UM News Briefs: UFOs, Disney World and chicken costumes

Photo credit: Roberta Macedo

Note from the news editors: UM News Briefs are a new segment from The Miami Hurricane. News briefs provide a weekly snapshot of life at the University of Miami, in Miami and sometimes around the state, country or world. Stay up to date with UM News Briefs.


DOSO’s Celebration of Involvement

The annual Celebration of Involvement recognizes and presents awards to the University of Miami community for service or leadership. On behalf of the Division of Student Affairs, students, faculty, staff and community partners can nominate outstanding students engaged in leadership. Nominations are due Feb. 20 by 11:59 PM.

Awards and scholarships up to $3,000 will be awarded to a total of 11 students based on commitment and dedication to their involvements at UM. The “Edward T. Foote II Award for Excellence in Student Leadership” is one of several that especially recognizes one senior at the University of Miami who has best demonstrated exemplary involvement, leadership, and achievement in their college experience. The award was established in honor of the University of Miami’s fourth president Edward T. Foote II.

Butler Center Volunteer Fair

Meet local non-profit and student organizations that provide community service opportunities at the Butler Center Volunteer Fair on Feb. 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Rock Plaza. Organizations interested in participating in the fair can fill out the registration form on engage. Lunch and parking passes will be provided, as necessary. Once spots are full a waitlist will be created.


Chicken Man Arrested at Carollo’s art instillation opening

A member of the group who call themselves the “Committee to Undermine the Carollo Klan” (CUCK) was arrested during a protest at the grand opening of Carollo’s Dogs and Cats Walkway, a new installation of sculptures at Maurice A. Ferre Park.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, a few members of the group dressed up as chickens and attended the opening wearing and handing out white sleeveless undershirts. The shirts, known coloquially as wifebeaters, had a photo of Carollo’s mugshot from his 2001 arrest on a domestic battery charge. Carollo was mayor of Miami at the time and was jailed for allegedly striking his now ex-wife with a teapot.

Thomas Kennedy, a member of CUCK, told the Miami New Times the group “was not yelling or being physically disruptive” when the Miami Police Department approached and kicked the chickens out of the event.

Carollo and his current wife came up with the idea for the installment after she learned about a park in Colombia decorated with similar sculptures. The sculptures were completed under an $896,000 contract with Art and Sculpture Unlimited Inc.

“You always have a few haters,” Carollo said at a weekend press conference. “They try to make this [seem] like it was the end of the world, that what we were doing was the original, mortal sin.”

The project caused tension in the trust. Board member Cristina Palomo claimed the project was approved without proper notice and discussion. Palomo resigned in 2021, claiming the poorly executed project was prioritized over other promised park elements.


DeSantis gains control of Disney’s development board

Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, now has control of the board that oversees development at Walt Disney World. This move by DeSantis, as a result of a state legislation special session, puts limits on the autonomy of Disney over its theme park. Now, DeSantis, not Disney, will appoint the members of the board of a special tax district. The previous board, under Disney’s control, was able to largely self-govern its 25,000-acre Disney World complex.

Disney will maintain its special tax status that DeSantis attempted to revoke last year. This allows the company special benefits like the ability to approve development plans without challenges from local regulators.

Michigan State University shooting

Gunshots erupted across the Michigan State University (MSU) campus killing 3 students and leaving 5 wounded, late on Feb. 15. The suspected gunman, identified as Anthony Dwayne McRae, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a hunt.

All three victims, Alexandria Verner, Brian Fraser and Arielle Anderson, were from Detroit suburbs. Monday’s catastrophe was the second school shooting of the year, according to NBC News’ school shooting tracker. The shooting coincided with the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Parkland shooting in Florida that killed 14 students and three staff members.

“I saw that some students who experienced the shooting were Sandy Hook survivors.” second-year entrepreneurship major, Corrine Kelly, said. “It’s depressing and something needs to change.”

After the shooting, MSU canceled all campus activities and urged students and staff to stay away from campus the next day. Counseling services were made available to students starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center.

Four flying objects have been shot down in North America

Four vessels, including a suspected Chinese spy balloon, have been seen in U.S. airspace and shot down by U.S. military since late January. The U.S. government has not been able to provide an explanation for the three other objects.

The first balloon entered U.S. airspace on Jan. 28, north of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. On Jan. 31, President Biden was briefed about the balloon. The balloon was shot down over South Carolina as it continued moving southeastward. According to a statement by U.S. officials, the Chinese foreign ministry criticized the United States for downing its balloon, claiming the ship was for civilian use and its entrance into U.S. airspace was accidental.

Two F-22s tracked the second object near the location of Deadhorse, Alaska, on Feb. 9. It was described as “cylindrical and silver-ish gray” and appeared to be floating. Briefed on Feb. 9, President Biden ordered it to be shot down on the morning of Feb. 10, in concern for overall flight safety.

“It was difficult for the pilots to glean a whole lot of information,” White House spokesman John Kirby said to reporters. “There was a limit to how much they could divine.”

The North American Aerospace Defense Command detected a third object over Alaska late on Feb. 10. Two U.S. aircrafts monitored the object and a Canadian aircraft joined as the object crossed into Canadian airspace. Following a conversation between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Biden, the U.S. president authorized an aircraft to take down the new high-altitude object.

A fourth high-altitude object was shot down by a U.S. military aircraft over Lake Huron on the afternoon of Feb. 12. The object was octagonal in structure and traveled at about 20,000 feet. Biden directed the object to be shot down out of caution and at the recommendation of military leaders.