Students react to State of the U address

Student Dallas Bennet at the 2021 State of the U Town Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 28. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami
By Jenny Hudak

Student Dallas Bennet at the 2021 State of the U Town Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 28. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami

Students react to State of the U address

By Jenny Hudak
New housing and facilities, a commitment to diversity, and a focus on innovation were portions of University of Miami President Julio Frenk’s remarks that some students found especially interesting.

University of Miami senior Paul Douillon walked into the Shalala Student Center Ballroom Tuesday curious to get a glimpse of the future that President Julio Frenk’s third State of the University Town Hall provided. 

“Something President Frenk said that stood out to me was his quote, ‘We cannot have 21st century learning in 19th century classrooms,’” recalled Douillon. “I thought that was impactful because it says a lot about what our future looks like. We’re looking to innovate, we’re looking to grow, we’re looking to excel and continue doing better than we did in the past.”

Douillon, a criminology major from Homestead, Florida, was one of a number of students who were well represented at the event.

Student Government President Landon Coles, who introduced President Frenk, said he specifically enjoyed the portion of Frenk’s remarks that addressed diversity, equity, and inclusion. “We must continue to be persistent on this matter if we are to aspire for excellence as an institution,” said Coles, who is also the student representative on the Board of Trustees. 


Read: State of the U highlights resilience, future initiatives

Landon Coles delivers introductory remarks
Landon Coles delivers introductory remarks at the 2021 State of the University Town Hall. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami

During his introductory remarks, Coles told the audience that it was his privilege to represent a student body that remained steadfast in demanding progress for themselves, the University community, and for local and global neighbors. 

“We have used our voice to insist on the very best of our institution. The movement does not cease here. Our Student Government will continue to advocate on behalf of every University of Miami student,” he said. “We look forward to all of the good work and good trouble that lies ahead this academic year—and beyond. At the U, we have found a willing partner invested in our success,” he added, referencing Frenk. 

Dallas J. Bennett, a sophomore from Cherokee, North Carolina, who is studying history, was pleased to learn about the University’s new initiatives and projects. 

“I loved hearing about how we are investing in the future of our students by building new housing and other new facilities to attract the best of the best in academics and athletics,” Bennett said. “I came today just to hear what the president had to say. I think we, as students, have an obligation to come and learn about the direction our University is headed. We are the students. Without the students, there is no University.”