that project by photographing the survivors and assisting in sharing their stories with the community.”

Throughout its history, TMH broke stories on top controversies such as issues surrounding Iron Arrow and Student Government disputes.

“Iron Arrow was male only, and it was a fairly contentious issue in some quarters about whether to let women in Iron Arrow,” said Haj, who attended UM when Iron Arrow remained kicked off campus for its refusal to tap women into the honor society.

As the university expanded and progressed, inevitably The Hurricane had to change as well.

Bob Radziewicz, faculty advisor to TMH from 2007 to 2014, said that when he came to the paper, he felt that all aspects of campus were not being reported on equally.

Radziewicz said that after he came to the paper, “every school at the University of Miami, including RSMAS and even the med school, all were covered.”

But perhaps the biggest change that impacted The Hurricane was the introduction and popularization of the Internet.

When Garrison first became the advisor, “There was no web, there was no electronic media like we know it now. The web was just being born,” he said.

The paper used to published twice a week on Thursdays and Mondays. However, with the introduction of the Internet and the creation of The Hurricane’s website in the 1990s, online news became even bigger. Starting Fall 2016, the paper switched to releasing only one issue a week.

“Our goal was to move from focusing all of our attention on a twice-weekly print newspaper to publishing great stories everyday online, and we accomplished that,” Cueto said.

Within TMH staff, they have also made changes. While the first female editor-in-chief was in 1931, there were many decades where the staff was entirely white and predominantly male. During this time, the paper published blatantly sexist content including a weekly feature called “Hurricane Honeys” that presented posed photos of female students with raunchy captions on the front page. However, this is no longer the case. Times have evolved and so has the paper.

Today, the newsroom is filled with both men and women centered around the same common goal it has held for 90 years: to share student voices and report student issues.

Austin Pert, Joanna Ugo, Joseph Cid and Jacqueline Bajric contributed to the reporting of this article.