UM News Briefs: karaoke at the Rat, Suarez out of the race and tragedy in South Africa

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.


Weekly events are back #AtTheRat

Hosted by Hurricane Productions, weekly events are back at the Rathskeller. These events provide opportunities for students to gather a group of friends, eat and enjoy themselves on campus.

“We noticed that out of all of the events we threw, the recurring ones seemed to have the most engagement,” Sal Puma, the Rathskeller advisory board chair, said.

Returning events include Trivia Tuesdays and DJ Thursdays. Every Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., students gather at the Rat for pub-style trivia where they answer questions about a wide variety of topics. DJ Thursdays, a long-running collaboration with EQ Collective, a student organization made up of aspiring student DJs, take place every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“Every week a different DJ comes to the Rat and performs a set outside on the patio,” Puma said. “It’s a great time to sit with your friends and grab something before your Thursday night unfolds.”

Karaoke Wednesdays, HP’s newest addition to the Rat’s weekly schedule of events, is set to start this week on Sept. 6. The event was created in response to the many student suggestions HP received for a weekly karaoke event.

“We hope this new setup will help draw in more students and make it just as much of a hit as our other weekly programming events.” Puma said.

For more information about events at the Rat, check out @umrathskeller on Instagram.


Francis Suarez suspends his presidential campaign

On Tuesday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced the end of his presidential campaign after failing to keep up with the crowded Republican field.

“While I have decided to suspend my campaign for President, my commitment to making this a better nation for every American remains,” Suarez said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Suarez was unable to gather meaningful and consistent support in the polls, and fell short of the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) polling requirement to take the stage in the GOP’s first debate last week.

According to his campaign, Suarez did fulfill the RNC’s donor criteria — employing eye-catching tactics to attract donations. His campaign offered donors $20 gift cards, raffled off tickets to see soccer superstar Lionel Messi play and accepted donations in the form of cryptocurrency.

But when it came to polling, Suarez struggled. Though he tried to claim that he had met the polling requirements, the RNC disagreed and publicly rejected his since-deleted social media announcement.

Although he lacked national name recognition, Suarez launched his campaign in June as the only Hispanic candidate in the Republican primary race. In dropping out, he pledged to “continue to amplify the voices of the Hispanic community” and called on other members of his party to do the same.

The Miami mayor has recently come under scrutiny after The Miami Herald reported that he was hired by a developer to obtain permits for a delayed real estate project while in office. Amidst FBI and SEC investigations, Suarez has denied any wrongdoing.

His competency for the presidency came into question early on after he was stumped by a radio interviewer’s question about alleged human rights abuses in China against the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority in the western region of Xinjiang.

With a 76-day campaign, Suarez is the first to exit the Republican primary race.


74 killed in Johannesburg residential fire

A fire on Thursday tore through a five-story building in Johannesburg where squatters lived in dangerous conditions. City officials reported over 70 deaths — including children — and dozens of injuries.

Authorities are still investigating what caused the blaze that consumed the crumbling building, but many attribute the deadly fire to the long list of safety issues that left the building vulnerable.

Evidence suggests the fire started on the first floor, trapping residents behind doors and locked gates as it spread quickly. Without properly functioning electricity, residents resorted to lighting fire for warmth and light in the crowded building. Flammable materials like cardboard and sheets divided living spaces and electric cables hung from the ceiling.

As reported by the New York Times, residents and officials said that many illegally occupied buildings like this one often housed South Africans struggling under the country’s current housing and unemployment crises.