Most Controversial Columns of the 2000s Kay-Ann Henry

The opinion section has always served as a sanctuary for some, an open space in the media world where you can argue your beliefs. Throughout the history of our newspaper, our opinion section has received some pretty cool and outlandish articles from students giving their opinion on the war in Iraq to new dorms. It’s impossible to tell you all of our most controversial topics but we have compiled a list of 10 articles in no particular order that definitely raised the eyebrows of our editors and campus community.

1. Sex Should Stay Out of the Stacks

Written in 2011, then-freshman Taylor Duckett gave her opinion on students having sex in the infamous Stacks part of the library. We don’t know if current students are still continuing this odd tradition but we’re pretty sure you agree with Duckett when she says “No one wants to be studying in the stacks only to hear two people in the heat of the moment; that’s just wrong.”

2. A staff divided: Chick-fil-A on campus

Considering that this decision to have Chick-fil-A on our campus has come up several times, it’s safe to say that UM has always loved the food chain. In 2012, writers of TMH staff mused about whether the school should make a political stand or listen to students. Our Coral Gables’ campus still does not have a Chick-fil-A on campus.

3. English is the standard and not the exception

Living in Miami means constantly hearing Spanish and feeling the need to speak it. Then-senior Whitney Friedrich mused about her journey trying to get a job and feeling ostracized because she did not speak Spanish. She made some controversial comments like “Incidentally, you might be interested to know that Spanish is not as global a language as people in Miami would like to think.” This article was written in 2003.

4. Please, President Shalala, let football be a major

UM has always been fervent and enthusiastic about our football team so much that in 2002, a student wrote an article calling for further support for football players and to make football a major at the U. Then-junior Travis Atria was quite serious too and gave good points; he said “Many of these guys are here only to get a job in the NFL someday, just like many music students are here to get a job in an orchestra.” Though football is still not a major, we’re sure there would be many in support today.

5. Eating cookies at the table of brotherhood

In our series called Two Views, One Issue, this 2004 article focused on affirmative action and a debate about it among minority and political groups on campus. Members of conservative group ACT hosted an affirmative action bake sale in the UC Breezeway, selling baked goods at discounted rates to Hispanics and blacks while charging higher prices to Asians and whites. Members of groups like UBS, COISO and SpectUM reacted by allowing students to donate those baked goods. Writer Ben Minkus criticized the members of UBS, COISO and SpectrUM for neglecting an opportunity for debate.

6. Give the new guys a chance, don’t hold on to Kappa Sigma’s past

Written in 2013, then-sophomore Jordan Coyne asks readers not to hold on to Kappa Sigma’s history of hazing and look at current fraternities in a new light after an article was published on Wordpress asking students not to forget the hazing death associated with them. On November 2002, freshman Chad Meridith died after drowning in Lake Osceola in hazing-related incident.

7. Racial profiling necessary in times of conflict

Student Whitney Friedrich talks about how racial profiling is necessary after a profiling incident occurred on campus involving three minority medical students in 2002. She argues that in light of the 9/11 attacks “Everyone was so free that we forgot about our enemies.”

8. Trump’s North Korea rhetoric might actually be what America needs

In the aftermath of Trump’s election, a different but poignant piece came from then-freshman Alexandra Aiello in 2017. She offered a new take on his rhetoric, arguing that his stance is what we need to better relations. Perhaps her most quotable moment was “Are name-calling and back and forth altercations with the North Korean dictator really going to get the United States what it wants?­ It might.”

9. Fraternity celebrates diversity: ‘We have white guys from all over the country’

In this satirical piece by then-sophomore Conner Barrett in 2016, the issue of diversity in UM’s frats is brought to light. He criticizes some of UM’s most known frats by making fun of their lack of representation. Three years later, we know this article will prove to be a good laugh for all.

10. Brett Kavanaugh changed my vote

Everyone was talking about Brett Kavanaugh and whether or not he would be appointed to the Supreme Court, including our writers. In 2018, then-freshman David Gordon told us how the Kavanaugh confirmation process gave him “a feeling of resentment toward the Democratic party.”


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