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?
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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