Page 1

the

magazine of the students of

the university of miami

november 2017

Drag Race

A personal and social movement

Mangia: Indulge in Pasta Face of Miami: Undefined


the

magazine of the students of

the university of miami

november 2017

Mangia

Indulge in Italy’s famous cuisine

Faces of UM: Undefined Drag Race: A Movement


the

magazine of the students of

the university of miami

november 2017

Face of Miami A Student Perspective

Drag Race: A Movement Mangia: Indulge in Pasta


only %ff for o you!

0 1

Valid at Sunset location: 7315 S Red Rd. Coral Gables, FL 33143 Cannot be combined with any other offer


IN THIS NOV.

ISSUE 25 32

8 Campus Culture 10 Museum Guide 11

38 13

Miami Flea

18

Mangia

Get ready to indulge in too many types of pasta to count – you can never go overboard with this Italian specialty.

If you love the U as much as we do, you’ll be happy to know we have all the weekly events in line for you. Don’t miss out!

2

DISTRACTION

Introduction

Religious Landscape

by 36 Diversity the Dollar

Pescatarian Please

8

Face of Miami

18 18

Greetings

39 A New America the 40 Living World

32

Religion is one of the most important aspects of identity – explore some of the least talked about faiths.


sections THE GUIDE 7

IN THE LOOP 12

HEALTH & WELLNESS 43

SPECIAL SECTION: DIVERSITY 24

FASHION 52

MAIN EVENT 63

64

A Divided Nation

69

Drag Race

69

44 Get Your Fizz On 48 Embrace the Ugly Apple

As a divine study break, bath bombs are a special relaxation technique. Learn how to make your own!

52

Between Me & Hue

to 59 Trash Treasure

59

45

It may be hard, but sometimes you find killer pieces at the trendy nieghborhood consignment shop. Discover how to style your look with another person’s leftovers.

Drag culture is more than just fun makeup and performances – learn how this bold community speaks up for LGBTQ rights.

November 2017 DISTRACTION

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november 2017

Letter from the

distractionmagazine.com

WHAT’S SOMETHING NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU? Editor-in-Chief_Marissa Vonesh Executive Editor_Teddy Willson Managing Editor_Lizzie Wilcox I’ve broken both Art Directors_Alexa Aguilar & Lauren Bruno my legs Photo Editor_ Sidney Sherman Illustrations Director_Ana Gonzalez Assistant Art Directors_Mel Brooks & Ellen Kiser Assistant Photo Editor_Josie Merkert Copy Chief_Patricia Santana I am a brown belt The Guide Editor_Kayla Foster in Karate I used to be a In The Loop Editor_Lindsey Bornstein computer science major Diversity Editor_Emily Powell Health and Wellness Editor_Anna Redmond Fashion Editor_Lauren Gimpel Assistant Fashion Editor_Sharon Meir, Jade Simmons & Agustin Arellano The Main Event Editor_Thalia Garcia I’ve been to Disney Public Relations Manager_Gabby Rosenbloom World 19 times Assistant PR Manager_Elizabeth Pozzuoli I sang the national anthem at Madison Distribution Assistant_Ryan Fitzpatrick Square Garden Business Manager_Kyle Kingma Assistant Business Manager_Neha Baddam Faculty Adviser_Randy Stano

DISTRACTIONMAGAZINE.COM Online Editorial Coordinator_Kami Knaudt Online Managing Editor_Thalia Garcia Online Copy Chief_Jorge Chabo Online Culture Editor_Gregory O’Bannon Online Fashion Editor_Allegra Turner Student Life Editor_Jennifer Mejias Online Food Editor_Kristin Zheng Online Sports Editor_Phillip Russomanno

CONTRIBUTORS Skyler Trager, Designer Danielle Glassman, Designer Muguang Chen, Designer Jamie Tamkin, Designer Nicole Manfrini, Designer Dana Musso, Designer Mariana Osorio, Designer Tom Potter, Designer Dani Calderon, Designer

Shellie Frai, Writer Kelvine Moyers, Writer Bruna Fernandes da Silva, Writer Uche Onyiuke, Writer Madison George, Writer, PR Gina Fleites, Writer Kay Ann Henry, Writer Callie Jardine, Writer Isabella Vaccaro, Writer

Anya Balsamides, Writer Qiheng Jiang, Photographer Sasha Manning, Photographer Gianna Sanchez, Photographer Patrick Ruvo, Photographer Mekenzie Bradley, PR Blake Warman, PR Eliana Litos, PR Emma Chozick, PR

When it comes to contributors, we’re not picky. Whether you’ve found your niche in a bio book, you’re notorious for doing “nothing” at the comm or business school or you’re halfway into your college career and still wave that “undeclared major” flag, we want to hear what you have to say. Distraction is an extracurricular/volunteer operation made for students, by students, and covers the full spectrum of student life here at The U. If you want to get involved or have any questions, comments or concerns email our editor-in-chief, Asmae Fahmy, at distraction@miami.edu. The magazine is produced four times per year, twice a semester. City Graphics and Bellack Miami printed 8,000 copies of the magazine on 8.5 x 11 inch, 60-pound coated text paper 4/4. The entire magazine is printed four-color and perfect bound. Most text is nine-point Minion Pro with 9.8 points of leading set ragged with a combination of bold, medium and italic. All pages were designed using Adobe Creative Suite CC software InDesign with photographs and artwork handled in Photoshop and Illustrator. For additional information, please visit distractionmagazine.com. Questions and comments can be mailed to 1330 Miller Drive, Student Media Suite 202A, Coral Gables, FL, 33146, dropped into SSC Student Media Suite Suite 200 or emailed to distraction@miami.edu. All articles, photographs and illustrations are copyrighted by the University of Miami.

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DISTRACTION

Introduction

EDITOR

Unlike a lot of my peers, when I came to the University of Miami, diversity was not even on my radar. Raised in a small, granola town in Northern Ariz., I was barely exposed to the type of people I would come to experience at the university and in the city. Before attending UM, I innocently thought every black individual was African American - it didn’t cross my mind they could be from Latin America let alone a country in Africa itself. The culture shock and exposure has been the biggest blessing I’ve been granted during my time here. One of the main things I have realized is that diversity is so much more than ethnicity. Diversity is thought, economics, hobbies, majors – it is everything that makes us a unique individual. This concept inspired me to have the first issue of the year themed “Diversity.” Make sure to read the personal perspectives of UM students in Face of Miami (page 25) or expose yourself to the ways America is changing in (page 39). If you are adjusting to Miami and feel as naive as I did, read our guide to campus activities (page 8) or check out one of Miami’s newest cultural events, the Miami Flea (13). Additionally, this issue distraction featured two prominent topics: food waste (page 48) and LGBTQ voices (page 69). If you are like me and are about to #adult, it’s increasingly important to learn about the ways in which our actions and culture effect the world and other people. As I finish my first issue as EIC, bagged eyes, a debt to the Shalala Center Starbucks, an increased love for my incredibly talented staff and all, I hope you enjoy the topics, stories and art as much as we did. Indulge and get #distracted.


THE ELEMENTS THE COVERS: THE NOVEMBER ISSUE art direction & photo_sidney sherman. William Evans by day, Miss Toto by night. This personal trainer transformed in front of our eyes – and our lens – from muscle man to beauty queen. Teddy Willson and Marissa Vonesh had the pleasure of meeting Miss Toto at a film/drag perf ormance on campus. She works the runway and she worked the camera for photo editor Sidney Sherman. Her fierce personality and bold maquillage makes her the perfect distraction cover girl. Seriously, her contour and highlight game is on

fleek. Sidney Sherman had Miss Toto arrive at the shoot as William Evans. Slowly, we watched him change into her. First putting makeup over his real eyebrows, and drawing new ones on his forehead. Once the glue from the fake eyelashes dry, she is ready to be the voice of the LGBTQ community. Miss Toto helps the distraction team bring to light drag culture, which is becoming not only more and more popular, but also accepted.

art direction_alexa aguilar & marissa vonesh. photo_sidney sherman. Miami is one of the most culturally, racially and religiously diverse cities in the United States. That assortment of backgrounds is magnified through the University of Miami student body. From eye color to skin tone to hair volume to everything in between, the team tried to capture as many “faces of Miami” as possible. No two students are exactly alike in both features and backgrounds. Photo editor Sidney Sherman had all the students dress the same for the

photo shoot. The similarity of their outfits juxtaposes their vast array of upbringings. This issue celebrates the individuality of each Miami Hurricane. Every person’s inimitable life story makes up this eclectic student body. We are Christian, Jewish, Orthodox, black, Asian, Middle Eastern, wealthy and on financial aid. There are so many factors that separate us, but we all coexist.

art direction_marissa vonesh, alexa aguilar, ana gonzalez, teddy willson, & sidney sherman. photo_sidney sherman. Talk about a carbo-load. We scoured Miami for fresh pasta and cooked all of it – even more than is featured in “Mangia.” Not to toot our own horn, but the final result was some damn good looking pasta. Maybe not “Straight Out of Italy” quality, but the PR team asked us what restaurant we got the dishes from. #DomesticAF. Illustration director Ana Gonzalez showed off her culinary gift by making squid ink pasta – a woman of many talents.

Photography queen Sidney Sherman was able to get the perfect spacing and positioning for all the dishes by shooting from a bird’s eye angle of the noodles. Doing a food cover is always fun because, for once, we are allowed to play with our food. Sorry not sorry if this story gives you major carb cravings. If you are in dire need of a quick pasta fix, check out the sidebar for a Tomato Basil Spaghetti recipe.

BEHIND THE SCENES

PASTA ESSENTIALS ARE PLACED TO BE SHOT. RIGHT:

EDITOR IN CHIEF, MARISSA VONESH, INTERVIEWS NIR SHOSHANI OF NR INVESTMENTS AT THE MIAMI FLEA.

SIDNEY S. PHOTOGRAPHS MISS TOTO WHILE SHE GETS READY.

ABOVE:

SIDNEY S. PLACES STUDENTS FOR THE FACE OF MIAMI SHOOT.

November 2017 DISTRACTION

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IF

NOT

NOW

W HEN 6

DISTRACTION

Apply to join the award-winning staff of distracion, the only completely student run UM lifestyle magazine. If you enjoy writing, designing, illustrating, photogrpahy, video, sales, or PR, contact the Editor-in-Chief, Marissa Vonesh, at mxv348@miami.edu. Anyone is welcome to contribute. Online opportunities as well!

The Guide


THE GUIDE The Guide captures the thoughts of the Miami hipster and slaps them on a page. This one is for your inner self that craves to be the friend with all the answers, whether that means knowing all the best low-key coffee shops or subtly setting what will become the coolest trends across campus. Despite being so in-the-know, pretentious is not in The Guide reader’s vocabulary. Starbucks is out, and real typewriters are in – and if you ever need a suggestion for the best kombucha on the market, The Guide has you covered.

November 2017 DISTRACTION

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CAMPUS CULTURE MON. MON.

TUES.

words_emily powell. photo_patrick ruvo & qiheng jiang. design_ellen kiser.

The University of Miami is incomparable to any other college, due to its tropical vibes, photogenic campus and diverse student body. All of these perks and quirks shine during the weekly events that bring our community together and foster the unrivaled ‘Canes spirit. Distraction has the latest on the campus’ weekly events that remind us all why it’s great to be a Miami Hurricane.

MON. MON. THURS.

TUES. TUES.

WED. WED.

Lunch (N’ Learn) Munch

Trivia Tuesdays

Salsa Craze

From 12 to 1 p.m. every Monday, Hillel hosts a lunch and teaches about various aspects of Judaism, such as the meaning of excerpts from the Torah or the history and tradition of an upcoming holiday.

Grab a group of friends, invent the craziest team name you can think of and grab a glider for Trivia Tuesday #AtTheRat. Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., students flock to the Rat in hopes of winning general trivia. Prizes are even given to winning teams.

Salsa dancing goes hand in hand with South Florida and lucky for us, Salsa Craze offers classes at 6:30 p.m. in the UC. All skill levels, are welcome to come. The initial $25 fee gives students a semester’s worth of classes. Classes are also offered at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays.

WED. MONTHLY WED.

Multicultural Student Affairs Real Talk

THURS. THURS.

FRI. FRI.

MSA Real Talk is a recurring event that offers students the opportunity to voice their feelings towards trending topics. Sessions are held from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Visit the MSA website (www.miami.edu/msa) for a full listing of the dates. Students engage in MSA’s monthy Real Talk, dicussing challenging topics.

8

FRI. FRI.

DISTRACTION

The Guide

MONTHLY MONTHLY

Students take a break from class and enjoy the weekly Wednesday farmer’s market.


TUES. TUES.

WED.

THURS. Student’s enjoy the Rat’s Tuesday Trivia. Trivia allows students to form teams and compete for prizes.

Tips and Tricks Students are constantly gifted with opportunities. Here are a few:

THURS. THURS.

FRI.

Patio Jams

DJ Fridays #ATTHERAT

Patio Jams is held on the UC Lakeside Patio at 12:15 p.m. and ending at 1:30 p.m. Whether you show up early to secure a table or just take in the music as you walk to class, Patio Jams is the best way to brighten your Thursdays. Plus, there’s a different local artist each week

While winding down from a difficult week at school, enjoy live music from DJ K9 and Eche Palante, both current UM students, 4 to 7 p.m. each Friday. Get a pitcher or a plate of No-Yes Fries and start your weekend right at the Rat.

MONTHLY MONTHLY

The competition begins as student’s participate in the Rat’s weekly trivia.

Each student enrolled in the University is provided with free peer tutoring. Tutors are available throughout each day and in nearly every subject. If there is not a tutor available, the student can request one through GradesFirst on CaneLink.

MONTHLY

UM’s counseling center provides free counseling services to any person enrolled at the university twice a month. The center promotes outreach and prevention. Some students are ambassadors of the clothing store, Express. These students hold four events each semester offering free food while distributing freebies and discounts. Students are allowed to buy one football ticket for $15 for the student section, which is perfect if a friend is visiting for game day. To purchase tickets, go to the Will Call office at the Watsco Center with a Cane Card.

November 2017 DISTRACTION

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MUSEUM GUIDE

FROST

words_thalia garcia. photo_sasha manning. design_ana gonzalez.

Beach bag in hand, swimsuit on and a torrential downpour – sound familiar? On days when you can’t simply lounge at the pool or the beach, Miami still has plenty of alternatives. The city has incredible museums and exhibits to explore, no sun required.

PAMM Perez Art Museum Miami

1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami Admission (for students with ID): $12.00 If you haven’t already visited the Perez Art Museum Miami, you haven’t fully embraced your inner Miami tourist. The tour starts outside of the museum with the building’s incredible architecture. The museum is located on the water and provides an amazing view of the city and museum park. The exhibits include various forms of contemporary and modern visual art, from paintings to sculptures to works that use sound, light and video. Some of the current exhibits include work by artists Jorge M. Perez and Haroon Mirza.

CRUZ de la Cruz Collection

Admission: Free Location: 23 NE 41st St., Miami The de la Cruz Collection is a fantastic display of contemporary art. The pieces are bold and large, often reaching the high ceilings of the building. The current exhibition, “Progressive Praxis,” features work by an expansive group of artists who have had technology influence their work and livelihood. The collection focuses on how these artists are connecting to the ever-changing technology of today’s world.

10 DISTRACTION The Guide

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Admission: $28.00 ($23.80 with proof of Miami-Dade Residency) Location: 1101 Biscayne Blvd., Miami As the newest addition to Miami’s museums, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science gives visitors a chance to take a break from art and explore science instead. The current exhibits showcase the mechanics of flight, marine life and the composition of our ecosystems. The museum is complete with a dome screen planetarium, offering anyone with a ticket access to shows.

Lowe Art Museum

LOWE

Admission (for students w/ ID): Free Location: 1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables Even though it is located directly on campus, many UM students have never visited the Lowe Art Museum. You would be doing yourself a disservice if you did not visit this museum. The permanent collection showcases work from all over Asia, Africa, Europe and North and South America. It aims to highlight the culture of those areas and give insight to the historical value of each work. The museum also has temporary collections from well-known artists, such as such as Vik Muniz or Christo.

VIZCAYA Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Admission (for students w/ID): $10.00 Location: 3251 South Miami Ave., Miami If you’re an architecture and interior design fan, you should be interested in visiting the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The bridges, palm trees, mangroves and old architecture make for a praiseworthy experience. Constructed in the 1910s, Vizcaya has been maintained to look like its former century-old appearance. You will feel like you’ve traveled back through time as you wander through the Vizcaya gardens and explore the interior of the Vizcaya mansion.


Pescatarian Please words_kayla foster. photo_josie merkert. design_danielle glassman.

Miami living means beach living, so seafood should be our specialty, right? Here’s five restaurants where the seafood is to di(v)e for.

MesaMar Seafood Table

MesaMar Seafood Table takes a creative spin on seafood by mixing Latin and Asian cuisine. Head chef and owner Lilia “Fifi” Molina uses fresh and locally caught fish and shellfish, bought daily, to create amazing dishes, such as rock shrimp and sweet miso black cod. Menu staples include the mixed seafood ceviche with passion fruit and sashimi dressed in citrus yuzu, ponzu and dry miso. FYI, parking is limited. 264 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables, FL

2

Grove Bay Grill

One of the closest restaurants on this list, Grove Bay Grill in Coconut Grove is a go-to UM favorite. Older residents may know this place as Scotty’s Landing, but if you are new and looking to have a relaxing and casual experience, then this is your place. For those 21 and older, enjoy the tap beer and happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. Come for the shrimp cocktails, crab cakes and live music. The biggest plus: its dog friendly. 3381 Pan American Dr., Coconut Grove GROVE BAY GRILL

3The Spillover As a sibling restaurant to Lokal, Kush and Vicky’s House, The Spillover is another creation from the mind of Matthew Kuscher. Located in Coconut Grove, The Spillover was originally created to be next to Kush (hence the name), but instead The Spillover has a location of its own that focuses only on fish and shellfish. Partnering with local distributers like Trigger Seafood and Johnny Mugs Produce, The Spillover emphasizes fresh and local seafood and produce. Favorites include the crab cake sandwich and Florida fish tacos. The Spillover offers an array of ciders, mead and bottled beer for those 21 or older. Remember to bring your dog when you visit and take advantage of the separate menu for the pups 2911 Grand Ave. Suite 400D, Coconut Grove

4Garcia’s Seafood Grille and Fish Market

Around for more than 20 years, Garcia’s has become a Miami staple. The familyrun restaurant is conveniently located on the Miami River, and is partrestaurant part-fish market. If you are new to the Miami area, try the conch fritters or Garcia’s favorites, such as the mahi-mahi or grouper Caesar salad and sandwich. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, but parking is limited. 398 NW. North River Drive, Miami

5 La Camaronera Seafood Joint and Fish Market

MESAMAR SEAFOOD TABLE

If you have watched Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” then you most likely know how great this seafood spot is. Tucked away in Little Havana, La Camaronera’s locally caught seafood may make your mouth water. For a simple authentic dish try the shrimp empanada, fried on the spot for $3, or the camarones frito combo, served with yellow rice for $15.

a i n r ?” a t a c pe s

A pescatarian does not eat meat or poultry, but does eat fish and shellfish. The word pescatarian comes from the Italian word for fish, pesce. People usually become pescatarians for health or ethical reasons. Being a pescatarian also helps the environment. In a study done by the University of Oxford in 2014, researchers found that fish eaters cause 46 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than diets of people who had at least one serving a meat – now that is convincing for an all fish diet.

“W h at is

1

a

398 NW. North River Drive, Miami

November 2017 DISTRACTION 11


In the p o o L

12 DISTRACTION In the Loop

In the Loop is the yin to The Guide’s yang. Take your favorite, feel-good topics and dig a little deeper. From the delicacies of the foods that everyone knows and loves, to the hobbies that you never knew you would love so much, In the Loop takes what’s in your heart and places them deeper into your mind.


words_marissa vonesh. photo_sidney sherman. design_ana gonzalez & marissa vonesh.

One Sunday a month, a dirt lot in the middle of downtown Miami is transformed into an arena for cultural creatives, foodies and music hipsters alike. At the Miami Flea, sponsored by the Arts & Entertainment District, you’ll find killer pieces and experience a tight-knit community you never knew existed in Miami.

November 2017 DISTRACTION 13


The Miami Flea allows local businesses to share their items and residents to explore eclectic items.

WELCOME to the

Miami Flea

Rows of white tents bustle with women in refurbished denim jackets, men in striped fitted t-shirts, chubby 1-year-olds and dogs with their tongues permanently slopped to the side. A mixture of sizzling beef and woodsy incense wafts through the air.

14 DISTRACTION In the Loop

Velvet Vardo

CULTURAL HUB After buying an 81-unit loft building on North Miami Avenue, Nir Shoshani and Ron Gottesmann, the principals of NR Investments, stood on the building’s rooftop pool and saw a multitude of empty lots and dilapidated buildings nearby. They also noticed a stop for Miami’s metro-mover – one of downtown Miami’s main forms of public transportation. The combination offered an opportunity to build something new, something different: an urban village. “An urban village requires public transit, density, mixed retail and a concept,” Shoshani said. The public transit was already provided, so NR Investments was left with the task of attracting people and vendors to the area. One year – a year filled with conceptualizing and planning – passed and the Arts & Entertainment District was born. A+E creates free, local events, like the Miami Flea, tailored to attract energy to the district. The events are based upon the views of the community which they serve. “We are curating space – creating a neighborhood,” Shoshani said, his voice almost lost amongst the chatter of the spirited Miami Flee crowd. “When community is important to you and not an advantage trick, you allow the community to create it for you.” Beyond nurturing culture, A+E allows local businesses to flourish, as mixed retail shops move into the district and pop-up shops gain enough following to expand. Already nine vendors at the Flea have stores, according to Shoshani.


Rooftop Unplugged Dip your toes into a pool and enjoy some of Miami’s most talented musicians at A+E’s Rooftop Unplugged. After exploring the urbanite Filling Station Lofts, indulge in an intimate concert complete with bulb lights, a view of downtown Miami and other Miami locals. The event happens once a month, and the best part, it is free – all you have to do is RSVP online. Located at 1657 North Miami Avenue. To get there, go to the University Metro Station stop and catch the green or orange line headed North. Get off at Government Station and hop on the Miami Metro-Mover until the School Board Station stop.

THE FLEA The district has already gained massive attention and the lots and buildings that were once abandoned and rundown have been bought out by multiple investors. A+E’s events, too, have captivated and cultivated a following of young urbanite artists. Each Miami Flea features 115 to 120 vendors and the Flea currently receives over 600 applications a month on average. “We always try to have 30 percent new. We ask people to be patient,” said JennyLee Molina, owner of JLPR, a public relations firm in Miami, and the head of production and operation for the Flea. The Flea strives to incorporate vendors with a story, vendors that are driven locally, vendors that donate to a cause, vendors that fit the archetype for the style of community that A+E is attempting to establish. Stephanie Farokhnia, for example, bought a vintage bus from Craigslist and repurposed it into her very own “boutique on wheels.” Farokhnia, propped in a high stool chair outside her bus among racks of lace, denim and leather, looks like a collecting queen. After collecting purses and building her own closet, Farokhnia was inspired to create Stevie Wanders Vintage. The Flea also offers the opportunity for local artists to perform and local restaurants to give the city a taste. The A+E District serves as a bridge between downtown Miami and Wynwood, a popular arts destination. The A+E District looks similar to Wynwood in that they are both investing in culture and art, yet, the development of Wynwood took over

a decade, whereas the A+E District has formed in a matter of years. Furthermore, criticism and the negative impact of gentrification have been heavily documented in Wynwood, such as in Camila Alvarez and Natalie Edgar’s documentary “Right to Wynwood.” The A+E District does not seem to have these patterns. “The area used to be empty plots; no smaller buildings have been destroyed,” Molina said. “Miami Flea is adding to the community, not taking away. It is speaking to community in a way Miami hasn’t known.” Between vendor tents, lawn chairs and picnic tables, Miami locals enjoy the free flea and all it has to offer. Juniors Sofia Estevez and Lucy Alverez grew up in South Florida and have found that the Miami Flea offers a local escape with a unique atmosphere. “Miami Flea showcases the Miami personality,” said Estevez, a junior studying public relations. “I love the vendors and funky performers,” added Alverez, a junior studying public health. Sipping on a cool, sweet lemonade, Estevez and Alverez joked about how the Flea created an atmosphere perfect for young couples with French bulldogs and cute babies. The success of the Flea continues as the A+E District plans to have its third anniversary this November. “We’ve invested sweat, said, grinning and wiping a bead of sweat from his forehead, “money and tears.”

Stevie’s Stage Coach

November 2017 DISTRACTION 15


The Tipsy Gardener is your destination forhandmad gifts and tiny treasures. This pop up shop is full of hand crafted pots with original handwriting to accompany your tiny cactus and personal style.

16 DISTRACTION In the Loop


LOCAL LOGISTICS Where: 1440 N. Miami Ave. When: Second Sunday of the given month i Miam Flea

Getting there Go to the University Metro Station stop and catch the green or orange line headed North. Get off at Government and get on the Miami Metro-Mover until the School Board Station stop. Walk down the street until you hear live music and see people bustling about – enjoy! Lo Case

Tipsy Gardener

November 2017 DISTRACTION 17


18 DISTRACTION In the Loop


words_shellie frai. photo_sidney sherman. design_alexa aguilar & ana gonzalez.

From hearty lasagna to spiraled cellentani, learn about our favorite food, including recipes, historical origins and the best places to indulge in it in Miami.

November 2017 DISTRACTION 19


Best Italian Restaurants in Miami Pane & Vino

1450 Washington Ave, Miami Beach.

Watch the chef make homemade pasta right in front of you. We suggest you order the Spaghetti alla Ruota. Don’t be surprised when they bring you a whole Parmesan wheel with your pasta inside – it’s surely a treat.

Vapiano Miami 1221 Brickell Ave L120, Miami

Every two months, Vapiano changes its creative menu to coincide with the season. Right now, the most notable ingredients include mixed mushrooms, lemon and rosemary, signaling the menu’s shift to a fresher autumn flavor.

Strada in the Grove 3176 Commodore Plaza, Miami

Best known for its extensive wine collection, Strada’s pasta is just as elaborate. The famous homemade Ravioli d’Aragosta is good enough to eat twice. It is stuffed with shrimp and crab confit and topped off with a creamy lobster sauce.

20 DISTRACTION In the Loop


Types of Pasta Penne Gemelli With its pencil point shape, it is clear why its name comes from the Latin word for “feather” or “quill.” The practical design, with ridges on the outside and a smooth inside, allows it to be paired with any type of sauce. Though most commonly made with marinara sauce, it can also used as a side for eggplant Parmesan.

Lasagna Dating back to the Middle Ages, Lasagna is one of the oldest types of pasta around. The traditional flattened dough sheet has been layered with tomato sauce, ricotta cheese and sausage for centuries. The first recipe was recorded in the late 1300s in a British cookbook. If you maintain a vegetarian diet, an alternative to the classic meat lasagna is vegetable lasagna, in which eggplant is substituted for the meat.

Cellentani Paying homage to its DNA-like shape, cellentani translates to “corkscrew” in Italian. A type of macaroni made without eggs, it is a great option for people on a vegan diet. Add a cashew cheese for the ultimate vegan cellentani and cheese dish.

Rigatoni Rigatoni is named after the Italian word for “ridged,” the feature that makes this pasta one of the most unique in the bunch. The ridges are used as a grip that helps the pasta hold onto the sauce. Unlike the outer layer, the inside of this pasta is smooth, allowing for maximum slurping potential. Because of the structure, rigatoni is most commonly paired with a chunky sauce, like a meaty Bolognese or sausage and vegetable medley.

One of the most intricate pastas, gemelli, is Italian for “twins,” referring to the two tubes that appear to twist around one another. Gemelli is actually made, however, as one long s-shaped strand that is twisted into a spiral. Gemelli is traditionally made for cold pasta salads and casseroles. Add cherry tomatoes, asparagus and olive oil for a simple, yet delectable gemelli dish.

Farfalle While some say this pasta is shaped like a bow tie, we can guess that farfalle was originally meant to resemble a butterfly, since farfalle means just that in Italian. Because of its small shape, the pasta clings well to cheese, making it the perfect companion for melted mozzarella.

Conchiglie Resembling the English word “conch” and meaning “seashell” in Italian, this shell-like pasta makes for the perfect fresh seafood medley. The ridges on the outside and the smooth, bowllike interior are able to hold as much sauce as possible. Because of its sturdy structure, this pasta is most commonly stuffed with fish or cheese.

Spaghetti The most classic type of pasta, as well as one of the most difficult to eat, is spaghetti. Because of its long and thin form, spaghetti can be made with almost any sauce. Eat it with a creamy Alfredo or fresh tomato sauce, or even add some zucchini or hearty meatballs. November 2017 DISTRACTION 21


Tomato Basil Spaghetti tomato paste By placing your pasta atop a bed of tomato paste, it is easy to get the perfect pasta to sauce ratio in every bite.

balsamic Adding balsamic glaze is an easy and delicious way to dress up your dish. A few dots on the side is all you need of this rich condiment to get the full impact of its flavor.

22 DISTRACTION In the Loop

basil

MATERIALS 1 box of dry spaghetti pasta 3 tablespoons of olive oil 1 tablespoon of butter 1 pinch of red-pepper flakes 16 ounce can of tomato purĂŠe 2 tablespoons Parmesan 2 teaspoons balsamic glaze 3 basil leaves salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat olive-oil and butter in a skillet. 2. Add tomato purĂŠe, salt, pepper and red-pepper flakes. 3. Turn heat to medium-high and simmer sauce for 15 minutes. 4. Boil a pot of water and add the pasta. 5. Cook al dente, then drain the pasta 6. Add the pasta to the sauce. 7. Garnish with cheese, basil & balsamic.

Whether you decide to rip it into small pieces and mix it throughout the pasta or keep the leaves intact on the side, basil will add just the right touch of freshness to your dish.


Distraction PHOTOGRAPHY DESIGN | WRITING BUSINESS | PR OPEN TO ALL SKILL LEVELS INTERESTED? EMAIL THE EDITOR IN CHIEF, MARISSA, AT MXV348@MIAMI.EDU

WE A

WE ARE INNOVATORS INNOVA CREATIVES PROBLEM SOLVERS CREA A PROBLEM S C E SO

ASC

American Society of Civil Engineers serves as a bridge for civil, architectural, and environmental engineering students in their development and advancement as professional engineers.

Meetings Monday 7:00 p.m. | MEA 202

asce.studorg@miami.edu November 2017

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SPECIAL SECTION

The Special Section is not for the understated. It is eclectic, dorky, unique, educational and well rounded. Read on for our unsolicited two cents on this issue’s chosen topic: diversity – its pros and cons, the hard to talk about and the struggles that follow our students, despite the flaunting of diversity as one of our university’s main pillars.

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THE FACE

OF MIAMI words_ kelvine moyers. photo_sidney sherman. design_alexa aguilar.

Diversity is a word that is greatly emphasized around campus. Students, professors and the administration praise its existence in and outside of the classroom here at the U. This word is powerful – it’s influential enough to be highlighted in school advertising campaigns and even sway prospective students. But what does diversity actually look like on campus and who is the face of UM? November 2017 DISTRACTION 25


MILIND KHURANA While some people embrace diversity, some people allow their fear of difference to overpower them. If this fear of diversity is maintained and left uncorrected, it can ultimately foster intolerance and hostility. Milind “Mili” Khurana, a junior at UM who identifies as Indian, encountered such intolerance this past August. While Khurana was out with his friends at the Grove, a minor confrontation escalated, leading to a stranger calling him a terrorist. The stranger continued to provoke Khurana by making explosion hand motions towards him. “You always hear stories of things like this in America and you think, ‘Well, this wouldn’t really happen to me.’ …When it actually happened, I

IT WAS COOL TO SEE THAT I COULD STILL PARTICIPATE IN MY CULTURE AND DO ALL OF THESE DIFFERENT EVENTS AT UM AWAY FROM HOME was honestly just furious and it wasn’t until later that I felt kind of sad. It is a truth that sometimes no matter how much you assimilate, change yourself to fit in, or try to be careful…there are people that will literally just see you as a stereotype,” Khurana said. To combat this type of ignorance and stereotyping, Khurana works closely with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) to educate students about tolerance, inclusion and open-mindedness. Over the summer he helped coordinate a multicultural pre-orientation program for incoming freshmen. More than 300 students attended the event. “I think by doing more of these kinds of programs that MSA does like the different cultural pop ups, booths, activities, shows, and events …. and bringing more culturally inclusive activities to UM you can start showing people what it is different cultures are about and maybe that will stop someone from calling someone else a terrorist because they can see we aren’t so

different,” he said. Khurana grew up in Sebring, Fla., a town that wasn’t very diverse outside of the small Indian community. Khurana recalls that the Indian population in the town “had to stick together” as a result of the size. “We [did] a lot of things together – pray, celebrate...we did Bali celebrations, Holi celebrations and my parents forced me to go to temple whenever they could. Personally, I am not very religious, but it’s still nice to celebrate culture and celebrate tradition,” he added. Holi, commonly referred to as the “festival of colors,” is a Hindu celebration that signifies the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil. Every year, the Indian Students Association (ISA) hosts a Holi on the Foote Green for students to partake in. “It was cool to see that I could still participate in my culture and do all of these different events at UM away from home… It’s also really great to put on these different events on campus and expose the rest of UM to the culture. I know a lot of people who aren’t in ISA or who aren’t Indian come out to learn, have fun and see the celebrations,” states Khurana. Since being in Miami, Khurana has discovered a passion for activism and social justice. Originally a pre-med neuroscience major, Khurana switched to pre-law and added on a political science major. “I decided I wasn’t in love with medicine… you really have to love it. I found my interest more in social justice, activist things which I feel like I could do more with through law,” he confessed. Taking his political interests outside of the classroom, Khurana has participated in several protests around campus including Black Lives Matter and an anti-hate march. “While [the anti-hate march] was going on I was studying for an organic chemistry test that I was having in two hours. I was in the lounge and I saw it pass us so I was like, ‘Screw it, I don’t know it.’ I left all of my stuff there and I joined the protest,” Khurana recalls.

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Jordan Lewis, freshman, and Kelli Finnegan, junior.

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Kyle Johnson, senior, and Kristion Matas, sophomore.

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OCTAVIO KPOTOGBE

ASHA ALLAN

Our minds have been primed to unconsciously relate diversity to race and ethnicity. For most of us, the traditional definition of diversity is the variety of ethnic backgrounds. However, diversity can be measured across many variables and intersections. Freshman Octavio “Tavio” Kpotogbe has a different angle on what diversity really means. “Diversity can apply to ideas, fashion, the way someone talks, their demeanor, how they act, all of those things. Just because you see someone with a white skin tone doesn’t mean they aren’t diverse,” Kpotogbe said. Kpotogbe was born in Togo, Africa until he later moved to Decatur, Georgia where he was raised. The transition from Decatur to Miami exposed him to a new cultural environment. “Where I come from in DeKalb County, it’s all black. The moment I stepped off the plane [in Miami] I started hearing all of these languages. I remember move-in day we went to Walmart and it was just filled with Hispanics. I was like, ‘Wow, this is different,’” Kpotogbe said. Instead of being intimidated by this change in atmosphere, Kpotogbe chose to embrace it. “I already knew that I wanted to explore. It was time for me to see the real world,” he explained.

Just like Khurana, Asha Allan is an undergraduate political science major on the pre-law track. “I love politics, and the political climate that’s going on right now is so important,” she said. “If you have a voice, you need to be educated on what you’re speaking on. You can’t just have a stance on something with no credible evidence, so that’s why I chose political science,” she said. Allan was born and raised in Miami and doesn’t plan on leaving the city anytime soon. “I want to raise my kids here and I want to have my career here,” she said without hesitation. “In Miami, it’s a melting pot and I want my children to experience that.” With cultural hubs such as Little Havana and Little Haiti, Miami provides exposure that is difficult to attain elsewhere. “You can go to any area in Miami and find a different person or two people who look the same and they are still completely different. I feel like when you go somewhere else you don’t really find that,” Allan said. When traveling outside of Miami, Allan, who is Jamaican and Guyanese, has encountered people who are less tolerant of her race and ethnicity. Recently, she and her Moroccan-Italian boyfriend traveled to Orlando for a wedding. “People were staring at me so weird. Like, ‘Oh my god a black girl with him?’ But down here it’s completely normal because people have a wider perspective and larger tolerance … Miami kind of breeds that,” she said.

UM undergrad students come from 50 different states, 3 territories, and 104 countries

42%

BREAKDOWN OF STUDENTS FROM THE U.S. It is impossible to walk around campus without constantly being reminded of the sheer amount of diversity within our student body. Here’s a breakdown of the many faces of Miami. Source: 2016 Fact Book

20%

6%

an gl En ew

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ut h So

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BREAKDOWN OF STUDENT AREAS OF STUDY Students here at Miami explore a variety of majors and minors. Here’s a breakdown of just how diverse our students’ interests are. Source: 2016 Fact Book Architecture Marine Science

Music Nursing

5%

8%

40%

Communication

9% %

Business

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Education

Arts & Sciences

4%

With less than one percent of the UM community identifying as Native American, Texan Allison Cawthon has grown accustomed to always being the minority. “There were very few Native Americans in my high school… 65 percent of my high school was from another country – specifically China or India,” she said. “A lot of my math classes I would be the only person who wasn’t from China or India, so sometimes they would be hesitant to work with me.” Cawthon’s mother is a Choctaw Indian and her father is a Cherokee. Due to the lack of a community rich in Native American influence, Cawthon didn’t associate with either of her family tribes until junior year of high school. “I didn’t have a lot of Native American aspects in my life. My grandmother never told my mom she was Native American until she was almost 30,” she said. Cawthon attributes that to the oppression her grandmother’s generation endured for being Native American. “My grandmother growing up … was shunned by all of her neighbors. Her mom wouldn’t let her go outside because she would get darker and the other kids wouldn’t play with her. She didn’t really want anything to do with it because it was considered a bad thing. Both of them have just started opening up about being Native American and started being proud of it, but it took a long time,” she explained.

Sasha Manning, freshman, and Allison Cawthon, junior.

4%

ALLISON CAWTHON

Cawthon now considers herself an active member of the Native American community. For the last two summers, she has worked at the Chickasaw Art Academy as an assistant vocal instructor. On campus, she is a member of the Native American Heritage club, which she hopes to take over now that the former president has graduated. “I am looking to at least make sure it happens again... November is Native American Heritage Month and I would really like to do something special this year on Miami’s campus, so everyone can see that Native Americans are here now,” Cawthon said. With only six members in the Native American Heritage club, Cawthon hopes to recruit more students this year. However, the issue is that there aren’t that many Native Americans enrolled at UM. One way Choctaw believes UM can combat this is by hiring a recruiter to support and encourage prospective Native American students. “It is difficult when there are so few of us here. By the end of my time here at Miami I would really like to see more Native Americans on campus. There are tribes so close to here that Miami could go out there and talk to the students and present ways they could come to campus,” she said.

22

Sophomore Sam Medina was born and raised in Melrose Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago that is 69.6 percent Hispanic according to City Data. While most of her friends had either cats or dogs as pets, Medina’s family opted for untraditional pets such as goats, ducks and fish. Prior to living in Ill., both of Medina’s parents resided in central Mexico. “My parents missed the ranch life ... having ranch animals here reminds them of home,” she said. This lifestyle, along with her predominately Hispanic community, served as a link to her Mexican heritage. When Medina first arrived in Miami, she felt as though her Mexican culture was overshadowed by other Latin cultures. “Back at home the culture was predominately Mexican. Here, Miami is predominately Cuban and other central American cultures so I feel like my identity gets muddled in it,” she said. When she met just three other Mexican students, Medina became motivated to learn about cultures outside of the Latin American umbrella. One activity that allows Medina to explore other cultures is UJhoom, the Bollywood hip-hop fusion dance team here on campus. When competition season begins in the springtime, Medina and her teammates dress in vibrantly colored garbs and head to the stage to showcase their talents. The music they dance to ranges from “intense, upbeat south Indian beats” to “dramatic lyrical songs.” Medina began learning an assortment of ethnic dances in high school by involving herself in cultural shows. “My school was very into dance,” she said. “Not all of us were good at it but we liked to dance to represent who we are.” As a result, Medina knows Indian classics, Korean traditional dances, Latin style movements and traditional Nigerian dances. Recently, she was invited to perform at a Pakistani wedding, which was her first time experiencing Pakistani culture. “I try my best to be open-minded and learn more about others. I think you learn a lot about somebody’s culture just by dancing with them. Movements and sounds can really describe the type of feel you get from a culture,” said

Medina. To her, the key to diversity is the intermingling of cultures. Although there are over a hundred foreign countries represented in the student body, it is easy for these groups to self-segregate which Medina believes can be “detrimental” to the college environment. “[UM] might advertise themselves as diverse, but I feel like since it’s so segregated culturally it’s not as diverse as it should be,” Medina said. “Diversity should be about embracing differences and connecting with others through similarities. A reason I connect a lot with Indian culture is because Mexican and Indian culture are both very colorful, very bright, very vibrant and our food is also very spicy.”

2% 3%

SAMANTHA MEDINA

Engineering


CACHAY BYRD Another Miami native, Cachay Byrd has lived in the area her entire life. Being the oldest of four children, she decided that staying near her family would be the smartest decision. “Not only was it a financial decision, but I felt that I was at a place where I wanted to be comfortable. I didn’t feel the need to run off and go somewhere else when I had the support here,” Byrd said. Byrd’s original school of choice was Duke University, about 830 miles from Miami. “I spent about two weeks at Duke doing a shadowing program and felt like I had made no connections to anybody,” she recalled. However, after spending just three days on the UM campus, Byrd felt right at home. “I felt like I was already a part of something larger than what I had felt when I visited other schools… Like I had a part in a community,” Byrd said. Coming from a local private school where 74 out of 80 students in her graduating class were of Latin-American heritage, Byrd paid great attention to diversity statistics to ensure she would be entering an environment with an assortment of backgrounds and perspective. “To me UM takes it to the next level. There is diversity in values, styles of learning, styles of teaching, diversity in the way we go about doing things,” Byrd said. “If you take a step back you realize that when [UM] says they are diverse, it doesn’t mean just the skin color of the students that go there.”

FRANKIE HEDGEPETH Frankie Hedgepeth agrees with Medina on her view that groups on campus are at times segregated, only socializing within their circles. “You see fraternities that are 98 percent white and you see all of the NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council) fraternities are all black… They aren’t going around saying, ‘I’m uncomfortable being around people who don’t look like me,’ but the message is the same ... No one wants to admit that maybe they’re not as egalitarian,” he said. His solution to this issue is exposure. “Exposure is the most effective way that people end up changing. I think it’s very easy to make assumptions about people you don’t know and groups you

don’t know. That’s the benefit of being in a place like this where people are so different from each other,” Hedgepeth said. Hedgepeth has taken advantage of the diversity on campus and formed a friend group that is an amalgam of various identities. “I have found people from different groups that are comfortable and willing to step out of their homogenous groups and interact with other people. It’s been a slow process finding people that I really connect with but … I’ve built better relationships than I would have had I just met people over shallow points of connection,” he said. Hedgepeth believes his hometown of Silver Spring, Md. plays a big role in the way he interacts with others. “The city that I grew up in is very racially, socioeconomically, and religiously diverse and tolerant. There was a lot of different options of the kind of people you could bump into and the kind of people you could meet. Also, I think as a person it’s just a part of my personality that I am interested in learning things,” Hedgepeth said. He hopes to challenge the way people think about diversity. Specifically, this summer he worked with freshmen at a “diversify your college experience” orientation workshop. “The beginning of this semester was the most excited I’ve ever been. Just because a lot of the things that are important to me … I’m finally getting opportunities to improve or to study. The diversity thing is a huge one – I think I’ll be able to point out these things that are very striking to me and don’t seem that striking to other people,” Hedgepeth stated.

weather. “I was very excited to come to Miami... hearing different languages spoken on campus and seeing people who didn’t look like me… I was excited to break out of that white suburbia shell and expose myself to all of these different cultures,” he said. Klar has taken advantage of the various multicultural organizations on campus. He is chair of Unity Roundtable and an active member of both United Black Students (UBS) and the Federacion de Estudiantes Cubanos (FEC). “I did homecoming with UBS freshman year, which was probably strange for some people that were watching a white kid doing O-Cheer with UBS, but that community has supported me and given me so much … I think it’s a real shame when people don’t go outside of their comfort zone and try to find people who don’t look like them,” he said. “There is so much great synergy that can happen from diversifying your friend group. You’re exposed to so many other ideas and notions that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t diversify your experience.” Despite the drastic change in environment, Klar doesn’t yearn for his Wisconsin lifestyle. The opportunities and events on campus have kept him busy. “I am constantly learning and trying to have discussions about different people’s experiences in life that I don’t really miss the comfort of Wisconsin,” he said. “I experienced it for 18 years and I get to go home to it whenever I want. I’m too comfortable with the uncomfortable to be really that homesick.”

ALEX KLAR

OUR FACES

Alex Klar is a third year student at UM who was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wis. Unlike Hedgepeth who grew up in a diverse town, Klar describes his community back home as “middle class, average, white middle America.” For high school, Klar attended an all-boys Catholic school where the population was predominately white and wealthy. “It lacked diversity – especially compared to Miami,” he said. After touring UM, Klar was enchanted by the various languages spoken on campus, the blend of numerous cultures and, of course, the

Diversity. This powerful word has a different meaning to each of us. Each individual’s personal definition is influenced by his or her geographical and cultural upbringing. Based on your background, you might embrace diversity or you might fear it. The key is being exposed to a variety of perspectives, cultures and beliefs. Miami is an example of an environment infused with countless backgrounds and experiences. Therefore, there is not one, but many faces of Miami.

Trish Vega, senior, and Samantha Medina, sophomore.

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Despite the current lack of praying areas, a plethora of religions thrive here at UM, allowing for stimulating discussions and henceforth, an accepting and knowledgeable campus. words_bruna silva. photo_sidney sherman. design_muguang chen.

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Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Miami, Fla.

Church of the Little Flower, Coral Gables, Fla.

Hare Krishna Temple, Coconut Grove, Fla.

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You pull into the University of Miami campus. You notice UM Hillel, Miami Baptist Campus Ministry, UM Wesley and St. Bede Chapel, all religious centers proudly perched alongside the main entrance. Already, you can see the religious diversity that is embedded within the University of Miami’s culture. While UM is a nonsectarian university, it prides itself on being a place where all religious practices can thrive. There are over 15 religious organizations and six places of worship on campus. Dr. Pat Whitely, Vice President of Student Affairs describes UM as an “interesting place” for a nonsectarian institution because there “really is a robust religious diversity.” With its large international community, UM attracts students from many religions that may not be as prevalent elsewhere in the country. However, some of that sprawling diversity lacks visibility. Minority religions tend to be overshadowed by the strong presence of the major religions on campus: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Eleven of the 15 religious organizations at UM are affiliated with Christianity. The Jewish students can enjoy the Hillel center and the Chabad house, while Muslim students have access to an ablution room, recently relocated to Pentland House. The many worship places on campus are fit only for these three dominating religions. This lack of diversity in places of worship proves to be a significant burden for those practicing other religions. Arshia Arora, a junior, explains that she has “adapted to praying and practicing in [her] room” and must travel to a temple off-campus with her fellow Hindu friends during special holidays. Similarly, Buddhist student Maheshi Pathirana said that she wishes she could go to an on-campus temple and “have a peaceful spot to pray.” Unfortunately, the only temple she knows of is in Hialeah, which is not only too far away, but is also for a type of Buddhism different than the one she practices. Denise Ozturk, a Muslim student, sees the absence of minority worship centers as a challenge that is a “cause of concern that is often brought up by my friends.” Dr. Whitely clarifies that while the University is always open to receive chaplains and religious leaders to serve

as resources to students, “there isn’t much space to offer [on campus].” Dr. Whitely’s comment illuminates the inherent difficulties in trying to expand the presence of other religions on campus. One way many of the religious organizations attempt to resolve this issue is by utilizing common spaces available on campus to observe, practice and pray. The Hindu Student Council conducts prayers at the SCC Lakeview Terrace regularly. Even some of the Christian organizations reserve rooms on campus to conduct meetings. Despite the unfortunate logistical complications, students across various religions find a generally welcoming environment on campus regarding their religion. There are many opportunities in which students are able to embrace their religion. Arora enjoys connecting with other Hindus through the Hindu Student Council. She says that organizations like this fulfill the crucial role of allowing students to “find their niche,” while welcoming and informing others about their religion. Arora believes students of different religious backgrounds have assisted her in acclimating to campus as well. In her experience, these people have been curious rather than condemnatory. “I’ve never experienced anyone look down upon my religion,” Arora said. “Generally, people don’t talk much about it, but when the subject arises people ask questions and want to know more.” Pathirana’s experiences on campus harmonize with those of Arora, especially in the sense that students are not only tolerant, but also interested. “My roommates are Muslim and Christian and we all like to learn from each other and what our religions ask of us,” Pathirana said. Dr. Catherine Newell, an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies, has noticed this inquisitive nature in her students as well. “Millennials seem to be a lot more open-minded and are very curious


about all religions,” she said. “I see a lot of people that are genuinely curious about not just where they or their family came from in terms of how they identify, but how some of their friends and others around them differ in beliefs.” This is perhaps a manifestation of students’ purpose at UM. In addition to their academic pursuits, students are seeking personal exploration as well. Millennials are more likely to identify as “spiritual” than “religious,” according to the Pew Research Center. Dr. Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado, an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies, believes that this new trend sheds light on how Millennials perceive their own religious freedom. “When I hear [that expression], to me that says, ‘I’m not part of organized religion [or] part of an institutional religion, but I still think about and have beliefs about these broader questions that religion tries to answer,” Dr. Maldonado said.

students could ask questions about the religion. Megan believes the event was a “huge success” in that it helped dispel misconceptions students may have had before. Once such conversations are nurtured, they lead to knowledge, awareness, and tolerance. UM’s diverse population and its inclusive atmosphere provides a great opportunity for discussion. Along with creating an accepting and inclusive atmosphere for students, these conversations help the University attain one of its main goals as an educational institution: to foster the diversity of thought.

Millennials seem to be a lot more open-minded and are very curious about all religions

Basically, many Millennials are spiritually engaged and insightful, but do not feel the need to conform to the rigid guidelines that many religions follow. Our generation’s curiosity has led many to discover and understand different forms of spirituality, and eventually solidify their personal beliefs. Engaging in conversations with other students about different religions is a step toward achieving that ultimate goal. While our generation may enjoy these discussions, starting the conversation can be tricky. Senior Megan Lipsky originally believed there was not enough discussion on campus, so she decided to change this. As a Co-Chair of the Religious Diversity Working Group, Lipsky works with the Chaplain’s Association to organize events which initiate these conversations. The group also partners with different religious organizations to co-host informative events on campus. Last year, UM hosted a religious awareness week in which religious organizations set up tables where

UNDERSTANDING THE SYMBOLS Certain religious symbols have quickly become part of the mainstream and can be easily spotted on campus. Here is what some of the most popular symbols mean in their respective religions:

MANDALA Now considered a dorm room essential, mandala tapestries have an important role in Hinduism and Buddhism. In Buddhism, the mandala represents the Universe in its wholeness and its circular structure alludes to many natural elements, such as the sun, Earth and moon. In Hinduism, mandalas often depict a deity in its center and the designs represent the deity’s coexistence with other deities in one Universe.

HAMSA (KHAMSA) An open right-hand symbol that has roots in Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the hamsa is commonly seen on apparel. The Hamsa is believed to bring its wearer blessing, happiness, prosperity, health and good luck.

EVIL EYE BEADS

Srila Prabhupada was a spiritual teacher and the founder of the International Society for Krishna. Consciousness, commonly known as the “Hare Krishna Movement.”

Also known as Nazar amulets, these beads have gradually been appearing in jewelry from stores like Anthropologie. Composed of navy, white, light blue and black rings, the Nazar is commonly misunderstood to be a representation of the Evil Eye, but it is actually a form of protection against the Evil Eye. November 2017 DISTRACTION 35


D

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Diversity deals with more than skin color and socioeconomic background has a large part in the formation of a person. Like many schools, UM accepts students from a range of monetary contexts.

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W

hen most outsiders think of the University of Miami, they believe that the school is run by wealthy, privileged students who drive BMWs and drop thousands of dollars per night buying tables at nightclubs like Bodega. While this stereotype is semi-true (after all, UM does have an ever-increasing high tuition that isn’t easy to afford out-ofpocket), the student body is bursting with various intersections of diversity, extending way past this superficial reputation. Some South Florida natives find truth to this generalization. Jordan Bethea, a post-graduate student who’s brushing up on his ancient languagespeaking skills, was astonished by the sheer level of wealth surrounding him when he arrived at the U, just an hour and a half south of his hometown of Pembroke Pines. “I’ve never seen such a place with so many people wearing designer clothes, driving expensive, luxurious sports cars,” Bethea said. “There is a lot to be said about students who can ask one another, ‘Hey, can you put down a few hundred bucks for bottles at the club?’ I’ve overheard many conversations like that.” Thanks to tuition remission, Bethea is able to pursue his classical studies for free while taking his education seriously. “I see a bunch of kids ripping hash oil and chugging beer before class on campus and treating this institution like it’s a big party. There’s a lack of seriousness in their education compared to the financial gravity of the tuition.” While Bethea comes from a financially successful family, his value lies in experiences and enrichment, rather than material possessions. “I drive an economy-class compact sedan, I don’t wear fancy clothes and I don’t have a credit card with unlimited spending. I care about my education, enrichment and fitness,” he notes as he mentions that he’s working in the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center to support himself financially. On the other hand, other South Florida natives are shocked by the image that pigeonholes the student body. “I personally don’t agree with it,” said Katia Dongo, a senior majoring in finance. “The perception that UM is filled with spoiled, rich kids is not true. There is a large percentage of students who somewhat depend on financial aid — I being one of them. If it wasn’t

for my scholarship, I don’t know if I would’ve attended.” Dongo argues that students from the higher classes’ overall attitude are not necessarily shallow and materialistic, as outsiders may perceive. However, Katya Bachorz, a recent alumnus of the class of 2017, disagrees. “In my experience, the wealthier kids stayed in their own bubble. If you go to places that they’d consider ‘ratchet,’ they look down upon you. For instance, one time, I suggested we go to Chili’s for happy hour, instead of some ritzy place, and everyone simply stared awkwardly,” Bachorz said. In 2016, UM awarded scholarships to 82 percent of the incoming students, averaging $23,629 per person, according to College Factual. Though the reception of scholarships is an obvious benefit, students are affected in distinct ways.

SPLURGING ON LUXURIES DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN YOU HAVE A SUPERIOR ATTITUDE Like many students who can’t afford to “blow bills on bottles,” Bachorz feels unsatisfied with the financial aid office. “Out of all of the schools I was accepted to, Miami was my cheapest option. I received some financial aid, but I believe I should have been rewarded more,” Bachorz said. A research study done by The Equality of Opportunity Project found that the median UM student’s family income is $146,000 with 60 percent of students having parents who earn just over six figures per year. Another 13 percent of UM parents earn $630,000 annually. Sophomore Jordan Abrams explains that while UM is stereotyped to be a “spoiled brat school,” it does not define the student body. “Many people associate being spoiled with being snobby, but being ‘bougie’ and splurging on luxuries does not necessarily mean you have a superior attitude over others,” Abrams said. “I kind of feel that way about myself — I dress expensively

and spend the majority of my money on high-end sneakers.” Similar to Bachorz, Abrams feels the air of separation that divides the school. “The campus isn’t completely merged, and social groups are formed based on interests that people share,” Abrams said, noting how she and her roommate initially became friends because they were wearing the same pair of Gucci shoes. “For instance, in a wealthier student’s case, it would be fine-dining, buying floor seats to watch their favorite artist perform and shopping at stores that happen to be more pricey. A lot of the times, people make friends this way, but it doesn’t mean that we’re limited to only hanging out with people we can relate to economically.” On the other extreme, 5.5 percent of students have parents who earn $20,000 or less per year. This begs the question: What happens to students whose family income is less than the cost of tuition? For many, scholarships and loans are the answer to this discrepancy. Senior Frank Dávila, a recipient of the Gates Scholarship, attended high school in Liberty City, an inner-city neighborhood in Northwest Miami. Encountering students from privileged backgrounds made for a culture shock, but nevertheless an enriching experience for him right in the city that he’s from. Dávila acknowledges that although he can’t identify with many wealthy students on campus, he enjoys learning from people who are opposite of him on the economic class scale. “I can relate to someone who is in my same situation, but at the same time, if I meet other people that were brought up in different circumstances than me, it’s a new perspective. It doesn’t stop me from connecting with them.” Though many outsiders believe that UM is a “rich kid haven” replete with all kinds of luxury, the student body is much more diverse than what the public makes it out to be. Rather than picturing parking lots full of BMWs, it would be more accurate to picture these cars mixed sparsely among a fleet of Chevys and Toyotas. And in a place of expensive nights at Rockwell or LIV, consider quiet evenings in authentic Cuban cafes or quaint bookstores. These are the lives of University of Miami students. The combination of both lifestyles is just part of what enriches our incredibly diverse campus.

UM

SCHOLARSHIPS

UM granted over $23 million in merit scholarships to the freshman class this year

STAMPS Top 1% of applicant pool. Covers the cost of attendence and inclues $12,000 stipend for research or study abroad

GEORGE W. JENKINS Students from southern states with strong academic and community standing. Covers the cost of attendance.

ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER Early action students. Covers the full cost of tuition.

PRESIDENTIAL For students of high academic mert. From $18,000 to $28,000 per year.

November 2017 DISTRACTION 37


Greetings

Japan

words_ madison george. design_marissa vonesh.

A handshake or a kiss on the cheek are just two of the many ways people can greet each other. Greetings are an essential part of every language worldwide.

Here in the United States, it is common to shake hands with one another, smile, say hello and hug in certain situations.

South America Different countries in South America vary in their technical greetings, but kissing on the cheek is a general practice throughout the continent. Men generally only kiss women, but women kiss men, women and children. Make sure to acknowledge everyone in the room!

Saudi Arabia

In the Asia, cultures differentiate greetings as well. For example, handshakes and waves are actually frowned upon in Japan. Instead, Japanese people commonly bow to one another as a greeting. In Tibet, people break Western cultural norms. From our Western perspective, sticking out one’s tongue may seem rudimentary and immature, but in Tibet, sticking out your tongue is a customary welcome for people of all ages. Reporter Krutika Behrawala describes the greeting having originated from Lang Darma, a ninth century king who had a black tongue. People would stick out their tongues to show others that it wasn’t black in order to prove that they weren’t the reincarnation of the king. Then, in Saudia Arabia, rubbing noses is a tribal custom and way of greeting that represents the values of respect. The nose has a valuable symbol for the Arabs because it is in the center of the face.

there are

6,909 living languages

1.2 55 billion people speak

Chinese

PERCENT

United States

Tibet

of communication is

non-verbal

Kenya To welcome those from both neighboring villages and lands far away, the Maasai Warrior Tribe of Kenya greeting involves something a bit more elaborate than most greetings. The warriors of the tribe all gather in a circle and partake in a jumping dance known as the “Adamu.” The jumping is also accompanied by singing and dancing to welcome others.

Marshall Islands While you may raise your eyebrow out of confusion or concern, people of the Marshall Islands, located near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, raise a brow in order to acknowledge someone.

Moldova

A traditional expression of a man to a new female acquaintance is to “kiss the hand” of the woman. Some men make the gesture and kiss their own hand as they raise the woman’s or some will just express this by saying, “I kiss your hand” as a version of “how do you do.”

Source: Mashable

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DECODING EMOJIS “Emojis allow us to imbue digital messages with the non-verbal cues inherent in face-to-face interaction,” says emoji translator Keith Broni. Just like greetings, an emoji’s meaning can vary across countries. Broni warns emoji users to be cautious when using emojis with people from different cultures or using emojis with double meanings. In the U.S., a thumbs up is a rather positive and favorable gesture, but for some in Middle Eastern and West African cultures, a thumbs up is considered disrespectful. Broni also refers to some of the emojis based off of produce, such as the eggplant. Intended to be used literally, now, the eggplant is refers to anatomy and is used in a much cheekier context.


words_lindsey bornstein. design_marissa vonesh.

As minority groups are growing, political parties diminish, and Millennials grow to make up the largest demographic in the U.S., our country is becoming more tolerant and accepting than ever before.

Whether it is for better or worse, it is undeniable that the United States is changing. The makeup of America is changing by color, nationality, age and economic standing alike. The Pew Research Center (PRC) has conducted in-depth studies to track America’s demographic trends. According to PRC’s findings, there will no longer be any racial majority in the U.S. by 2055, thanks in part to the influx of immigrants from Asia and Latin America. Surprising to many, the majority of immigrants are not of Hispanic origin — immigrants from Asia started to outpace Latin American immigrants, including immigrants from Mexico, in 2015. Asians are the only major racial or ethnic group in America with large population increases due to immigration; most other racial and ethnic groups are experiencing a population boom as a result of having American-born children, rather than direct immigration. Other significant demographic trends indicate that the white majority in the U.S. will drop below 50 percent around the year 2050. Also, interracial marriage continues to soar, resulting in a record number of Americans who

identify as “other.” The makeup of America is not only changing racially, however. For the first time ever, Millennials constitute the largest demographic group, outnumbering Baby Boomers by about five million individuals. Along with being the most educated group, Millennials have also incurred the most student debt. So, what are the implications of this for those of us born after 1980? According to statistical trends, Millennials are more likely to live with their parents after graduation and less likely than ever before to be married by their early thirties. Despite this projection, there are some benefits that of being a Millennial: our generation displays the most racial, political and religious tolerance. Young adults more likely than any other generation to hold liberal views on issues such as LGBTQ and reproductive rights. Millennials are less likely, however, to identify with either major political party – 50 percent identify as political independents. Religion is also on the decline among young people; the number of Christians has shrunk from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent of the

population between 2007 and 2014, and the number of religiously unaffiliated individuals has risen from 16.1 percent to 22.8 percent in the same timeframe.

there will no longer be any racial majority in the U.S. by 2055

PERCENT OF PROJECTED U.S. POPULATION BY

2065

100

Asian Hispanic

80

Black

60

6 18 12

100

White 62 Regardless of your own racial, political, financial or religious identity, 20 the good news is that conditions seem 0 to be improving across the board. 2015 Millennials, despite being the most indebted generation, are also the most 100 optimistic about their own financial 100 future. Tolerance is rising among all Asian 14 age groups, not just Millennials, with 8080 more Americans saying that immigrants Hispanic 24 60 strengthen, rather than hurt, the Black 13 60 country. Although the current state of 40 the country may seem to emphasize a White 46 racial divide, demographic trends within2040 the U.S. are actually shifting toward a 0 more blended and diverse population 20 2065 than many perceive. 40 80

60

40

20

0

0

Sourced from Pew Research Center 2015.

November 2017 DISTRACTION 39


L I V I N G

World

the

words_uche onyiuke. photo_gianna sanchez. design_lindsey bornstein.

E

very year, thousands of students flock to “The U.”

Just like the city of Miami, our university is a magnet for cultural diversity. In 2016, 12 percent of the incoming freshmen class consisted of international students, hailing from 54 different countries and two territories, according to the university’s fact book. The vast array of cultures makes it easier for an international student to feel like the U is their home away from home. Many of these students, however, have come to face unexpected challenges in their first weeks at UM. For instance, many had to complete their dorm and school supply shopping alone, and in some cases, endure the entire move-in process without family or friends to assist them. “I’m glad that I went through this experience alone, but at times it was hard to see everyone with their families,” said Ahmed Al-Hajari, a freshman from Doha, Qatar. From the moment students arrive, it isn’t the easiest transition. Freshman Derricka Neysmith, a freshman from the Cayman Islands, said that she and her mother experienced confusion while driving, since residents of the Cayman Islands drive on the opposite side of the road. “I did a lot of planning, but nothing went as planned,” Neysmith said. Many students come to the U already speaking English, even if it is not the dominant language in their homes. Freshman Ryo Mochizuki, an electrical engineering major from Tokyo, said that although Japanese is the dominant language spoken in his country, he became fluent in English by attending an international school. Al-Hajari added, “I feel like Arabic and English are both my first language. My first academically learned language

At the tip of South Florida, you will find the beautiful, bustling city of Miami. According to a United Nations study, a whopping 59 percent of Miami residents are foreign-born, which is more than any other city in the world. Residents of Miami enjoy an upbeat, tropical atmosphere, exuberant city life and access to ports and water, all of which invite millions of visitors from across the world each year. Derricka Neysmith, freshman, from the Cayman Islands

was English, and I learned Arabic through just talking at home and speaking to my family.” Both students, however, said that they are more comfortable speaking in English. When deciding on colleges, though, these freshmen had no doubt that studying in the United States was the right move for them. Al-Hajari and Mochizuki both applied to about 10 schools, all in the U.S. “I was raised in an international school so I was just like, ‘English is my thing, I’m going to America,’” said Mochizuki. Al-Hajari was seeking the authentic American “college experience,” and he felt that his four years would be more valuable in an international environment, rather than at a traditional Qatar university. Following in the footsteps of his older siblings, who also traveled abroad for college, he said that “the schooling system here is way better, so it’s both an experience and good for my future.” Al-Hajari considered a variety of factors in his search for the right school. “I basically looked at the different universities in three ways: their ratings, how my program is ranked within the university and the atmosphere of the city that I’m going to be in,” he said. The University of Miami matched his needs in all three aspects.

40 DISTRACTION Special Section: Diversity

“I was attracted to Miami because I am a creative person, and Miami is just a hub of creativity all around,” Al-Hajari said. He also raved about the university’s good reputation, and he appreciates the diversity of cultures that this city and campus have to offer. Neysmith was also searching for the “American school experience.” However, the main reason she chose to come to the U.S. was due to the proximity—only a one-hour flight away from home. The University of Miami met the freshman’s requirements for a place to study because of the quality of the business school and, of course, the beautiful weather. However, it can sometimes be a lonely place for international students; they do not have a lot of family here in America. Despite having older siblings studying elsewhere in the states, AlHajari and Mochizuki both said that they are the only ones from their high schools attending the University of Miami. Despite some minor challenges, most students have found that Miami’s cultural richness has made their college experience invaluable. “I like Miami because it is a creative hub,” said Al-Hajari, a frequent traveler to many U.S. cities. “When I was out


Ahmed Al-Hajari, freshman, from Qatar

Ryo Mochizuki, freshman, from Tokyo

Study Abroad 101 exploring Miami, I saw that at every corner of the city there is a different experience.” Al-Hajari came from an international school in Qatar, but says it wasn’t close to “international” compared to Miami. As for Mochizuki, who comes from a Tokyo international school with students from many different countries, Miami brings together more races and cultures than he was expecting. “It’s really diverse, and it’s fun talking to people. They all have different stories and backgrounds,” Mochizuki said. International students are almost guaranteed to experience some culture shock. For Neysmith, the main difference is the sheer population of Miami. “In Cayman Islands, since it’s so small—it’s only 22 miles and 40,000 people—you know everyone. So if I go somewhere, I’ll see someone I know,” Neysmith said. Coming from Japan, Mochizuki found Miami’s students to be much more friendly than the population in Tokyo. “In Japan, you don’t talk to anybody when going to school or anything. But here everyone’s really friendly—you talk to everybody. Japanese people are pretty quiet; they don’t really talk to people or express their feelings. American people are different; they just talk about

whatever,” Mochizuki said. While they expressed different opinions on some issues, each international student emphasized that their native cuisine was the thing they missed most from home. They also expressed their disappointment in Miami’s public transportation system, and of course, how all students— international or not—miss their family and friends as they move on to college. However, college has connected these students with a lifetime of valuable knowledge, life experience and friendship. Mochizuki and Al-Hajari both immediately came up with the same favorite aspect of UM: the people. “I’m a people person, so even though it’s only been a few weeks, so far I really like the people, the campus, and the school. Everything so far has just been great,” Al-Hajari said. Similarly, Mochizuki remarked, “I’m loving the University of Miami, and I just want to meet more people and have fun.” Overall, these first-year international students are reveling in their first weeks here at the U, immersing themselves in the culture and lifestyle of the cosmopolitan city of Miami.

Close your eyes and point to any location on a world map — UM probably has a study abroad program there. Check out some of the university’s most popular destinations.

UBuenos Aires The University of Belgrano welcomes students to study for a semester in the “Paris of South America.” On the weekends, indulge in the city’s iconic cuisine or tango!

UShanghai

Shanghai is China’s busiest financial hotspot, allowing students to experience the technological wonders of this progressive and everchanging city.

URome

Students study at the American University of Rome, located in the center Trastevere — a small, closeknit campus in the midst of Italy’s bustling capital.

UCape Town

Get outside the classroom and experience the South African coast and rugged mountain ranges. UCape Town even provides students opportunities to get involved in community service.

November 2017 DISTRACTION 41


Love music, food or sports? What about photography, video, writing or design? Join distraction's online team! We publish throughout the week!

42 DISTRACTION Special Section: Diversity


Health Health& Wellness & Wellness Genuine and free-spirited, Health and Wellness gives a wholesome take on physical, mental and spiritual restoration. Living by the mantra “my body is a temple� can be just as easily done as it is said with the wisdom that Health & Wellness has to offer.

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GET YOUR

FIZZ ON 44 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness


words_callie jardine. design_dana musso. photo_sidney sherman.

Take your bath game to the next level while improving your complexion with these small, technicolor orbs. Leaning your head back against the tub, you feel a relaxing sensation overwhelm your body. All of your worries disappear as the warm water coats the tip of your toes in a layer of soothing heat. Even though normal baths are relaxing, it’s only natural to feel the need to spice up your baths from time to time. People across the country are raving about this trend that satisfies the need for something more: bath bombs.

November 2017 DISTRACTION 45


GET YOUR

FIZZ ON

On this momentous occasion, you splurged and purchased a glittering rainbow bath bomb to give the new phenomenon a test drive. You drop your very first bath bomb into the warm, inviting water of your bathtub. Instantly, the water reacts with the bath bomb, which is composed

46 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness

of baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salts, water, oils and color dye. Together, they overwhelm your senses with kaleidoscopic colors and sweet smells. The clear water is transformed into a dreamy array of pinks, yellows, purples and golds, all swirling together. You watch as the color envelopes your body, drawing you into its mystical qualities. While the sensation of the bath bomb alone is enough to persuade you to purchase another in the future, you wonder if it is simply an artistic addition to your nightly tub routine or if it can benefit your health as well. Once your bath is complete, you get out of the water and run your hands against your now silky skin, feeling a freshness brought on by the bath bomb mixed with the warm water. You feel rejuvenated. Depending on the specific ingredients included in your chosen bath bomb, each brings about different benefits. Commonly used ingredients like coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil act as skin softeners that restore skin’s oil balance without clogging your pores. Another frequently used ingredient, baking soda, acts as a deodorant while soothing and cleansing skin. Looking to improve your complexion? Citric acid makes skin brighter by repairing damaged skin cells. These ingredients help you

look younger and revitalized. Other common ingredients in bath bombs are shea butter, milk powder, corn oil and grape seed oil. Shea butter’s natural vitamins and fatty acids calm inflamed skin and lock in moisture. Milk powder helps shed pigmented cells, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. It is also great for sunburns, since it soothes and speeds up the healing process of damaged skin. These ingredients work together to benefit your body as a whole. When Mo Constantine, cofounder of Lush, invented bath bombs in 1989, they were only sold by Lush. Bath bombs have become increasingly popular and they can now be found at stores like Bath & Body Works, Target and Ulta Beauty. Available in all shapes and sizes, bath bombs typically cost $5 to $10. If you’re not willing to pay that much for a bath bomb, you can always make your own by following the steps of our bath bomb recipe. Whether you crave one of Lush’s famous “Sex Bombs,” or prefer making your own bath bomb, the benefits of both are too tempting to pass.

KNOW YOUR BOMBS

OVER AND OVER LUSH $8.95

YELLOW SUBMARINE LUSH $5.95

ROCKET SCIENCE LUSH $5.95


DIY BATH BOMBS Ingredients 1

cup baking soda

1/2 1/2 1 2 3

cup citric acid cup Epsom salts teaspoon water teaspoons essential oil teaspoons oil (coconut, avocado, or olive) Food coloring (any color you want) Bowl Whisk Jar Bath bomb mold

Instructions Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and thoroughly mix with a whisk In a separate container, mix all of the liquid ingredients together (including all fragrances, essential oils and colors) Carefully add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture Once well mixed, use your hand pack the mixture into the bath bomb mold and let it dry (Note: work quickly so that the mixture doesn’t dry out too fast) Fill up your bathtub with warm water and enjoy your bath bomb!

November 2017 DISTRACTION 47


EMBRACE THE

words_isabella vaccaro. photo_sidney sherman. design_alexa aguilar & mina rhee.

apple

Bruised bananas, soiled strawberries, blemished beets — though it sounds less than satisfying, buying “ugly” produce can benefit your body and reduce our nation’s rising levels of food waste. 48 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness


November 2017 DISTRACTION 49


They are swarming Walmarts, Whole Foods and other supermarkets across the nation. Misshapen and discolored, “ugly” fruits and vegetables are on the rise.

apple

Throw away everything you think you know about food. If you live in Miami, it’s likely that you scroll through your Instagram daily salivating over airbrushed shots of eats in the city. But here’s the truth. Yes, those dewy blueberries and shimmery acai bowls filling your feed are pretty, but they set an unreasonable standard for other, well, average-looking foods.Such extreme expectations subconsciously make many shoppers more selective when picking out their foods; a tomato isn’t a tomato unless it is beautifully bulbous and a banana must possess just the right curvature to be plucked from the stash and bought. “If a fruit or vegetable has an undesirable shape, that in no way means it tastes any different. As for bruised produce, it is not necessary to use the bruised part — the majority of the fruit is still perfectly edible,” said junior Natalie Hickerson, president of University of Miami’s Plant Based Canes club, which promotes the health, environmental and ethical benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. The myth of cosmetically pleasing produce is just that: a myth. Often, those who buy the more mangled and disfigured produce report that they taste just the same as those with perfect appearance. Not to mention that your marred and dimpled apple is probably like that because it wasn’t sprayed with pesticides. Instead, it was left on its own to grow, defenseless and organic. People don’t like to purchase unattractive produce. However, the problem lies beyond the negative prospect against

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undesirable produce. Today, nearly one third of food grown worldwide is discarded because it appears unhealthy, and thus unmarketable. According to Johns Hopkins University researcher Dr. Roni Neff, the United States could feed 84 percent of the world’s population a 2,000 calorie, nutritionally sufficient diet with the amount of food we waste each year. Ironically, among the most wasted foods in the U.S. are seafood, fruits and vegetables — three of the most wholesome food groups on the pyramid. Outliving and outselling these healthy staples are processed foods, which, in comparison, can spend months sitting on a shelf before going bad. Plaguing shoppers’ minds as

and terpenoids!” Harris said. Harris also added that the increased levels of flavonoids and terpenoids give food more natural flavor and aroma. Picturesque produce is slowly becoming a thing of the past, and the UM dining halls have already begun embracing the imperfect. Next time you’re grabbing an omelet before class, take a moment to look around at the sheer mass of students swarming the dining hall’s multiple food stations. Approximately 4,000 UM students purchase a dining plan each year and expect to find their favorite dishes readily available to devour. Students eating in the dining halls throw away about 5,000 pounds of food per week. Director of Marketing and Guest Experience Meagan Clements

If a fruit or vegetable has an undesirable shape, that in no way means it tastes any different they hand select their weekly grub is the misconception that food is only nutritious when it is freshest. Often, a piece of fruit that looks like it’s on its last leg actually contains the most nutritional value. “In the sense that ‘ugly’ might rightfully be associated with organically grown produce, organic produce contains 50 percent more flavonoids and terpenoids than foods grown with chemical herbicides and pesticides,” said Dr. Thomas Harris, director of undergraduate and medical education at UM. Flavonoids are one of the largest nutrient families found in fruits and vegetables, while terpenoids are a large class of naturally occurring, organic chemicals. “New dietary studies show increased consumption of various flavonoids and terpenoids to be effective agents in preventing and treating diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and anxiety. Give me the ugly, organic produce with more flavonoids

says there are several initiatives already in place at UM which welcome “ugly” foods with open plates. “We participate in the Imperfectly Delicious Produce (IDP) initiative, which utilizes ‘ugly’ fruits and vegetables, which would otherwise be discarded, in salads and soups,” Clements said. “We also utilize smallbatch cooking, portion-control serving methods and Waste Not, a web-based tracking tool that gives front-line associates the ability to track, measure and reduce food waste.” Imagine a field of strawberries. It’s harvest season. However, only the most attractive red berries will make it out to the stores. And as for the rest — the sad, haggard runts of the litter — they will be taken to the landfill. IDP’s mission is to look out for those strawberries, among other crops, that are discarded because their physical appearances did not meet a certain superficial standard. Whether it be a restaurant, hospital, or in our case, a university, IDP finds homes for these foods that otherwise would have gone to waste.


3 TIPS “The majority of IDP produce comes from California, so the produce is ordered on a weekly basis based on availability,” Clements said. Clements says that the dining halls have taken other, more innovative, initiatives to reduce the amount of food waste at UM, too. Gone are the days of trays — and here to stay is smaller, more conscientious tableware. Dubbed “trayless dining” by UM student government and dining services, the program has reduced the amount of food students throw away by 23 percent. The initiative also promotes portion control. Students often overestimate the amount of food they can stomach and end up tossing half of their portions into the magical revolving waste disposal, instantly forgetting it. Max Matthaiou, a freshman international student from Greece, is used to a strict “clean-plate policy” because of his upbringing. He carries this principle with him to the dining hall, as well. “I try to eat all of my food, but sometimes I just can’t finish it because either I don’t like it or I’m just full,” Matthaiou said. “I want to try everything they have since they repeat it every week, so I can know what’s good. But if I don’t like it, I won’t eat it.” In an age where people consider filtering and posting their meals on Instagram normal, it’s hard to put appearances aside and think about the global impacts of food waste. Combine this altered perception of the way we nourish our bodies with the American habit of overeating and we find the root of the issue. People are not getting the nutrients they need — the nutrients we throw away when we don’t buy that bruised apple or forget to eat the apples we do buy. Wasting food doesn’t just waste food — it wastes time, money and most importantly, lives.

to avoid

food waste PLAN OUT YOUR MEALS For students living off-campus and who have access to a kitchen, write down a weekly meal schedule. Then only buy ingredients specifically for those recipes. Avoid buying produce in bulk — this will save money and calories, while preventing the waste of anything not used in your meals.

TRUST YOUR STOMACH, NOT YOUR EYES For freshman students, the dining hall can be a tempting place. Make sure to start with smaller portions, and if you are still hungry, you can always go up for seconds. Listen to your stomach. It will tell you when enough is enough, which, in turn, will prevent you from tossing what you just can’t finish.

EMBRACE “UGLY” PRODUCE Don’t be scared off by a carrot with two heads instead of one or a deformed strawberry. They are foods, too, and are so easily left by the wayside. Buying “ugly” produce will provide you with just as many nutrients as well as the satisfaction of reducing food waste.

November 2017 DISTRACTION 51


52 DISTRACTION Fashion


November 2017 DISTRACTION 53


On Jiaming: top, Forever 21; pants, Ann Taylor; shoes, Prada. On Bella: top, Forever 21; skirt, Forever 21; shoes, Nike x Supreme; bag, Tory Burch; accessories, Express.

54 DISTRACTION Fashion


On Agustin: shirt, Express; shorts, Zumiez; shoes, Adidas. On Chazz: shirt, Express; shorts, Zumiez; shoes, Adidas.

November 2017 DISTRACTION 55


fashion

On Ali: top, Zara; skirt, LF; glasses, Urban Outfitters; necklace, Zara; purse, vintage.

56 DISTRACTION Fashion


fashion

On Jiaming: top, Forever 21; skirt, LF; shoes, Jimmy Choo.

On Bella: dress, Forever 21; shoes, Steve Madden. On Ali: dress, Design Lab; purse, Rebecca Minkoff; shoes, Steve Madden.

November 2017 DISTRACTION 57


BEHIND THE COLORS words_allegra turner. design_lauren bruno. photo_sideny sherman.

Yellow never fails to brighten and excite by sparking hope in our souls. One small dot emanates a mystical mix of curiosity, euphoria and glee that motivate us more than any color in the rainbow.

fashion Green brings us back to nature. This color transcends every season, with light pea in the spring, emerald in the summer and pine in the fall. It is the color of life and wilderness; a timeless remedy to the restlessness that dictates the flow of the modern world.

Bold and commanding, red is the most unapologetic of all the colors. Its shine demands attention by immediately captivating the eye. From deep, rich crimson to explosive scarlet, red can portray a multitude of stories. A painful struggle is best illustrated with the rich hues of garnet, while the sweet, pointed desire for love takes its form through shimmering rose and soft apple.

58 DISTRACTION Fashion

Purple borrows from the qualities of red and blue to command a fierce, confident presence. Turning heads no matter its hue, it is the color of luxury, power and strength.

As the color of ocean and sky, blue whisks us to a place of serenity. Every shade instills the feeling of comfort and familiarity. It anchors our mind, all the while soothing our thoughts with its affiliation to the calm and tranquil.


TRASH TO TREASURE words_ jade simmons. photo_ patrick ruvo. design_melanie brooks. models_jade simmons, juliana byers, connor whittum.

If you want one-of-a-kind finds, consignment stores and thrift shops are the ultimate stops.

November 2017 DISTRACTION 59


TRASH TO TREASURE

From ’90s-style mom jeans and fanny packs seen on supermodel Bella Hadid, to ‘80s-style flirty wrap dresses and picnic basket bags seen on french model Jeanne Demas, vintage looks are on the radar this year. To avoid the cost of going to designer stores, or trying to find pieces that shamelessly replicate vintage styles, why not go straight to the source and find clothes actually made in the ‘80s?

When on the hunt, look out for graphic t-shirts and denim shorts, but keep your eyes peeled for major statement pieces as well. Jewelry is a great way to accomplish this…the bigger, the bolder, the better!

Miami is one of the country’s best fashion hubs; people are constantly giving away their clothes to vintage, thrift and consignment stores to find room for current styles. Make the most of this, and scour the racks and racks of clothes available to you at vintage stores. If you have enough patience and resilience, you will find something better than anything you will find at a usual fast fashion store. Vintage stores are the city’s hidden gems for fashionistas. Someone’s “trash” might very well be someone else’s new-found treasure. So, grab a cup of coffee and some comfortable yet stylish shoes, and check out these vintage, thrift and consignment stores that have the greatest selection with the lowest prices.

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Consign of the Times

This Miami favorite has two storefronts, one on Red Road and another in Miami Beach, allowing you to always find a reason to stop by. Once inside, you’ll see its racks and shelves stacked with designer shoes, wallets and accessories. Go there to find vintage YSL heels, Chloe flats and Dior purses for prices you won’t believe. Insider tip: check the store’s Instagram (@ consigntimes), for the newest arrivals.

6931 Red Rd, Miami.

2

Fly Boutique

Located on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, this shop specializes in retro and glamorous pieces. The boutique supplies clothes for both men and women, that includes designer clothes by Emilio Pucci and Bottega Veneta. However, it also boasts a one-of-a-kind vintage furniture collection. Be ready to go inside to look for a groovy wide-leg pant and leave with an old film camera, a glass-stained lamp and maybe a Louis Vuitton duffle bag luggage. Insider tip: the store is so good at finding the best vintage, it was featured in the New York Times!

7235 Biscayne Blvd, Miami.

TRENDING The first step to becoming a thrifty shopper is locating the best shops, which is easy. The hard part is having a creative eye to find the best styles. To help you out a bit, here are four trends for guys and girls that you should keep in mind while shopping:

Paint the town RED Red screams powerful and sexy, which is why it’s one of the most sought after colors this Fall. While you’re shopping, look for it in blouses or trousers to create a colorful outfit, or look for bags and accessories in that color, to add pop to an otherwise neutral outfit.

’60s PLAID It’s time for ‘90s flannels to dip because the original ‘60s plaid has come back in full effect. Think Woodstockesque jackets, dresses and pants for a groovy and stylish outfit.

Fun, flirty & FLORAL

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What Goes Around Comes Around Right in the heart of South Beach, this store has Miami’s most outrageous vintage. From Hermes playing cards to a Chanel surfboard, you won’t believe what you are seeing. The clothes are from the most coveted designer names like Chanel, Missoni and Marc Jacobs. The styles are expertly curated to carry only the most Miami-esque items. You will find Miami Vice inspired dresses and a lot of gold, vintage jewelry. Plus, the store has an entire vintage concert tee collection, that includes old Rolling Stones, Nirvana and the Grateful Dead shirts.

Think of San Francisco in the ‘70s, when retro floral patterns were everywhere. Orange and pink flowers or green and blue, this floral pattern can be found on some of the best vintage pieces. Once you find the perfect piece, style it with boots for a complete retro look.

Bigger, Better BELTS Top off your ensembles with a statement belt. From minimalistic leather with small buckles, to suede belts with bold colors, a nice belt with certainly amp up any outfit. Belts go great with jumpsuits to cinch and accentuate your waist. Or pair them with dresses to mimic the cool corset trend.

1800 Bay Rd, Miami Beach.

4

The Fashionista Boutique

While this store is tucked away between all the restaurants and bars in the Grove, once you find it, it will never again be overlooked. Run by two of the nicest ladies you will ever meet, the store is constantly getting new, high-end accessories. You will find bags that no one else has, like a seafoam green Chanel boy bag, Dior kitten heels and a statement yellow Balenciaga hardware purse.

Dress up your more elegant items with casual pieces. Try pairing a blazer and a white t-shirt or statement pants with casual crop top.

3135 Commodore Plaza, Miami.

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M AIN E V E NT

Main Event feeds your craving for that which is intellectual and worldly. Whether it means revealing the local importance of an international issue or discussing topics that are too often ignored, Main Event has something to offer for each of us. Set aside your responsibilities for a bit and divulge in Main Event – you’ll be left feeling much more in touch with the world outside of exams and due dates. That’s a promise.

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A NATION DIVIDED words_anya balsamides. design_alexa aguilar. photo_marissa vonesh.

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THE SOUTH SUDANESE CONFLICT Kids displaced from their homes, a country picking sides, an unstable government – all of these things make up a country that is often forgotten, but needs our help: South Sudan.


3.6 million South Sudanese people have fled their homes as a result of the conflict. The South Sudan Crisis has become the third largest refugee crisis, only behind Syria and Afghanistan.

H

e walks alone from Leer, the scene of the most recent fighting in South Sudan, down unpaved roads, face hidden by the cover of night, the sounds of gunfire and explosions trailing him like a ghost. He hides in the trees as tanks race past, overflowing with farmers and teachers, teenage boys and young men all slump under the weight of deadly machine guns. He runs and runs, never knowing whose side they fight for, never knowing who he can trust.

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he roots of this conflict can be traced back to South Sudan’s complicated past. Before its second war for independence, South Sudan and Sudan united, forming one country. However, South Sudan began to split from Sudan when tensions arose between the different ethnic groups; the people in Sudan are primarily Arab and Muslim, whereas those in South Sudan are tradition-oriented Africans who either practice Christianity or follow traditional African religions. Within South Sudan, there are two main ethnic groups that fight for control. The Dinka make up 35.8 percent of the population and the Nuer comprise 15.6 percent. Even though these two different ethnic groups did not get along within South Sudan, they both came together to fight the common enemy, Sudan, in a war for independence. After 20 years of fighting and guerilla warfare, South Sudan finally gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 and formed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended the warfare and gave South Sudan its independence. However, as the newest country in the world, South Sudan lacked infrastructure and political direction; the only thing South Sudan knew was war. Therefore, once the time came to establish a new government, ethnic tensions resurfaced and fighting broke out within South Sudan. The Dinka and the Nuer had fought over pastures and water for hundreds of years. For most small communities in South Sudan, access to a clean water source and spacious pastures for raising cattle was necessary for survival. Communities would form around these water sources and pastures, and eventually they became an integral part of each community’s culture. During the dry season and droughts, however, entire communities of Dinka and Nuer would have to migrate in search of more water. This migration would often infringe on the land of other communities, causing conflicts, specifically between the Dinka and the Nuer. Yet, within the past 30 years, this issue has been exacerbated by climate change and the increased warming of South Sudan, which has caused more

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droughts and made water scarce. With tensions at an all-time high between the Dinka and the Nuer, the political struggle for independence from Sudan rapidly developed into a civil war between these two ethnic groups. In an effort to reunite the people of South Sudan, President Salva Kiir was elected to represent the Dinka, while Vice President Riek Machar was elected to represent the Nuer. However, the Dinka and the Nuer could not agree upon reasonable compromises. Meanwhile the presence of large weapons from the fight against Sudan intensified internal conflicts. These conflicts reached a tipping point in 2013, just two years after South Sudan gained its independence. In 2013, President Kiir accused Vice President Machar of planning a coup to overthrow him as president. When Vice President Machar denied this allegation and accused the president of fabricating this coup in order to eradicate all political opposition, President Kiir went

2.2 MILLION WERE DISPLACED FROM THEIR HOMES on to arrest 11 top party members. In response, Vice President Machar publicly called for President Kiir’s removal. This pinned the Dinka, who were loyal to President Kiir, against the Nuer, who were loyal to Vice President Machar. Civil war ensued between the Dinka and the Nuer. In this war, which spanned nearly two years, 2.2 million people were displaced from their homes and tens of thousands were killed. In 2015, things began to look promising when both the president and the vice president signed a peace deal. Vice President Machar, who had fled during the conflict, returned to South Sudan to establish a new government, independent of President Kiir’s government, while President Kiir promised an end to the fighting and

assured lasting peace. Unfortunately, fighting erupted only three months after the peace deal was signed. Troops loyal to the president and the vice president started shooting each other in the streets, Dinka against Nuer, respectively. A spokesman for Vice President Machar said that the country was back in war. This fighting between the Dinka and the Nuer continues today. According to the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, this recent bout of fighting has left over a third of South Sudan’s population displaced, creating one of the world’s fastest-growing refugee crises. More than two million of these displaced people are children. “Civilians bore the brunt of that violence and destruction,” Gilmore said in her statement to the UN Human Rights Council. She described the conflict as “the fruit of a deep failure of leadership,” in reference to President Kiir and Vice President Machar who failed to unite their people. Without a stable government in place and without trustworthy law enforcement officials, sexual violence against women has escalated, too. According to a report by Amnesty International, “thousands of South Sudanese [have] been subjected to sexual violence including rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, sexual mutilation, torture, castration or forced nudity.” The majority of these attacks have been against women who are attempting to flee South Sudan. Now, South Sudan remains one of the least-developed and poorest countries in the world. According to Britannica, the literacy rates for people ages 15 and older is 40 percent for males, and only 16 percent for females. The population of South Sudan is very young, with two-thirds of the population being less than 15 years old, indicating that the average life expectancy is drastically lower than the world average. Eighty percent of the people living in South Sudan depend on farming to sustain themselves. Unfortunately, hundreds of farmers have been affected and displaced during this conflict, which has negatively impacted South Sudan’s economy. A new peace deal is imperative, one that declares a permanent cease-fire, forms a new government and holds new elections. According to Al Jazeera News, there have been reports that the


South Sudanese government has been blocking access for aid workers and relief supplies. Aid agencies warn that South Sudan will face food shortages and famine if relief supplies continue to be blocked. According to UNICEF, eight million people need help, half of which are children. “Children are already severely malnourished,” UNICEF official Jeremy Hopkins said. “If we do not reach these children with urgent aid, many of them will die.” The United Nations has already declared famine in two counties in South Sudan, which means that 100,000 people are already experiencing and dying from starvation. Al Jazeera News reports that instead of combating the famine and accepting aid, President Kiir continues to buy weapons and make arms deals. Aid agencies have begun to rely on air transport, as roads are becoming too dangerous, but air transport requires more time and more money, both of which South Sudan does not have. Petroleum is South Sudan’s most important natural resource. The reduced oil production in South Sudan due to the constant fighting could adversely impact South Sudan’s own economy, as well as markets worldwide, especially those that rely on oil from South Sudan and surrounding areas. Despite the conflict, some South Sudanese artists have come together to create art in South Sudan’s capital city, Juba, in order to encourage peace. Their colorful painted murals promoting peace and advocating for a cease-fire cover walls and shipping containers throughout the city. These artists strive to expose the horrific impact this civil war is having on the children of South Sudan to people around the world. According to BBC News, the artist group states, “[The children] are the ones who will have to pick up the pieces and stitch the fabric of South Sudan back together.”

HELP FROM HOME UNICEF The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund strives to help the “eight million people in need of humanitarian assistance” by providing emergency aid, specifically to the 100,000 people who are now facing starvation.

OXFAM This organization provides those affected by this conflict in South Sudan with food, clean drinking water, and health services.

INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE This group responds to people affected by war and violent conflicts, such as the displaced people in South Sudan, by providing emergency aid and assisting in the relocation of these people to a safer environment.

WATER FOR SOUTH SUDAN This organization provides access to clean drinking water by drilling wells in developing countries, allowing its communities to develop and thrive.

SAVE THE CHILDREN Save the Children helps give children a healthy start in life by proving the opportunity for education and protection from danger, specifically in South Sudan, where children are at risk.

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SOUTH SUDAN: FAST FACTS Even the most basic statistics illustrate the severity of the conflict in South Sudan. Incredibly low eduation levels paired with the clear-cut ethnic divide makes hope for the future hard for many South Sudan residents to come by.

Location: central Africa, below sudan

Capital: Juba

POPULATION 12.5 MILLION

MAIN ETHNIC GROUPS

Dinka (35.8%)

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

18.5%

Nuer (15.6%)

Other (20.2%)

LANGUAGES SPOKEN

LITERACY RATE

40%

DINKA NUER

16%

BARI ZANDE MALE

Sources: http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/10/world/africa/south-sudan-fast-facts/index.html http://www.africansudanese.org/people/south-sudanese-languages.html

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FEMALE


Drag Race words_teddy willson. photo_sidney sherman. design_daniela calderon & ana gonzalez.

In an act of drama and exaggeration, drag takes what is natural and celebrates it in a magnificent manner, sweeping the attention of those in Miami and across the world.

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An hour long transformation is all it takes for Miss Toto to feel her fiercest. Miss Toto is known as one of the most outgoing and hilarious drag queens in Miami.

I

t took hours of holding his face just inches from the mirror to fully transform into his other self, but, in every way imaginable, it was worth it. She rounds the corner onto the stage feeling confident, beautiful and unstoppable. The spotlight shining from above casts a brilliance of sparkle against the room’s dark, velvet walls, reflecting the sequins that cover her figure-hugging magenta dress. No sooner than Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” starts sounding over the speaker is she strutting across stage, lip-syncing, twirling and dishing out the sass that she naturally radiates. With every move, the audience finds awe in her platinum blonde hair, long metallic acrylics, over the top makeup and dangerously

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high-heeled pumps. Such theatrics, and the longer-than-most backstage prep, should tell you that this is no ordinary performance. It is one of glitz and glamour, promiscuity and prima donna poses, melodrama and marvel. It is one of queens: drag queens. As the self-attributed hosts of the queer community, drag queens know how to put on a show. But more than that, they know to use their voices. Faced with decades of stark opposition, the queens have been forced to do just that, battling for equal rights, protection and, ultimately, a stronger sense of understanding. The drag community often finds itself fighting on the front line in the battle for LGBTQ rights, despite having been a part of society for centuries past. Some attribute the ancient Greeks with having the first drag queens. This notion originated from male actors who wore feminine masks during plays since women were forbidden from taking part in theater. Others believe true drag came to be in Shakespearean theater during Britain’s Elizabethan era. Like ancient Greece, women were forbidden from appearing on stage. In Shakespearean theater, however, men playing female roles wore more than just masks. They dressed in female garments, wore exaggerated makeup and adopted the stereotypical demeanor of women. Though there are multiple theories as to the origin of the word ‘drag,’ it is widely held that the term came from the acronym ‘D.R.A.G.’ meaning ‘dressed resembling a girl,’ which was used in Shakespearean theater. In its narrowest sense, drag means roughly the same thing today. In its broadest sense, however, this definition only applies to drag queens, men who dress up as and perform as women. Now, drag is considered as any person, male or female, who dresses up and personifies the extremes of either gender. In addition to drag queens, there are drag kings, women who dress up as and perform as men. Biologically female drag queens and biologically male drag kings have also become more common in recent years, as drag culture experiments, evolves and strives for inclusivity. Sometime between Shakespeare and Gatsby, drag became less about necessity and more about genuine interest. 1920s jazz clubs in New York adopted a few things from the Globe Theatre in London: namely, the drag queens. Drag queens found relative prominence during the prohibition in underground entertainment, taking roles as singers, actors and dancers. The illegality of alcohol and gambling, both of which took place at these jazz clubs, meant that drag was considered taboo, too. Nevertheless, a drag community began to form, eventually hosting events called drag balls. The extravagant nights hosted large numbers of drag queens and other LGBTQ individuals who watched as the queens competed against one another in various categories. Possibly most remarkable about these drag balls, was the sheer level of diversity; participants were gay, straight, bisexual, Latino, white and black. Drag balls knew no discrimination. They were a celebration of expression, unity and uniqueness, yet to the mainstream society they were deemed immoral. The Stonewall Riots of 1969 saw drag queens as a powerful force within the LGBTQ community. The riots, which served as one of the major catalysts of the Gay Liberation Movement, began when New York City police raided Stonewall Inn, a historically gay bar. The inn’s patrons retaliated violently and a series of protests ensued. The first gay pride parades took place the following year in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. At the time,


Drag Race

Americans never would have fathomed that in only two decades they would witness a drag-pop icon’s rise to fame. RuPaul Andre Charles, popularly known by his first name, gained international fame with his 1993 single “Supermodel (You Better Work)” from his debut album. The song became popular on MTV during an age dominated by grunge and alt-rock music. Now, RuPaul is most recognizable for his hit reality TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” No longer confined to underground nightclubs, drag has become a pop culture staple, shared with hundreds of thousands of Americans from the comfort of their living room couches. For many drag queens, RuPaul and his Emmy-winning series serve as an inspiration. Senior Andrew Gryniewicz had a tendency toward drag even from a young age, but it was not until college that he truly understood and embraced this, gradually inventing Angeli Beltressa, his drag persona.

have been fostered through drag. “The queer community is like your chosen family,” she said. “You get to decide who your sisters are.” It is common for drag queens to build their families by adopting drag moms, drag daughters and drag sisters. Some connections are formed more deliberately, while others just happen upon the queens over time. These families-by-choice are there to support and help one another along each of their journeys. Miss Toto herself has a drag mom. “I didn’t notice at the time, but she really took me under her wing and taught me a lot of things without directly telling me them,” Miss Toto said. Now, Miss Toto has incorporated much of her drag mom’s persona into her own drag aesthetic, even changing the way she carries herself in public to resemble her drag mom. “The drag community isn’t exclusive by any means, but once you have a drag family, you feel more included in the whole scene.” Miss Toto is supported not only by her chosen family, but her biological family as well. An only child, Miss Toto says that her parents have always been accepting and “don’t care about much,” and even attend some of her performances when visiting Miami. Many others in the drag community are not so lucky. Finding acceptance in others is often difficult, so the support of loved ones is monumental. LGBTQ pride is all about celebration of the spectrum. Unfortunately, some have a very limited perspective and only see things in black and white.

“When I was little I would play ‘house’ and I would always dress up as a woman,” Gryniewicz said. “I would find a blanket for hair and something long enough that would work as a dress.” His freshman year of college, he and a friend attended a performance of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” for which they dressed up in drag. “I loved putting on the makeup and the clothes, and creating this different person,” Gryniewicz said. It was this same friend who introduced him to “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Gryniewicz credits the show with teaching him about drag as an artistic expression and giving him a better understanding of what the word means to different people. “I have been experimenting more and more over the past year, and now when I dress as Angeli Beltressa she radiates confidence and royalty,” Gryniewicz said. Though no one doubts the amazing things that RuPaul has accomplished for the drag community, some caution fellow queens against using the franchise as their sole incentive to get involved in drag. Miss Toto, a queen who fiercely dominates the Miami drag scene, is among those who feel this way. “When people decide to dress in drag, they need to have this deeper ‘why?’,” Miss Toto said. According to Miss Toto, every queen’s ‘why’ should shed light onto their background, personality and, most importantly, what drives them. “If your ‘why’ is that you want to appear on a reality TV show competition, then you are in it for the wrong reasons,” she said. Part of Miss Toto’s motivation lies in the relationships that

WHEN I WAS LITTLE I WOULD PLAY ‘HOUSE’ AND I WOULD ALWAYS DRESS UP AS A WOMAN.

Angeli Beltressa, a senior, radiates confidence and beauty after her tranformation. According to Next Magazine, 36 percent of queens are between 20 and 29 years old.

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Drag Race

Angeli Beltressa poses. Angeli Beltressa is senior Andrew Gryniewwicz’s drag persona. Gryniewwicz has been experiementing with drag for over a year.

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Gryniewicz has wrestled with this issue in his personal life. Though he came out to his parents as gay in his freshman year of college, three years later, they still do not know of his participation in drag. According to Gryniewicz, they have always had a difficult time with the concept of drag. “If I ever post anything drag related, I have to post it to social media that they don’t follow, so that it kind of stays a secret,” Gryniewicz said “They just have a difficult time accepting the idea that a man would ever want to dress as a woman.” The scope of challenges facing the drag community stretches from quaint family rooms to high power offices in D.C. Despite recent progress for the LGBTQ community, conservative-minded individuals have been the force of a push-back against these advancements. A gay man walking down the street can slip right into the crowd, unbeknownst to his detractors. A drag queen walking down the street, however, is difficult to miss. This is why drag queens are often the face of LGBTQ movements. “There is something to be said about not only making a literal face for yourself, but also serving as the face of the queer community,” Gryniewicz said. “At the heart of it all is acceptance.” Across the drag community, there is still a degree of fear present when out in public. Some queens have told real-life tales of violence, while many others can attest to the name calling that ensues when dressed in drag. “Not everyone is so accepting,” Gryniewicz said. “When I leave the house as Angeli there is always that fear of, ‘What will the Uber driver say? How about the students who are about to walk by me?’” Ultimately, drag queens want outsiders to know that drag is a celebration of the feminine spirit and the strength of women. “If you ask queens, ‘Who are the people you look up to?’ you get answers of these iconic women who are so powerful in what they do,” Miss Toto said. “Or also just powerful women in our lives, so my mom would be an example of mine. Drag queens take the pieces that they admire of these women and emulate them.” Miss Toto also argues that drag isn’t something that can be taken too seriously. “Some queens are funny queens and the over exaggeration of feminine features can be funny,” she said. “They will wear these stupid-huge eye lashes, draw eyebrows up to their forehead and wear pads to make their body look unrealistic for a biological woman.” Miss Toto thinks that if more women would appreciate and enjoy the dramatics of drag, that it wouldn’t have such a negative reputation in society. She said she wants women to “look at drag and say, ‘They’re taking everything that I have been given and exaggerating it to the point where it doesn’t even look real and that’s hilarious.’” The goal of the drag community is to achieve awareness, understanding and, in the end, acceptance. Drag is so much more than its glitzy appearances and shocking performances. It is a story of resiliency, of confidence and poise. It captures the power of femininity and radiates it wherever it goes. It is a testament to the maxim, ‘be yourself and do not apologize to anyone for it.’ It is strength. It is courage. It is bold. It is drag.


William Evans by day, Miss Toto by night. Evans is a personal trainer who elegantly transforms into the fabulous Miss Toto.

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Drag Race

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William Evans and Andrew Gryniewwicz portray their transformation into Miss Toto and Angeli Beltressa.


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Quintessential

COLLEGE words_ jasmine lacerda. design_melanie brooks.

We wanted to capture the culture of the U, and what better way to do that than with photos of YOU? From beach days to tailgates to delicious treats, here are some of the most “quintessential college� submissions we go via email and social media. Submit yours to distraction@miami.edu to be featured in the next issue.

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2

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1 Kathleen Hanson, Julia Giannotta, Rachel Camilleri, Liz Pierson and Rebecca Camplin spend a day in South Beach. For some members of the group, it was their first trip to SoBe. Photo courtesy by Kathleen Hanson. 2 Aaliyah Weathers, Adam Ikner, Sirisha Gaddipati and Megan Lipsky take a break from FYF training at the Rat. Photo by Marissa Vonesh. 3 Kelli Finnegan, Michael Dvornick and Steven Buibish enjoy a trip to Arizona during the hurricane. The three explored all of Northern AZ and Vegas. Photo by Marissa Vonesh. 4 Lily Wittle snaps a pic on the field with Sebastian. Wittle was named the Student Athlete of the Game at the Miami vs. Georgia Tech game. Photo courtesy by Lily Wittle.

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1 Giovanna Tarantino “squads up” with some of her floormates for a class game day photo. Hard Rock Stadium is where many students take a lot of their college photos. Photo courtesy of Giovanna Tarantino. 2 Sinclaire Mills gets ready to play the team into their next win. The Frost Band of the Hour performs during half time at all football games. Photo courtesy of Priscilla Rivas. 3 Maria Burcano participates in one of UM’s most Insta-worthy traditions - smoke in the student section. Category 5 organizes this tradition at each game. Photo courtesy by Maria Bucarano.

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4 Pedro Diaz and Adam Eibel fishing for Mahi Mahi off the coast of Miami. Lots of students engage in water sports during their free time. Photo courtesy of Laura Wubker. 5 Nick Hurtado gets a close up view of the action at the Miami vs. Toledo game. The media crew needs to get on the field in order to get the best photos. Photo courtesy of Nick Hurtado.

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1 University of Miami Catholic Student Association (CSA) enjoys the first home game of the season. This year, CSA got a full time chaplain, Fr. Tran, who attends student events, like the game. Photo courtesy of CSA. 2 Meredith Sloan practices yoga at Crandon Park. Sloan runs a successful yoga Instagram, @yogi_mere. Photo courtesy of Isa Mulvihill. 3 Chantel Batista and David Perez anchor UMTV’s Sportsdesk. Sportsdesk is a 30 minute live sports news program that airs every Friday from 7 - 7:30 p.m. Photo courtesy of Chantel Batista. 4 Abdiel Caballero heads to the skies for the trip of a lifetime. Skydiving is how a lot of students choose to release some stress. Photo courtesy of Abdiel Caballero.


5 The medical fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon, paints organs on their body for an anatomy fashion show. They also host a fundraiser for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Photo courtesy of Olivia Cabanas. 6 Anuj Shah, Charles Lilienstein and Shaan Khosla pose for a photo after volunteering as Orientation Fellows. Orientation serves to acclimate incoming freshmen to UM. Photo courtesy of Mary Blaise.

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20 TICKETS

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November 4

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Distraction November 2017  

University of Miami's November Issue

Distraction November 2017  

University of Miami's November Issue

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