Florida International University’s growth during the past 30 years has been remarkable, enhancing South Florida’s image as an academic center instead of a winter playground.
We’ve come a long way from the “Suntan-U” reputation held long ago by the University of Miami.
The bathing-suit image rebounded recently with FIU’s hosting of the Miss Universe Pageant, a throwback to a time when women were judged by their beauty first and their brains second.
Why else do they strut in bathing suits in front of judges?
Sure, the contest brought public exposure to FIU and resulted in scholarship money.
But was it worth hosting an anachronistic paean to women’s beauty for $150,000 in scholarships and an audience watching a televised throwback to the ’50s? Would Harvard or Stanford have hosted such an event?
If FIU is so hungry for public exposure, is spending money sprucing up a venue for a beauty pageant the best investment in marketing a center of higher education focused on the future?
If I were a young woman considering options for college, I would definitely cross FIU off my list.
Kathy Hersh, Miami