FIU

“Shame On You FIU” March Takes North Miami By Storm

What’s News In This Story?


-Over a hundred protestors marched east on 135th St in North Miami to demand that FIU not build a road through the Arch Creek East Environment Preserve. 

-The city has opposed the plan to connect 135th St to the backside of the FIU North Campus for years because they say it would damage the preserve.

-North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin said that the city is preparing to sue in order to stop the project from going through. 

 

Watch Another Story: Meet Miami’s Queen Bee And Her Backyard Insect Revolution

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Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to editor@risenews.net.

 

BREAKING: Police Are Investigating Suspended FIU Frat At Center Of Growing Scandal

What’s New With This Story: 

-A Florida International University spokesperson confirmed to RISE NEWS that the FIU Police Department and the FIU Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution are leading an investigation into allegations leveled against Tau Kappa Epsilon.

-There is no timeframe for when the investigation will conclude and FIU can’t comment on specifics as to who exactly is being investigated.

-Tau Kappa Epsilon is on interim suspension from FIU as a result of the investigation.

-The FIU Office Of Campus Life, which is led by a former high ranking Tau Kappa Epsilon official, will not be involved in the investigation.


 

By Rich Robinson:

The deepening scandal surrounding Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) at Florida International University has drawn the attention of campus police and high ranking university disciplinary officials.

According to FIU spokesperson Madeline Baró, TKE is on an interim suspension while the FIU Police Department and FIU Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution conduct an investigation into allegations made by five university sororities.

Read our original story on this scandal: FIU Sororities Blacklist Frat After Disturbing Group Chat Allegedly Emerges

The group that represents sororities at Florida International University blacklisted a fraternity at FIU due to the discovery of an explosive email that allegedly contained a series of inappropriate screenshots from a group chat between members of Tau Kappa Epsilon.

The FIU Panhellenic Council made the claims in a letter released last Friday.

According to HerCampus:

“The email contained over 20 attachments of a Tau Kappa Epsilon group chat in which members shared images of nude women, mocked a deceased member of the Panhellenic community, sent photos of hazing, messages about sexual assault, pedophilia and drug distribution.”

A source reached out to RISE NEWS after our original story was published Monday afternoon to express concerns about a high ranking FIU administrator’s connection to TKE.

Jose Toscano is the director of the Office of Campus Life and is a former member of FIU’s TKE chapter. He also previously served as an advisor for the South Florida Province of TKE’s national organization.

But while the Office of Campus Life sounds like a body that might get involved in an investigation of student misconduct, FIU said that the office and by extension, Toscano, will have nothing to do with the ongoing probe into alleged TKE misconduct.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

Please enjoy our “free days” until Monday, November 6th. Starting on that day, our website will only be available to RISE NEWS members. You are not going to want to miss out on our pathbreaking local journalism and valuable member deals! Become a member today

Have a news tip about this story or others? Send us an email to editor@risenews.net.

 

Updated: The original version of this story incorrectly labeled the office that Jose Toscano leads. It is the Office Of Campus Life. We regret the error and are happy to have it corrected. 

FIU Sororities Blacklist Frat After Disturbing Group Chat Allegedly Emerges

<<<BREAKING: Police Are Investigating Suspended FIU Frat At Center Of Growing Scandal>>>

Read Original Story:

The group that represents sororities at Florida International University has decided to blacklist a fraternity at FIU due to the discovery of an explosive email that allegedly contained a series of inappropriate screenshots from a group chat between members of Tau Kappa Epsilon.

The FIU Panhellenic Council made the claims in a letter released Friday.

The letter, which was first reported by HerCampus claims that a “disgusting and obscene email” containing screenshots of a group chat from members of FIU’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity was sent on September 28, to FIU administrators and Greek life leaders.

From Her Campus:

“The email contained over 20 attachments of a Tau Kappa Epsilon group chat in which members shared images of nude women, mocked a deceased member of the Panhellenic community, sent photos of hazing, messages about sexual assault, pedophilia and drug distribution.”

Tau Kappa Epsilon is the second oldest fraternity on the FIU campus and boasts over 90 active members.

In response to the allegations made in the email, five of the seven Panhellenic Council sororities decided to blacklist TKE.

They say that they will not interact with TKE in any way through the end of Fall 2018.

“Although we normally encourage members to become involved in philanthropy, we will not allow for members of TKE to assume roles in our philanthropic programming, to congregate at such events, nor will they be allowed to attend in TKE paraphernalia”, The letter from the Panhellenic Council said. “Our organizations refuse to support any event hosted by the chapter.”

Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Phi Epsilon, Phi Mu and Sigma Kappa all signed the letter.

<<<BREAKING: Police Are Investigating Suspended FIU Frat At Center Of Growing Scandal>>>

FIU did not respond to RISE NEWS when asked for comment, however the official university Facebook page did comment on the HerCampus story.

“FIU is aware of the images described in the story and has no tolerance for this type of behavior,” the official FIU Facebook page wrote in the comments of the HerCampus article. “We are unable to comment further pending the conclusion of an investigation.”

RISE NEWS also has reached out to the leadership of the Panhellenic Council. We will update this story with additional information.

UPDATE: Tau Kappa Epsilon has responded to our request for comment:

“Tau Kappa Epsilon and our Sigma-Alpha chapter at FIU are fully cooperating with university officials on their investigation.”

<<<BREAKING: Police Are Investigating Suspended FIU Frat At Center Of Growing Scandal>>>

READ: The full letter sent from the FIU Panhellenic Council regarding their blacklisting of Tau Kappa Epsilon

Please enjoy our “free days” until Monday, November 6th. Starting on that day, our website will only be available to RISE NEWS members. You are not going to want to miss out on our pathbreaking local journalism and valuable member deals! Become a member today

Have a news tip about this story or others? Send us an email to editor@risenews.net.

FIU Students Plan Massive Walk Out To Protest Trump

Students at the largely hispanic Florida International University are planning to walk out of class Wednesday afternoon to protest the election of Donald Trump.

The action is in conjunction with a national movement that wants college campuses to declare themselves a #SanctuaryCampus in order to fight against Trump’s promises to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.

The protest will start at 3 PM and run until 6 PM according to the Facebook page that has been set up to organize it.

After walking out of class, students are planning at meeting at a free speech zone located at the GC Lawns outside of Einstein Bagels on the FIU main campus.

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-11-24-03-am

Here’s more from the organizers:

“On November 16th, we are calling on all students to join the movement to declare their campuses a #SanctuaryCampus and commit to putting our bodies between Trump and undocumented students.

We are already seeing students rise up on our own– but we must create national solidarity to create a massive resistance against Donald Trump and to demand permanent protection, dignity, and respect for all immigrants.

It’s time that we unite to protect our most vulnerable people– including undocumented immigrants, Black people, Muslims, Queer people, and all people of color.

We must amplify each other and rise up together in the face of Trump.”

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

FIU Provost Sees Miami As Critical Nexus To China

For Peng Lu, Miami functions for Latin America the way Singapore or Hong Kong does for Southeast Asia. The city acts as a de facto hub for Latin American countries doing business in the US and also gives it the opportunity to engage with other countries, most prominently of which in recent years has been China.… Read More

FIU Gets Taken Over By Pokemon Go Fans Looking For A Squirtle

The Pokemon Go phenomenon has reached a fever pitch across the United States.

And locally in South Florida, the app has forced thousands of people to explore their community while also inadvertently causing some pretty funny scenes.

One of those funny scenes happened on the campus of Florida International University.

On Sunday night, scores of FIU students rushed to a single point on campus all in the hopes of catching an elusive Pokemon inside of Green Library.

Eddy Madero, a marketing student at FIU captured the scene on his phone and narrated it pretty well.

“All for a fucking Squirtle,” Madero said in the video.

WATCH:

We’ve reached out to talk to Madero and we’ll update this story. 

Do you have a funny Pokemon Go story or experience? Contact us at editor@risenews.net.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

 Cover Photo Credit: Eddy Madero/ Facebook (Screengrab)

It’s Time For FIU Students And Grads To Stop Cheering For UM, So FIU Can Rise

This story was originally published on risemiaminews.com on June 11, 2015.

By Santiago Archieri

Growing up in Miami, there was one clear-cut favorite of who I would root for.

When my best friends and I would gear up in our orange and green outfits, we screamed our hearts out in Sun Life stadium. The “U” was what it was always all about.

As the college years went on, I saw two of my best friend’s transition to Duke and Gator fans, while some of us went to Florida International University. Although the University of Miami was my dream school for as long as I can remember, I had to become a Golden Panther.

I was there at every tailgate, stayed till 1 AM at a football game, hell, I even became an FIU cheerleader.

But up until a few weeks back I was conflicted.

Read More: Haters Gonna Hate, But MLS Soccer In Miami Will Work With Beckham

It was one of the biggest college baseball games in Miami in recent memory, as FIU traveled 9 miles to Coral Gables to play the Hurricanes. For me, was it going to be UM or FIU gear that I donned at Mark Light?

Turned out to be FIU.

But not everyone has a smooth transition to acquaint themselves with “Panther Pride”. The University of Miami is the big brother school of FIU, and they never are humble about it.

This is completely understandable. I know the legacy “The U” holds, I know their 6 football national championships (and yes I include 2002), I know the bad boy Hurricane days.

I know it all, but going to FIU makes me realize how much pride I have for my own school.

As FIU is celebrating its 50th year as a university, it is well on the rise. FIU is one of the biggest schools in the nation when it comes to students enrollment, has some top notch undergrad programs and a fast growing law school.

And like some other sports in South Florida, fans start to fill the stadium when FIU starts winning.

The glory days of T.Y. Hilton displayed that fact, as fans started to stand on the top deck of the small stadium to cheer on the then conference winning football team. T.Y. led us to a new conference, led us to constructing a bigger stadium, and potentially saved FIU football.

This year, Panther fans saw our swimming and diving team win the conference, they saw the baseball team win the conference title as an 8th seed, they tuned into ESPN to watch FIU own the number one play on SportsCenter when Dennis Mavin hit a ridiculous half court, double pump buzzer beater in the conference tournament for basketball in Birmingham.

All these small things start to add up for FIU fans. The UM-FIU baseball matchup was a perfect example. As I walked in, it was amazing to see so much navy blue and gold.

In a sea of Hurricanes, I could see fellow Panthers, and even though it was a loss, I am sure every FIU fan there was beyond excited to root for their team.

Bring up the empty stadiums, the tough sports history, and the fact that FIU might not have an amazing reputation. But this is all going to change in the future, and it starts with people being proud of their school.

The biggest question I received all my senior year in high school was “Why FIU?”

And now, I know it to be the best decision I ever made. I see those true FIU fans, and know that they are starting to create a trend that can’t be stopped.

What do you think? Should FIU grads stop cheering for UM and better support their school? Let us know in the comments below. 

Photo Credit: emerille/Flickr

Students Say FIU Art Classrooms Are Filled With Mold, Broken Equipment

This story was originally published on April 7, 2015.

By Alexandra Del Canto

Art students at Florida International University say they are forced to learn in dirty and potentially unsafe educational spaces.  At the Modesto A. Maidique Campus in southwest Miami-Dade County, art students are routinely crowded into small portable classrooms while other students enjoy new facilities on campus.

Some say they are have to stand up during classes due to a lack of seating while others sit on desks. Some FIU students say that the conditions in which they are expected to learn in on a daily basis are in fact unsafe. Reports of mold in classrooms, dirty bathrooms, broken and rusting equipment and water damage are rampant.

“We deserve better, we’re the same as everyone else,” Maximo Yejo a senior art student said. “We’re here to get an education, we’re paying our dues.”

Here is what our Rise Miami News investigation found on the FIU campus.

“Please Leave AC at 70 Studio Needs Air to Prevent More Mold.” Sign in W9 building.

Sign in W9 building.

 

Mold collecting on ceiling in W9.

Mold collecting on ceiling in W9.

 

Ventilation in art studio W9

Ventilation in art studio W9

In the photography labs, students practice printing black and white and color pictures. Students also use these facilities to develop black and white film. All of these film processes entail exposure to chemicals, which are extremely toxic to inhale and touch. With proper and clean facilities, it is easier to limit exposure to these harmful chemicals and limit the chance of spreading them beyond the bounds of the photography lab rooms. Clean facilities are crucial to producing photographic work, as the film developing and printing process is very delicate.

Black and white photography classroom where students meet for lectures and hang their work to be critiqued.

Black and white photography classroom where students meet for lectures and hang their work to be critiqued.

“The walls are covered in chemicals, most of the sinks are rusted and are also stained. A lot of the flooring in the printing room has either been soaked through already or is falling apart,” Nick Suarez, an FIU junior said. “There’s not a whole lot of good enlargers, [machinery for projecting film to make prints] most of them are either half way broken or dirty. We don’t have a lot of space, we don’t have a real classroom aside from one table with a couple of chairs. We don’t even have a wall to put stuff up on.  We have planks of cork-board that we put things into and just cover up walls with doors.”

Close up of one of the panels (cork boards) that students hang their photographs on to present to the class. There is no wall space so the boards are lined up and lean against the wall.

Close up of one of the panels (cork boards) that students hang their photographs on to present to the class. There is limited wall space so the boards are lined up and lean against the wall.

 

Chemical stains pouring down walls and on counters where students work with photographs and film.

Chemical stains pouring down walls and on counters where students work with photographs and film.

 

Rotting wood holds up cleaning equipment.

Rotting wood holds up cleaning equipment.

 

Chemicals eroding shelf and floor, the outside of the containers are contaminated as well.

Chemicals eroding shelf and floor, the outside of the containers are contaminated as well.

 

Rusted student lockers in darkroom.

Rusted student lockers in darkroom.

 

Where color photography classes of up to 35 students meet for class and present their work. Some students stand up due to lack of space. (Photo blurred intentionally to conceal identities of students.)

Where color photography classes meet and present their work. Some students stand up due to lack of space. (Photo blurred intentionally to conceal identities of students.)

“We have a whole bunch of things that don’t work and we can’t use,” Alex Ballester, a junior art student said. “We’re [FIU] all about education, bringing a better education to Miami and making a good name for FIU and we’re doing the complete opposite.”

UPDATED: April 9, 2015

In an email sent this morning to faculty, staff, and students of Florida International University’s College of Architecture + The Arts, (CARTA) a university leader promised sweeping changes and reform to dirty and potentially unsafe classrooms that art majors use.

CARTA dean Brian Schriner said in the memo that his college is working collaboratively with FIU to fix the problems first brought to light in a Rise Miami News investigation.

“Our primary concern continues to be the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors,” Schriner said. “We are fortunate to have instructional space that is state-of-the-art; however, we also have to address issues with facilities that require our attention.”

Art students at FIU said they are forced to learn in dirty educational spaces at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus. The students are routinely crowded into small portable classrooms that often have signs of mold, water damage and are littered with broken and rusting equipment.

“We deserve better, we’re the same as everyone else,” Maximo Yejo a senior art student said. “We’re here to get an education, we’re paying our dues.”

In the statement, Schriner said that his team is committed to completing a number of repairs and maintenance by July 1, 2015, “Including replacing worn furniture and painting interior spaces, with particular attention to the facilities of the Department of Art + Art History and the Department of Theatre.”

“Moving forward and in alignment with the College’s strategic plan, we will be investing in the College’s infrastructure, facilities, equipment, and technology,” Schriner said. “This summer I will present Provost Furton with a proposal to renovate existing and construct new facilities. It’s my goal to ensure that our facilities reflect the excellence of our faculty, students, and programs.”

Schriner said that FIU students are welcomed to email him questions and comments about the changes to carta@fiu.edu.

Can Marco Rubio Save His Florida Campaign By Rallying Young Miami To His Aid?

By Camila Saenz

RISE NEWS Fellow

Senator Marco Rubio once again set foot on Florida International University’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus Wednesday, but this time he is looking for some serious help from the students he once taught.

Rubio is a born and raised Miamian with a family background not uncommon to the 54,000 students who attend FIU.

Rubio also previously taught a Florida Politics class on Monday’s and Fridays even after he was elected to the US Senate.

And according to the college professor tracker, Rate My Professor, students enjoyed his class at the university and seemed to like him.

“Probably the most amazing professor I have ever had,” one reviewer wrote on Rate My Professor. “Not to mention that he is a sitting U.S. Senator and Presidential Candidate. Would definitely take him again.”

Rubio’s political history runs deep in the southern end of Miami-Dade County. He was a long serving member of the Florida House of Representatives (where he eventually rose to be speaker of the body) and was a city councilman in West Miami starting when the future Presidential candidate was in his mid-twenties.

Marco Rubio at a MSNBC town hall on the campus of FIU. Photo Credit: Camila Saenz/ RISE NEWS

Marco Rubio at a MSNBC town hall on the campus of FIU. Photo Credit: Camila Saenz/ RISE NEWS

But not everyone is fond of Rubio these days.

“The people of Florida can’t stand him. He couldn’t get elected dog catcher,” Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said recently. “There will be a lot of advertising. It’s the only thing that might save him. But I doubt it.”

The question many students at FIU find themselves asking is whether or not Rubio will win the Florida primary, and whether they should continue to support him.

“I feel since he is born and raised in Florida he has a connection with the people of Florida,” FIU student Frank Mercado. “Age does not determine how well of a president a person will be, Rubio though young can still be a good choice.”

On Wednesday, a large crowd of students waited to catch a glimpse of Rubio walk through the doors of the Graham Center Ballrooms where he participated in a town hall hosted by MSNBC.

“Rubio has made a large impact on the republican campaign in this election cycle,” A student attending the town hall said after the event. “He is the strongest candidate out of the final four, however, he lacks years and experience.”

According to RealClear Politics, Trump is currently ahead in the polls by more than 15 points in Florida.

The Florida primary will decide which candidate will receive an additional 99 delegates; it can either give  Trump a tighter grip on the GOP nomination or help Rubio stay competitive.

If Rubio loses Florida, he is expected by some to drop out of the contest.

“Donald Trump makes the Republican Party look bad and Ted Cruz does not do a much better job,” Nicolas Zapata, a registered Democrat and FIU student said. “Rubio is the best choice out of the Republicans.

Florida votes on March 15th.

For more information on voting for the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary in Florida visit http://dos.myflorida.com/elections/for-voters/voting/.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

FIU Students Organize Second Miami Maglev Forum In Hopes Of Sparking Transportation Revolution

South Florida is known for many things. Beautiful weather, multiculturalism, hot nightlife and soul crushing public transportation that literally makes you want to die. (You don’t see that last part in the Chamber of Commerce brochures.)

One group of high achieving young people are trying to revolutionize the way South Florida gets around by bringing a radical form of public transportation here.

Two brothers—Darius and Demetrius Villa—and their friend, Aleksandr Khalfin, founded the High Speed Rail America Club (HSRAC) at Florida International University last year and they have found some success in spreading their message.

The club researches and promotes high-speed rail trains, also known as bullet trains, in America. Bullet trains, which average more than 150 mph, don’t exist in our country, and it’s a fuel-efficient and quicker way to travel, Demetrius told RISE NEWS in an interview last year.

They say that they are the leading high-speed advocacy group for millennials.

The group believes that Miami should build up an ambitious system of Maglev transportation that would eventually connect the Magic City to Miami Beach and FIU.

With a healthy amount of grassroots support now at their back, the HSRAC wants to get some political muscle on their side.

They plan to do this by presenting a Miami Maglev Forum on April 7th from 10 AM-12 PM on the FIU campus. And they hope that local political leaders will show up to learn about the proposed idea and to interact with young transportation activists.

They tried and failed at this once before.

“Last September, the group partnered with American Maglev Technology, the FIU Honors College, and All Aboard Florida to host the first Miami Maglev forum,” a press release from the HSRAC read. “While the forum itself had students and FIU community leaders in attendance, a grand total of zero representatives came from the leadership of Miami, Miami-Dade, and Miami Beach. Students were highly upset of the lack of leadership from their elected officials, and grew further disenchanted with the infrastructural direction of the community.”

The release goes on to say that transportation directors, commissioners, and mayors of all three municipalities (Miami-Dade County, City of Miami, Miami Beach) were emailed, and no responses were received from them.

“To make amends to both the citizens and their elected officials, we are hosting a 2nd Maglev Forum to be able to discuss ideas, the direction of the community, and towards finding a solution that the populace agrees with,” the release reads.

If you want to learn more about the group or the event, you can follow them on Facebook.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place. 

Cover Photo Credit: Thomas Lok/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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