November 2016

Deciding on Majors/Changing Majors

Looking to change your major or add an additional one? Changing or adding a major is a process that entails students reflecting on interests, career goals, and skills. The University of Miami has numerous resources to help students make these important decisions about their degree program. Selecting your major is a journey that varies among the Schools and Colleges so make sure to research their websites and contact specific departments.

The Toppel Career Center offers career assessments, one on one advising, programming, online resources, and networking opportunities to facilitate the process. In the first year residential colleges, Residential College Advising offers a full time advisor and peer-to-peer mentoring through the First year Fellows. The Office of Academic Enhancement offers advising for underrepresented and first generation students. All students interested in graduate study in the health sector should visit the Office of Pre-Health Advising.  Students are also encouraged to meet with faculty and professional advisors from the specific disciplines that interest them.


Planning for Thanksgiving Recess
& Winter Break

Important dates:
  • November 19-27- Thanksgiving Recess
  • December 6- Last day of Classes
  • December 7- Reading Day
  • December 8-14- Final Exams
  • December 15- Housing closes at NOON for Non-Commencement Participants
  • December 16- Housing Closes at NOON for Commencement Participants
Student Spotlight

Can’t find that ideal flight for Thanksgiving? Does your student want to come back early for the football game? No worries! While there are no classes during Thanksgiving break, the Residential Colleges and University Village will remain open. However, certain campus services such as the dining halls will be operating on a limited schedule. Dining hall hours and adjustments to other services during the Thanksgiving recess will be distributed to residents and posted at the front desk of each residential area.

All residential areas, except University Village, will be closing on December 15 at 12pm for all those not participating in Commencement ceremonies, and December 16th at 12pm for those participating in Commencement. University Village will remain open through the break period, all UV residents interested in staying at any point over break (Dec. 16 – Jan. 10) will need to register for Intersession.

Those interested in Intersession Housing should visit our website for more information at or visit the Housing Office located in Eaton Suite 153.

All residential areas will reopen on Wednesday, January 11th for the spring semester.

We encourage you to ask your residential student about our closing newsletters that will be sent via email and will be available on our website. The newsletters cover all of the questions and concerns one may have about winter break – though you are more than welcome to contact us with any questions. We may be reached at, or via phone at 305-284-4505.

UM Dining

UM Dining operations will be altered during the holiday season: Thanksgiving Break, Finals, and during the Christmas and New Year holidays. You can see all dining hours during these breaks here (PDF). For additional information regarding UM Dining, please visit

December Commencement

December Commencement
The December ceremony will take place on Thursday, December 15 at 10 a.m. at the Watsco Center (formerly the BankUnited Center) on the Coral Gables campus. Guests do not need tickets or parking passes, and there is no limit on the number who may attend. Undergraduate, law, and graduate degrees from all schools and colleges, with the exception of medical degrees, will be awarded.

All graduates will assemble in the Fieldhouse at the Watsco Center at 9 a.m. The Academic Procession of alumni, faculty, and graduates will enter the Watsco Center promptly at 9:45 a.m. All guests should be seated by this time. The ceremony will last approximately two hours.

University of Miami announcements, invitations, and other graduation products including diploma frames and school jewelry may be ordered at

Schools and colleges will host receptions for their graduates and their families and guests. Please contact your school or college for more information regarding time and location.

The Office of Commencement can be reached at 305-284-1824 or

We look forward to welcoming you to campus in December!

Homecoming 2016 Recap: Make Your Move!

Homecoming 2016 Recap: Make Your Move!
Each year the Homecoming Executive Committee (HEC) takes pride in creating and programming all of the Homecoming festivities. These events are designed to unite the campus and fill each Hurricane heart with pride. University of Miami students, alumni, and staff, as well as future Hurricanes from the surrounding communities, fill the campus to capture the UM spirit enriched with traditions of the past and creativity of the future. Homecoming 2016 offered a full array of events based on the theme, Make Your Move. These events included the traditional Alma Mater singing competition, King and Queen pageant, a brand new Spirit Day, and ended with the 60th boat burning ceremony and football game against Pittsburgh.

See a full schedule of events that students and the Miami community took part in last week:

Get Out the Vote

Get Out the Vote
Thanks to the efforts of the student organization, Get Out the Vote, our students have never been more aware of the value of their voice in elections. Having registered more than 2,200 students to vote, Get Out the Vote has also been active holding events on campus including a student debate, watch parties for the debates, and an educational session on what issues are on the ballot. They hosted daily voter registration drives throughout August, September, and into October.

Through the combined efforts of Student Government and Get Out the Vote, University of Miami students who are registered in Miami Dade County were able to take a shuttle to the Coral Gables library and participate in early voting. Get Out the Vote didn’t slowing down as election day approached. Students who have registered to vote using an on campus address were able to vote at the Watsco Center. Get Out the Vote also hosted an all-day event on campus at the Student Center Complex Rock Plaza and Rathskeller, featuring a watch party with free food and activities, like decorating cookies, creating your support signs, karaoke, and much more. For more information, email or visit Get Out the Vote’s facebook page at

Office Spotlight:
Butler Center for Service and Leadership

Butler Center for Service and Leadership
The Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development acts as a clearinghouse for all service and leadership endeavors at the University of Miami. The Butler Center serves as a catalyst in developing students who cultivate positive social change within their communities as engaged citizens. Throughout the year students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of programs that will enhance their experience at the University of Miami as it pertains to being active citizens within their local and global communities.

The Butler Center’s programs kicked off with Orientation Outreach, the University of Miami’s first service day of the academic year. Over 175 first-year and transfer students received the opportunity to experience the greater Miami community through meaningful and impactful service at Earlington Heights Elementary. Participants completed various beautification projects including planting a butterfly garden, painting a mural and upgrading the campus basketball court. The participants were able to witness the students’ and teachers’ faces light up as they saw their newly revamped campus.

Following Orientation Outreach, students were able to participate in ‘Canes for a Change Week, which was designed to promote the mission of the Butler Center and showcase the array of programs and services provided through the office. The week started off with a 9/11 memorial in which our campus community honored those affected by the attacks of September 11th, 2001. The program included many guest speakers including Dr. Patricia Whitely, Vice President for Student Affairs, as well as Vikesh Patel, Student Government President.

The remainder of the week consisted of programs including an open house where students were able to familiarize themselves with the Butler Center and its services as well as a BBQ and Involvement Fair that featured local community partners and student organizations that students could become involved with during their time at the U. Finally, students were able to learn how to incorporate their passions for service with their academics at the Perfect Blend Civic Scholars Coffee Hour. Over 350 ‘Canes participated in at least one of the ‘Canes for a Change Week programs.
Butler Center for Service and Leadership

The Butler Center has a number of events planned for the remainder of the year that students can participate in as they find out what it means to be a #UMchangemaker. Next up, the Butler Center along with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs will present a weekend-long conference, ‘Canes Summit for Leadership, Diversity and Social Change. Students will have the opportunity to explore parts of their identity and the concepts of power and privilege while enjoying various workshops and guest speakers. Visit to find out more information about this program and other upcoming events.

Butler Center for Service and Leadership

News at UM

UM student, award-winning community activist Monica Bustinza shares her experience of leading Get Out the Vote:

Homecoming winners reflect on importance of fun, rather than winning:

Cuban journalist Yoani Sánchez gives students glimpse at the world of censored press:

U PUP’s Founding Father Heads to Grad School, Leaves His Legacy in Good Paws:

The University of Miami | Department of Orientation & Commuter Student Involvement
Shalala Student Center, Suite 203 | 1330 Miller Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146
(305) 284-5646 |