'Cane Kickoff in review

'Cane Kickoff in review

Rachele Angiolini, Olivia Tonini and Shane Stewart (left to right) attend Friday's Experience UM sessions to learn more about the many ways new students can get involved on campus.
By Alex Kamphorst

Rachele Angiolini, Olivia Tonini and Shane Stewart (left to right) attend Friday's Experience UM sessions to learn more about the many ways new students can get involved on campus.

'Cane Kickoff in review

By Alex Kamphorst
Read what students had to say about their recent 'Cane Kickoff experience

Nearly 3,000 new students participated in the University of Miami's 'Cane Kickoff orientation program this past week. From attending the spirited 'Canes Take Flight event to the Experience UM interest sessions, incoming students became better connected to the University of Miami and feel prepared for the semester ahead.

Here is what some students said about their 'Cane Kickoff experience.

Aravind Meyyappan, biology majorMeyyappan

When asked about his favorite part of 'Cane Kickoff, Meyyappan reflected on what he learned on Friday during the Experience UM sessions. "The Experience UM sessions were really cool, it’s cool to see what UM has to offer and all of the different ways to get involved.”

Meyyappan is looking to get involved in several organizations he is passionate about. "I want to do things that will really help me enjoy my free time and that aren’t related to academics. I want to learn more about Club Sports and other clubs I could be passionate about."

Sana Paul, political science major (left)
Elhma Flores-Mattson, biomedical engineering major

Both Paul and Flores-Mattson noted 'Canes Take Flight as their favorite part of 'Cane Kickoff. "It was really fun seeing the cheering and everyone going crazy. I’m a transfer student, and we definitely didn’t have anything like that at my old school, so it was fun to see everyone so passionate," said Paul.

But beyond the 'Cane Kickoff festivities, Flores-Mattson noted that she is looking forward to trying something new. "I can’t wait to meet new people and professors and learn a lot. There’s going to be so many new experiences and opportunities, and I’m really looking forward to that."

Erick Martin, biology majorMartin

Another fan of 'Canes Take Flight, Martin said the iconic event was his favorite part of 'Cane Kickoff. "It got me really hyped. I’ve always liked UM so when I saw all the UM stuff I thought 'Okay, I’m home.'"

Martin wants to take that spirit into the coming year by cheering on the Hurricanes many athletic events. "Besides getting good grades, I really want to beat UF next week," Martin laughed. "But really, I want to attend more sporting events. In high school, I didn’t go to sporting events until later in the year and I want to pick up on that."

Olivia Tonini, psychology majorTonini

As a commuter student participating in 'Cane Kickoff this year, Tonini enjoyed the opportunity to make connections early on. "My favorite thing so far has been being able to meet more people, both other commuters and people who live on campus. Since I’m a commuter myself it helps me not feel isolated."

In addition to making friends, Tonini is ready to hit the books. "For me, I’m excited to take classes that are geared towards my interests. It’s nice to be able to choose to study what really interests me."

Khalil Bland, civil engineering majorBland

Bland selected Orientation Outreach for his “Experience Miami” off-campus excursion on Sunday to continue volunteering with the local community like he did in middle and high school. “This is our community, so we should start serving it as soon as possible," he said.

But in addition to helping others, Bland also developed a key skill that will serve him well not only as a student, but also as he continues on in his career as a public administrator. “Today I learned how to work with others,” he said. “My partner and I didn’t really know where to start, so we fumbled over each other a bit. But once we found our rhythm, we painted a whole stairwell by ourselves!”

Shane Stewart, marine biology and ecology majorStewart

Thinking about the whole week, Stewart appreciated the flexibility he's had with 'Cane Kickoff. "I like that we’ve been able to plan what we want to do. With everything in Guidebook, it’s been nice to pick and choose what we’re interested in, or just chill in our rooms and meet friends."

As a resident student, Stewart also shared how he is looking forward to living on campus. "I’m a major fan of how super accessible everything is by living on campus. Everything I need to do is close and I don’t have to stress about transportation or food or anything like that."

Coordinated by the Division of Student Affairs Department of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement, 'Cane Kickoff is a transition program immediately prior to the start of classes that assists first-year undergraduate and transfer students with their academic, personal, social and cultural transition to the University of Miami.