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Today is National Unplugging Day—Here’s why you should join in

National Day of Unplugging, a holiday created to bring awareness to the hold that technology has on the everyday person, is next Friday, March 5. A holiday you may not have heard of, participants in this annual tradition bathe in a digital detox for 24 hours– no cell phones, no laptops…just mindfulness. The holiday originates from a Jewish nonprofit called ‘Reboot,’ an organization that started in New York City but is rapidly growing in cities across the country. If you’re thinking, “I’m not Jewish,” don’t worry. The holiday is for everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. In recent years, the event has had hundreds of thousands of participants nationwide, and it is looking to be a major hit again this year. According to the celebration’s website, it aims to help participants “start living a different life: connect with the people in your street, neighborhood and city, have an uninterrupted meal or read a book to your child.” Audrey Cleary, a University of Miami licensed clinical psychologist, spoke with The Miami Hurricane about why putting your phone down for a bit to focus on the world around you might not sound as bad as you think. “Mindfulness can be as simple as becoming aware of what is around you– experiencing the sounds, sensations and your senses as a whole,” she explained. “You can deliberately become mindful in the moment with effort, but in general, focusing on one thing helps. Also, focus on gratitude and appreciation. Take time to focus on what you’re appreciative for. It can improve your happiness and overall well being.” Cleary also spoke about the negative side effects of cell phone overuse, often seen in college students across the nation. “Cell phone usage can be too much when it starts causing problems in your life. The distraction from academics it brings, and conflict in relationships. Not being present with the people around you can be a sign,” she said. “Social media can also bring on negative comparisons to other people. You don’t want to compare yourself to the negative, edited versions of someone else.” According to Cleary, the benefits of unplugging can be monumental. Breaking the habit of always having to check your cell phone over and over again for notifications can be a positive experience. Yes, technology has provided many benefits into everyday life, but no one should want to feel locked down by their cell phone. “It can be healthful to not have to focus on your cell phone and other technology. Kicking away that demand on your attention can help a person get reconnected with their natural environment. Getting aware of your emotional experiences can make the urge of your cell phone less powerful. Even just being present and aware of the negative emotions in your mind like sadness or anxiety can help you feel better about them since you know they are there.” She continued to list the specific benefits of unplugging, saying that the awareness and physical contact with other people around you to be especially powerful. She says that when you are face to face with a person, your communication can often feel way more authentic. According to Cleary, an improved sleep schedule is another benefit worth mentioning. Psychologists and researchers have begun identifying disorders that exist when individuals are unable to go lengths of time without their cell phone. One such disorder, known as ‘phone separation anxiety,’ is a struggle that many students deal with every day. This disorder may sound funny or peculiar, but according to Cleary, it is not a joke. It is defined as “a sense of fear and panic when separated from a mobile phone and the overwhelming fear of anxiety coming from the inability to immediately respond to a notification or have your device in your hand.” “If having immediate contact with your cell phone is something you’ve learned to depend on, it’s definitely real,” she explained. “If students are feeling anxious about not having their cell phone, it’s important to really think about why. Identify what the fear is, and challenge your fears associated with the phone.” She listed several questions that students who think they may have this disorder might want to consider in order to try and cure their separation anxiety. “What do you think you’re missing out on? Do you feel like you’ll really miss out on those things? Are the consequences really as bad as you think they are?” Whatever the case is, she assured that phone separation anxiety does not have to be permanent. It can be overcome with a little cognitive work. So, whether you unplug or plug in, make sure to think again about your technology habits. While 24 hours away from a cell phone may not immediately cure problems, everyone has to start somewhere. Featured image from flickr.com.

A first-year’s guide to campus safety

The University of Miami Police Department has several resources for the UM community to ensure everyone always feels and is safe on campus. The following are all available at no cost to students, faculty and staff at the UM.

Safety Escort Services

When traveling around campus, the University of Miami offers two escort options to make sure students make it to their destination safely and worry-free.

The first is the UMPD 24/7 Safety Escort Service, available all day on any day, including holidays and school breaks. When you call the number, a UM Police employee or security officer will meet you within 15 minutes and either walk with you or transport you to your destination. Students can use this resource as many times as they need.

The other option is Safe Ride, which is an on-demand transportation service operating Monday through Friday between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. The service picks up and drops off within the perimeter of the Coral Gables campus.

UMPD 24/7 Safety Escort Service: 305-284-6666

Safe Ride: 305-769-6065

UGuardian

UM students, faculty and staff can download Rave Guardian for free on their smartphones to stay safe on campus. The app features a one-touch call button to UMPD and shares any emergency information inputted into the app with the dispatcher, such as geographic location and emergency contacts.

UGuardian also has a feature that allows a designated friend or roommate to track their journey. If after an entered time has passed and the user cannot be reached by their designated “guardian,” their guardian can then contact UMPD through the app, sharing the user’s emergency information.

Learn more here.

Blue Light Emergency Phones

It’s difficult to walk around campus without passing several Blue Light Phones. These phones connect directly to UMPD and can identify the location of the caller if they are unable to speak.

They can be used to request a safety escort, report a suspicious person or activity, obtain information or report an emergency. They can be used in both emergency and non-emergency situations.

Learn more and view a map of emergency phone locations here.

S.A.F.E. Program

The Self-defense Awareness and Familiarization Exchange is a 1.5 to 2 hour, female-only self-defense class accessible by all University students, faculty and staff. The class focuses on risk awareness, risk reduction and personal safety with a few basic physical self-defense techniques.

Classes are offered periodically throughout the year on the Coral Gables campus and are instructed by National Self-Defense Institute Certified S.A.F.E. instructors.

Learn more here.

Bicycle/Scooter Safety

All bicycles and scooters on campus must be registered by UMPD and will be given a free lock. This allows UMPD to locate and return a stolen bicycle or scooter easier while also preventing theft. If a bike is seen unsecured, it will be locked by UMPD. If this happens, contact UMPD to remove the lock.

Bicycles are legally defined as vehicles in the state of Florida and thus must obey traffic laws and give pedestrians the right of way. When riding a bike, make sure to wear your helmet and ride with traffic, not against. It is also a state law that at night, riders must wear light-colored clothing and have an illuminated headlight and taillight.

Register your bike or scooter here.

Important Numbers

For a UM Campus Emergency, call the UM Police Department at 305-284-8005.

For non-emergencies, call one of the following numbers:

Coral Gables campus: 305-284-6666

Medical Campus: 305-243-6000 (6-6000 or *711 in-house)

RSMAS campus: 305-710-7991 or 305-734-3776

In the case of a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

Top 10 Miami Attractions

UM students are lucky enough to attend school in what is considered to be a top U.S. vacation destination. With plenty of culture, nature and sights just a short trip from campus, students can explore a multitude of unique locations. Here is a list of the top 10 attractions to visit in Miami.

1. Wynwood Art Walls

Think about putting the most vibrant colors and images you can imagine on a building. When you visit the Wynwood Art Walls, you become fully immersed in the abstract, symbolic minds of the artists who designed them.

The art district is an experience unique to Miami and is sure to spark your imagination. Not only will you leave feeling more connected to Miami culture, but your camera roll will have something to show for your time in the city. Student admission is $5 with a valid student ID.

2. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

This former estate is now an incredible museum and garden. The museum exhibits extravagant European architecture and overlooks the breathtaking waters surrounding the city. With pristine landscaping and beautiful flowers and greenery, this property is nothing short of outstanding.

Be sure to grab a few friends on the weekend to take pictures at this terrific landmark. Tickets are $22 for individuals 13 years and older. Student discounts are available for onsite purchases only.

3. Venetian Pool

In the heart of Coral Gables, Fla. lie the turquoise waters of the Venetian Pool. The 1923 limestone creation is refilled daily by spring water. With waterfalls and grottos, this fun experience is one of the best ways to get relief from the hot Miami sun. Escape the UM pool and enjoy one of Miami locals’ favorite attractions. Tickets are $16 for non-residents and $5.50 for residents

4. The Everglades

Turtles, alligators and birds, oh my! Consider taking a trip to the Everglades National Park to see wildlife and some of Florida’s most majestic nature. The landscape in Florida is incomparable to other U.S. national parks as the largest wetland in North America. With beautiful mangrove trees and lilypads along the water, UM students are close to a national treasure.

Take full advantage of hiking trails and consider paying for an airboat tour to learn from the extremely knowledgeable park rangers.

5. Key Biscayne

You can’t go to school in Miami without taking a trip to the beach! Key Biscayne is home to beautiful white sands with calm, blue water away from the swarms of tourists on South Beach.

Crandon Park Beach is a lovely, family-friendly park, perfect for barbecues and relaxation.

At the very end of Key Biscayne lies Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, which is home to a nearly 200 year-old lighthouse. Entry into the park is $8 per vehicle, and visitors can tour the lighthouse at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. with no additional fee. The lighthouse is open every day except for Tuesdays and Thursdays.

6. Brickell City Centre

If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy location, Brickell City Centre is the place to be. With shopping, dining and entertainment spots, the Centre quickly became a top attraction in Miami. The city views from the upper levels of the complex can’t be beat and bonus points are allotted to the nighttime Miami lights.

7. Miami Beach Art Deco Historic District

Those iconic pops of color and animated designs of the 1920s and 1930s can be found in Miami Beach. The Historic District is located between 5th Street and 23rd Street along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue. A walk or drive through this area will provide eye-catching views of the unique style with pastels, geometric shapes and neon signs.

Be sure to bring your camera and an appetite because you might want to stop for a bite outside of one of the restaurants in the area. If you’re into people-watching, this is a great place to do so. You might even see someone in an old-timey car, which only adds to the visuals of the scene.

8. Miami Design District

If you’re looking to spend some money, look no further than the Miami Design District. Brands like Dior, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Gucci line the modern streets that make up the Design District.

Even if shopping at one of these high-end stores is out of the question, it’s still nice to walk around and take in the pleasant atmosphere. Plus, if you don’t like spending money on materialistic items, splurge on an experience at one of the many restaurants like Baccarat Boutique Bar and Lounge, Cote Miami and the Dior Café. There’s no limit to opulence in the Miami Design District.

9. Little Havana

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in Cuban culture, Little Havana is the place to do so. Start your day with some Cuban coffee from La Colada Gourmet or Versailles Cuban Bakery or get a Cuban sandwich crafted to perfection from Sanguich de Miami.

Finally, be sure to stop in the art galleries scattered around the Little Havana Art District to top off your trip to this historic neighborhood.

10. Bayside Marketplace

Bayside Marketplace is an outdoor shopping mall right along the waterfront. While there are many chain stores, Bayside has many unique tourist shops which are great places to get some Miami souvenirs.

A newer attraction has gained a lot of popularity for Bayside Marketplace: The Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel. This 15-minute Ferris wheel ride offers breathtaking views of Miami and Biscayne Bay. If you’re not too scared of heights, this is a perfect way to see Miami and enjoy a day or night out with your friends.


Restaurants Every UM Student Needs to Try

By Paulina Barnjak

Are you a new student at UM figuring out where to have your next meal? Are your parents visiting for the weekend? Are you and your classmates looking to grab a quick bite after a day at the beach?

Lucky for you, Miami has a rich international food scene, giving residents a plethora of restaurant choices. However, this can make choosing a place to eat overwhelming, especially for college students with limited transportation and a budget.

Below, find The Miami Hurricane’s restaurant recommendations for UM students. Take yourself on a culinary adventure by trying one of these notable Miami eateries.

Greenstreet Café

If you happen to be in Coconut Grove, stop by Greenstreet Café! This restaurant, complete with an outdoor patio, is an adorable spot to eat and the perfect excuse to put on a cute outfit. It offers breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a separate menu reserved for late night bites.

From the different types of french toast and omelets on the breakfast menu to the large selection of pastas, salads and sandwiches on the lunch and dinner menus, Greenstreet Café has something for everyone! This café fills up quickly, especially on the weekends, so be sure to make a reservation.

Greenstreet Café is located at 3468 Main Highway, Coconut Grove, FL 33133.

Monty’s Raw Bar

Greenstreet Café isn’t the only lovable restaurant in Coconut Grove. Just down the street is Monty’s Raw Bar, with a gorgeous view of the water and marina.

This outdoor restaurant hosts a live band that plays a great mix of Caribbean music and popular hits on Thursday evenings and weekend afternoons. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, Monty’s turns up the energy with a DJ.

Not only does this restaurant feature a lively atmosphere, but its affordable and shareable appetizers are perfect for large group get-togethers. The Baja Fish Tacos are a favorite entree. If you’re looking for brunch on the weekend, Monty’s is a top pick.

Monty’s Raw Bar is located at 2550 S Bayshore Drive, Miami, FL 33133.

American Social

Want an excuse to dress up? The American Social is the perfect brunch spot!

Brickell’s exquisite restaurant offers large portions with your not-so-typical brunch foods, including their loaded guacamole and buffalo chicken fries.

The American Social also invites customers to an entertaining atmosphere with daily specials such as Burger Monday, including options like the Smoked Old Fashioned and the Social Smash Burger, and Taco Tuesday, which has delicious Buffalo Chicken Tacos and Guava BBQ Pork Belly Tacos.

This waterfront restaurant is a must-visit for a weekend brunch (served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and provides a great location for photos filled with palm fronds!

The American Social is located at 690 SW 1ST CT. Miami, FL 33130.

Yard House

You may have eaten at your local Yard House, but Merrick Park’s location is the perfect place for college students. Yard House is casual, close to campus and it won’t break the bank. This restaurant offers shareable appetizers and a mix of American-style foods and seafood. The four-cheese spinach dip and jumbo Bavarian pretzel are crowd pleasers.

This Miami favorite is only one stop away on the Metrorail, so it’s super convenient.

Yard House is located at 320 San Lorenzo Ave. Space 1320 Coral Gables, FL 33146.

Taco Taco

If you’re taking a trip to South Beach to cool down and you’re looking for a place to eat, Taco Taco is the place for you.

You can never go wrong with its authentic Mexican food, including fajitas, quesadillas, burritos and tacos. The fresh fish and seafood combined with the ocean air make the food taste exquisite.

Its string lights, colorful patio and proximity to the beach give the restaurant a great ambiance. Taco Taco opens at 11:30 a.m. daily, so don’t forget to stop by and try!

Taco Taco is located at 1720 Collins Ave Miami Beach, Florida 33139.

POC American Fusion Buffet and Sushi

Last but not least, if you’re craving seafood, POC American Fusion Buffet and Sushi is one of the best all-you-can-eat buffets in the area!

This restaurant has affordable pricing for a ton of food, with dinners ranging from $30-40 depending on the day of the week. This “non-traditional” buffet style offers sushi and seafood (crab legs, oysters) as well as some meats, lo mein, dumplings and desserts.

POC American Fusion Buffet and Sushi is located at 2121 Ponce de Leon Blvd. Coral Gables, FL 33134.

Can Cam Ward help take retooled Miami offense to new heights?

In head coach Mario Cristobal’s second season at Miami, the Hurricanes improved from the season before. That being said, a 6-2 start ended with a disappointing 1-4 finish, mired by close losses and struggles on offense. Led by star transfer quarterback Cam Ward, the ’Canes are stepping into 2024 with a potential light show on offense.

Starting with Miami’s most notable change, last year’s starter, Tyler Van Dyke, transferred to Wisconsin, and Ward steps in as the new starting quarterback for the Hurricanes. Van Dyke struggled last season after Miami’s 4-0 start, finishing the year with eight touchdowns and 11 interceptions through his last seven games.

Between the games Van Dyke, Emory Williams and Jacurri Brown started, Miami’s offense at times looked extremely conservative and predictable, especially in games when the running game was not explosive. Four of the five games where they averaged less than four yards per carry resulted in losses. Though not all those were poor passing performances, without an explosive ground game, Miami struggled to close out and finish games.

In comparison, Ward’s previous team, Washington State, only eclipsed the four-yards-per-carry average mark twice last season. Despite that, Ward still managed 33 total touchdowns with only seven interceptions and two fewer wins.

As a thrower, Ward has quick release and a strong arm, which is perfect for Miami’s passing game. He can also zip throws into tight windows. He’s shown an ability to process quickly pre- and post-snap to decipher and dice up defenses.

Behind what Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranks as the eighth-best offensive line in college football, Ward will have time to sit in the pocket behind returning standouts like Francis Mauigoa and new faces like center Zach Carpenter, who at Indiana allowed a pressure rate of 1.9% in 2023.

Ward, though a pass-first guy, will bring a dual-threat element to Miami with his legs. He has solid speed, and at a strong 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, he’s shown to be useful in the red zone with 13 touchdowns on the ground in his two seasons with the Cougars.

Miami, through the offseason, made other changes to ensure that Ward wouldn’t be held down by a poor supporting cast. The Hurricanes added spring transfer recruit Damien Martinez Jr. to their already strong running game, averaging five yards per carry.

Considered to be one of the best backs in college football, Martinez has put up over 2,000 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns over his last two years on an explosive six yards per touch. Paired up with explosive sophomore Mark Fletcher Jr., Miami’s ground game should be extremely formidable, especially considering the strength of the offensive line and the potential impact Ward could have with his running ability

Miami has also taken its talent up a notch in the receiving room. Another top spring transfer, Sam Brown out of Houston, brings explosive playmaking and elusiveness, having forced 20 missed tackles after the catch, second in the Big 12 last year. He will be paired with smooth route-running slot receiver Xavier Restrepo, who, at 1,092 receiving yards, was second in the ACC. Jacolby George, who had the second-most yards after catch in the ACC last year, also returns for the ‘Canes.

The trio is instantly one of the best in the ACC, as it is the only group with three receivers coming off 500-yard seasons, let alone at least 800 yards each recorded. Alongside them are players with breakout potential, including receiver Isaiah Horton and tight end Elijah Arroyo, or freshmen like the highly anticipated wideout Joshisa Trader.

Looking at the offense in totality, there are only a few questions. The biggest is if offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson will effectively use this group to the best of its abilities.

As previously mentioned, the offense last year did seem somewhat predictable at times, but that could be attributed to a lack of trust in the quarterback’s play that resulted in conservative playcalling. Also, there is a slight concern following the departure of Colbie Young about whether there is a true boundary x-receiver on the team who can win against press-man coverage and make contested catches on the perimeter.

While the team does have a lot of continuity at many important spots, the addition of transfers along the offense does raise questions about whether those players can step in and perform as they did elsewhere or if there will be adjustments or struggles with that transition. Some of the biggest quarterback transfers in recent college football history took a year to truly step in and dominate.

Looking at just the 2024 NFL Draft Class, first-round picks Jayden Daniels, Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix took a year to adjust to their new teams before launching themselves into Heisman contention. That being said, all of them were still solid in that first year, so if Cam Ward could have a season of that caliber, it would still be a catalyst for massive improvements for Miami this upcoming season.


Go to college in a big city

Being a student at the University of Miami comes with a quirk no one warns you about — college will be a topic of conversation with almost everyone you meet.

More times than I can count, I will introduce myself to someone, and they will automatically light up with excitement — but also jealousy — when I tell them where I go to college.

Whether it’s recent alumni or current college students, anyone who hasn’t gone to UM often exclaims how fun my college experience probably is compared to theirs.

I was hesitant to agree with this statement at first, believing that your college experience is what you make of it.

But after three years at the U and countless friends and family complaining about how much better my college experience must be, I can’t help but think going to college in a big city like Miami is a huge bonus.

Big cities provide what small college towns can’t: a constant flow of opportunities.

Don’t like a restaurant in Miami? No problem. There are hundreds of others to choose from.

Don’t want to spend a scorching hot day on the beach? Not to worry — go check out the art district in Wynwood.

When you go to college in a small town, choices are limited.

Don’t like one of the restaurants in town? Well, there are only three others, so hopefully you like one of those.

Don’t want to go to the frat party tonight? Looks like you’re staying in because there’s nothing else to do.

Students who don’t like the UM dining hall are surrounded by a plethora of Doordash and Uber Eats options, something unavailable at many other colleges.

The city of Miami also offers students different opportunities to find their niche, from snorkeling in Biscayne Bay, to attending Art Basel or a Miami Heat game.

It’s also easy to get groceries, go shopping and use the public transportation just two steps off UM’s campus.

The most important advantage UM students have is the city of Miami’s career opportunities. Whether it is using your teacher’s connections, attending networking events throughout the city, or just meeting professionals visiting campus, UM students have a massive upper hand when it comes to finding their passion and eventually landing a job in the city.

When I first arrived at UM, the city of Miami was intimidating. It took me a little while to push myself out of my comfort zone and find exactly what I was interested in. Once I did though, my experiences throughout the city became much more valuable and I learned to take advantage of the limitless opportunities. I encourage you to do the same.

Off-campus dining 101: Top local restaurants for UM students

Dining hall food gets boring after a while. After eating on-campus for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you might be craving a better meal. Luckily, Coral Gables is filled with top-tier local dining that offer takeout and dine-in.

Whether you want to dress up for a nice dinner with friends or bring food back to the dorms, there are popular restaurants among students you’ll want to familiarize yourself with. Here are the top off-campus restaurants for UM students to dine at.

Greenstreet Café

If you’re looking for a relaxing brunch or study spot, head over to Greenstreet Café in Coconut Grove. The greenery sends you to a tranquil oasis away from the busyness of Miami.

There’s a reason so many students flock to this location — it creates the perfect atmosphere for a weekend brunch. You can’t go wrong with the pancakes or an omelet at this lovely location.

Greenstreet Café is located at ​​3468 Main Hwy, Miami, FL 33133.

Monty’s Raw Bar

Tiki huts surrounded by boats on the water is the atmosphere you’ll find at Monty’s in Coconut Grove. This is a seafood lover’s paradise known for its oysters, fish entreés and tacos.

However, non-seafood fans have plenty of delicious options ranging from Caribbean chicken to watermelon salad. Pretend you’re on vacation and enjoy the warm weather as you dine under a cabana at this tropical hideaway.

Monty’s Raw Bar is located at 2550 S Bayshore Dr, Miami, FL 33133.

Sexy Fish

If you ever see students posting Instagram stories in a bathroom with underwater designs and multicolored lights, chances are they are at Sexy Fish. That’s right, even the bathrooms are themed to fit the deep-sea decor of this sushi restaurant.

This is a go-to spot for students to grab an excellent (yet pricey) sushi dinner. It’s perfect for a birthday celebration or special night out with friends if you’re looking for some high quality sushi surrounded by sculptures of sea creatures.You may even spot a celebrity, as many high-profile individuals tend to frequent this spot.

Sexy Fish is located at 1001 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33130.

American Social

American Social is another Instagram spot you’ll want to familiarize yourself with. The bright city lights and passing boats on the water canal outside this restaurant create the ideal outdoor vibe.

Along with the scenic atmosphere, the food is pretty decent for the price. This is a great place to share a bunch of appetizers as you watch the yachts go by along the water.

American Social is located at 690 SW 1st Ct, Miami, FL 33130.

Shahs of Kabob

South Miami is home to some of the most mouth-watering, well-seasoned kabobs. This Persian cuisine is to die for and is a great way to try something new. The marinade on the meats creates unforgettable bites that pair well with their homemade hummus.

This is a great place to go with friends, share some plates and sample all of the different skewers and dishes they offer.

Shahs of Kabob is located at 5975 Sunset Dr #109, South Miami, FL 33143.

Bartaco

Bartaco is a chain that has become a favorite in many cities. Therefore, when Bartaco made its way to the Grove, UM students took note. You can order unlimited tacos and guac straight from your phone to the table, which makes for a dangerous, yet delicious time.

The decor in this location mirrors other Bartacos, with beautiful hanging lights and greenery. However, the high ceilings in the two-storied restaurant adds a grand effect to the scene. The lime green booths and pops of color in the artwork make this an inviting oasis after a long week of classes.

Bartaco is located at 3112 Commodore Plaza, Miami, FL 33133.

Sanguich de Miami

While you’re in Miami, why wouldn’t you immerse yourself in Cuban culture? Food plays such a big role in any culture, and Cuban cuisine is something you definitely do not want to miss out on.

Head to Little Havana for a bite at this authentic Cuban sandwich shop. While the Cuban sandwich is a classic, they have other tasty sandwiches served on their crisp, freshly-made bread.

Sanguich de Miami is located at 2057 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135.

Show up for Amendment Four, stay for the senate vote

Us Floridians recently received the decision that Amendment 4 will appear on our November ballots. Amendment 4 would grant Floridians access to abortion care up to 24 weeks, about the time a fetus can survive outside of the womb.

This decision gives Floridians the power to vote on their own state’s abortion restrictions, but also amplifies the stakes of the upcoming Senate election between Senator Rick Scott and Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel Powell.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade sent decisions on abortion access back to the states, resulting in a wave of anti-abortion policies being passed in 28 states. These policies range from six-week abortion bans to the criminalization of IVF.

Rick Scott is a proud supporter of many of these policies. He supported Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s decision to sign a six-week ban, which severely restricts Florida women’s access to life-saving care. And, even though Scott says he prefers a 15-week ban, the truth stands clear: Rick Scott sees no issue with restricting American women’s access to reproductive healthcare.

This development is especially concerning given Scott’s well-known desire to become Senate Majority Leader in light of Mitch McConnell’s retirement.

Scott, in an interview with The Hill, claimed that Democrats are “barbaric” and “want … to allow abortion up until…birth.” However, according to Pew Research, only about 1% of abortions are performed past 21 weeks and are usually done to save the life of the mother.

Our very bodies and autonomy are on the line. Even if Amendment 4 is passed in Florida, it won’t matter if Scott is re-elected and helps push through federal abortion restrictions, opening the door for more invasive attacks on women’s reproductive rights, such as restricted access to contraception.

It is for these reasons that I am motivated to vote for Debbie Mucarsel Powell this November. Mucarsel Powell not only supports a woman’s right to choose, but champions it. Her endless commitment to ensuring women, not men in marble offices, have the ability to choose what is best for them should encourage you to vote for her too.

Emily Danzinger is a senior majoring in Political Science, International Studies, and Public Advocacy and minoring in Journalism and Religious Studies. Danzinger is the Director of Student Relations of the George P. Hanley Democracy Center and former President of the UM Debate Team.


Top 10 items every freshman should have in their dorm

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It’s a month away from move in day, and you’re likely pulling together your packing list for your dorm. While most freshmen arrive on campus with plenty of posters and knick-knacks to decorate their dorm, it’s easy to forget some lesser-known essentials.

But don’t worry — The Miami Hurricane is here to help before you even need it. Below, you’ll find 10 items no freshman should come to UM without.

1. Dehumidifier

In a humid climate like Miami, a dehumidifier is crucial to keep your dorm feeling fresh. You can find a small one online for relatively cheap and they last multiple years, so the money spent will be totally worth it.

The dehumidifier also helps reduce mold and odors, which lessens the amount of time you’ll need to spend cleaning.

Pro tip: Hang DampRid bags in your closet to absorb any remaining moisture.

2. Velvet hangers

The closets in the dorm are small and can easily turn into a cluttered mess. Keep your clothes organized with velvet hangers. The fabric grips your clothes better than plastic, so your items won’t slide off.

Velvet hangers are also thinner than the typical plastic hangers, so you can fit more clothes on the rack.

3. Over-the-toilet shelf

While this item isn’t glamorous, it’s practical for those in Mahoney Pearson with an attached bathroom. If you have your own bathroom, you’ll have to clean it, so it’s imperative you have a place to store cleaning supplies, paper towels and extra toilet paper.

This space won’t be used otherwise, and it’s best to keep chemicals away from areas that have food or clothing.

Pro Tip: The front desk workers at Mahoney Pearson will provide you free toilet paper if you go downstairs and ask.

4. Reusable plastic cups

Buy more of these than you think one person could ever need. Whatever you do, don’t buy glass.

Reusable plastic cups are perfect because they won’t break and you only have to buy them once so they are cheaper than single-use plastic (and much better for the environment).

Bonus points if the cups are microwave safe, because then you can even use them to heat water for ramen or mac and cheese.

5. Batteries

You might not need these frequently, but when you need them, you need them urgently. Items such as string lights, Polaroid cameras and many gaming controllers use batteries. AA and AAA batteries are the most common.

A small pack of these is inexpensive and great to have on hand.

6. Steamer

If you want to look your best at all times, bring a steamer. Clothes can get wrinkled in the dryer and in drawers, but a steamer can fix that. It also takes up significantly less space than an iron and ironing board and works just as well.

When you have an interview or formal event, looking sharp can go a long way to improve your first impressions and allow you to stand out in a crowd of wrinkly-clothed students (who clearly didn’t read this list).

7. Clothes drying rack

I lost my favorite pair of jean shorts to the Mahoney dryers. My shorts came out of the laundry room two sizes smaller than when they entered, and I, unfortunately, did not.

Don’t let your clothes suffer the same fate mine did. A small drying rack to use for denim and delicate items will preserve your clothes and save you money in the long run.

Make sure the drying rack folds and can be easily stored, and you’re all set!

8. First-aid kit

Between bug bites and frat parties, you’re bound to pick up minor cuts and bruises. Band-Aids, Benadryl cream, Neosporin and Advil are must-haves. If you want to be extra prepared, add in some medical wrap, tape and anything else you see yourself needing.

Target sells many of these items in small cases that make storage super easy.

9. Mattress pad

Frequently confused with the much thinner mattress topper, a mattress pad provides extra cushioning that is essential for a great night of rest. The University-provided mattresses are great to sleep on if you want to ensure you’re awake for your 8 a.m. class, but otherwise please invest in a mattress pad.

Also, many mattress pads are made with cooling materials so they help you beat the Miami heat.

Pro tip: Make sure you purchase a size twin XL. The regular twin size will be too short for the existing mattress.

10. Rain gear

Bring an umbrella. You don’t want to be one of the people taking the orange patio umbrellas from campus tables and hoisting them above your head on the walk to class.

Also, bring shoes that can get wet and will dry without smelling funky. Crocs, flip flops and actual rain boots are great for the days when campus is filled with puddles.

Pro tip: For extra protection, invest in a rainproof backpack with a laptop sleeve. Miami rain comes down hard and spares no victims.

5 Miami Athletes to keep an eye out for this fall

As a new season of sports in Coral Gables approaches, the Miami Hurricanes look poised to compete for glory this year. With new transfers in football and experienced rosters in both volleyball and soccer, the ’Canes are giving their fans a reason to be excited. Before the fall campaign starts, let’s spotlight five athletes that all fans should keep an eye out for.

Damien Martinez, Football

Following a disappointing ending to head coach Mario Cristobal’s second season with the Hurricanes, Cristobal and his staff went all-in during the transfer portal window, filling the roster with talent. One of these big-name transfers was running back Damien Martinez from Oregon State.

In his freshman year at Oregon State, Martinez made a name for himself right away, making the All-Pac 12 First Team and winning the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year Award. With his unique running ability and talent, Martinez shined in Corvallis, tallying 982 yards and seven touchdowns while starting in just five games.

In his sophomore season, Martinez put the rest of college football on notice, making the 2023 All-Pac 12 First Team for the second straight year. He was also named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, which honors the top running back in college football. Martinez ran for nine touchdowns and 1,185 yards, second in the Pac-12.

The former four-star running back will slot himself as the lead bell cow for a Hurricanes offense that lost Donald Chaney Jr. and Henry Parrish Jr. to the transfer portal. Martinez will add even more explosiveness to an offense that also added Washington State transfer quarterback Cameron Ward and Houston transfer receiver Sam Brown.

Cam Ward, Football

Speaking of Cam Ward, the signal caller for the Hurricanes was one of Cristobal’s main targets in the transfer portal this offseason. After previously declaring for the draft, Cristobal and Miami lured the former Washington State (WSU) quarterback from the NFL to Coral Gables for one more season.

Ward spent the last two seasons for the Cougars, throwing for 6,963 yards, 48 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 25 career games for WSU. In addition to the arm strength he displayed, Ward is a true dual-threat quarterback who tallied 13 touchdowns on the ground during his time at Washington State.

Before WSU, Ward spent two seasons at Football Championship Subdivision’s (FCS) Incarnate Word, where he was named the 2021 Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year and led the Cardinals to the Southland Conference Championship and the second round of the FCS Playoffs.

Ward provides some much-needed stability in the quarterback position, something the program has lacked for some time now.

With a senior as one of the best dual-threat signal callers in the country, playing alongside a deep running back group and an explosive receiver room, Miami looks poised to make a push for the expanded 12-team playoffs this coming fall.

Grace Lopez, Volleyball

Following an NCAA tournament berth a season ago, the Miami Hurricanes’ volleyball program, led by head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara, looks to continue its winning ways. Entering her sophomore season at Coral Gables, outside hitter Grace Lopez should be able to pick up where she left off.

In her freshman season at Miami, the Puerto Rican native was stellar, making the 2023 ACC All-Freshman, All-ACC and American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Region Teams. While starting in 24 of the 28 possible games, Lopez led the team in kills and finished second in service aces, with 407 and 27, respectively.

The outside hitter is continuing her strong play while representing and leading Puerto Rico in the Women’s North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation NORCECA Volleyball Championship to a Final Four Tournament title.

Entering her sophomore year, Lopez is expected to continue her dominance as one of the best outside hitters in the ACC for UM this season.

Adrianna Serna, Soccer

Following the departure of head coach Sarah Barnes, the Hurricanes’ soccer program looks to find some stability following a disappointing 3-10-4 record.

Led by new head coach and former Vanderbilt associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Ken Masuhr, the ’Canes will try to rely on members of last year’s team to turn their fortunes around.

Now in her fourth season at UM, defender Adrianna Serna is sure to provide some stability to the new era of soccer in Coral Gables. Serna, who only started one game in her two previous seasons, was a workhorse for UM.

In her junior season, Serna was one of two Hurricanes to start in all 17 contests. She also logged the second most minutes, trailing Emma Tucker.

Despite being the program’s top defender, Serna co-led the team in points with Taylor Shell and forward Caroline Hood. The Las Vegas native was also near the top of the team leaders in goals and assists in 2023.

In a program currently undergoing significant changes, expect Serna to be a mainstay as a defender next season for the Hurricanes.

Daphnee Lavassas, Cross Country

Entering her senior year, distance runner Daphnee Lavassas aims to have yet another strong campaign. Lavassas started her UM career off well, breaking into Miami’s all-time 6K top-10 list in her first cross-country race as a Hurricane, finishing 14th overall.

At the NCAA South Regionals in 2021, Lavassas posted a 6K time of 21:05.98, the second fastest in its program’s history. Just a couple of months prior, the Miami native recorded UM’s seventh-best 5K time of 18:00.5 at the XC23 Invitational.

In 2022, Lavassas continued to break records in Coral Gables, going on a five-race win streak in outdoor competitions.

Last season, Lavassas set historic records in indoor, outdoor and cross-country events.

In indoor competitions, she finished eighth and cemented a new indoor program record at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships in the 500m with 16:18.29.

In the XC world competition, Lavassas became one of two women in Miami’s history and the first since 2005 to race at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

If her previous seasons in Coral Gables are any indication of what she can do this year, expect Lavassas to break even more records in 2024.

Where to see the biggest stars live this fall

Looking for more fun after the summer? South Florida’s electrifying concert scene has got you covered. Taylor Swift, Childish Gambino and more will be heading to the 305 to perform new music and deliver jaw-dropping performances.

Concert venues like the Kaseya Center and Hard Rock Stadium will give you a taste of Miami nightlife. Take a look at these upcoming concerts and save the date before it is too late.

Ice Spice and Cash Cobain, August 31

2023 BET Best Breakthrough Hip Hop Artist Award winner Ice Spice will perform in Jackie Gleason Theater at The Fillmore Miami Beach. The up-and-coming rap sensation will keep you dancing all night long with hits like “Munch” and “In Ha Mood.”

Rapper Cash Cobain will open with his smooth vocals and hyper beats. His music is nothing short of enchanting, with features from J. Cole and Bay Swag. The duo will likely perform their newest hit “Fisherrr,” which has over eight million streams on Spotify.

Standard tickets are around $90 and can be purchased on Ticketmaster.

Childish Gambino and Willow, September 5

Donald Glover will become Childish Gambino for his “The New World” world tour. The iconic rapper, actor and dancer will return after a four-year hiatus to perform new music from his new albums at the Amerant Bank Arena. The rap veteran will retire after the release of his last album, “Bando Stone & The New World,” on July 19, making this world tour possibly his last.

Willow stars as the opening act, bringing a vocal range with unmatched intensity. Her latest single, “symphony of life,” from her album “empathogen” has garnered over nine million streams on Spotify.

Childish Gambino’s gravitating moves and Willow’s infectious energy make for a force to be reckoned with. Purchase tickets through SeatGeek to see what could be one of Gambino’s final performances.

Grupo Niche, Victor Manuelle and Fernando Villalona, September 13

Get immersed in Hispanic culture with some of Latin America’s biggest artists. Legendary salsa band Grupo Niche will take the stage at the Watsco Center to transport audiences to 1980s Colombia.

Puerto Rican salsa singer Victor Manuelle will appear as the opening act, likely to sing songs such as “Apiádate de Mi” and “Si Tú Me Besas” from his decades-long career.

Fernando Villalon will bring Dominican merengue and put everyone on their feet. You can’t help but dance along to his high-energy rhythms and alluring voice.

Tantalizing harmonies from trumpets, bongos and maracas mea nyou don’t need to know the language to have the time of your life. General admission tickets start at $90 and are being sold on Ticketmaster.

Charli XCX, Troye Sivan and Shygirl, October 5

Get pumped with this trio’s energetic club tunes to make you hope the party never ends. Charli XCX and Troye Sivan will headline their SWEAT tour and arrive at the Kaseya Center to blast their latest hits.

Charli XCX’s new “brat” album, which many consider her best, has a plethora of energetic singles such as “360” and “Von dutch” that dominate her most liked songs on Spotify. There will never be a dull moment with her on stage.

The party continues with Troye Sivan’s upbeat and intimate setlist. Sivan’s most popular song, “Rush,” launched him into stardom, and he isn’t looking to slow down.

English singer and DJ Shygirl will open with her intoxicating singles, setting up an unforgettable night. Her diverse setlist will leave you wanting more.

Standard tickets are $50 and can be found on Ticketmaster.

Taylor Swift and Gracie Abrams, October 18-20

Are you ready for it? Pop icon and Grammy-winning lyricist Taylor Swift will bring the Eras Tour to Miami for three nights in a row. The concert covers anthems from her entire music career, including her latest studio album “The Tortured Poets Department.”

Her career-defining tour captivates all with beautiful visuals and stunning dances. Get ready for three hours of fun with Swift’s record-shattering tour that will take you back in time.

Rising star Gracie Abrams will open with emotional singles from her hit album, “The Secret of Us.” Her touching lyricism will make you feel all the feels.

Tickets can be purchased through SeatGeek.

There is no shortage of thrilling shows in the Magic City. Be on the lookout for any surprise gigs from your favorite artists this fall or special guests before Grammys season.