On Aug. 30, the rain didn’t stop University of Miami’s award-winning publications and organizations from getting together and encouraging students to get involved.

Organized by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), club leaders and interested students gathered around free pizza and soda to listen to the benefits of joining one of the many organizations the School of Communication has to offer.

PRSSA is a pre-professional organization open to all students that aims to give real-world public relations experience. Professor Heidi Carr, the faculty adviser for UM PRSSA, says that joining the society is a must for all students interested in public relations. 

“We bring in people who have years and years of experience and you get to meet them,” Carr said, adding that these meetings often lead to internships or part-time jobs. “I’m not exaggerating when I say this: This is how you get jobs today. You build a connection with people to make your résumé stand out from the other 500 the companies get. You build that one-on-one.”

The Media Management Association (MMA) was the first organization to speak. The MMA gives students the opportunity to network with successful media professionals, to ask them questions, and to speak with experts about their own ideas. Domenica Leone Berry, MMA president, encouraged students to join because the organization “can open so many doors in the media industry.”

Following the MMA, members from The Miami Hurricane, UM’s student-run newspaper, showed off some of their latest work and assured students that all majors from business to design are welcomed at The Hurricane. Founded in 1929, The Miami Hurricane is published on Thursdays during the academic year.

Freshman Jordan Orriols was impressed by the wide range of organizations, and was excited to get involved as soon as she could.

“I did things similar to this in high school, and I know Miami has an impressive program. I want to get involved as quickly as possible,” said Orriols.

Next to speak was a representative from Ibis Yearbook. Founded in 1927, making it the oldest publication on campus, the representative from the Ibis encouraged students to join and become a part of the university’s history. Editor-in-Chief Kaitlin Castillo says the Ibis gave her the opportunity to do something she loves while away from home.

“We have access to a unique experience that UM has to offer. Ibis allows us to have something familiar while we are away from home and keep doing what we love: make a great yearbook that students will have with them for the rest of their lives and being a part of documenting UM’s history,” said Castillo.

The room was brought to stomach-curling laughs when UM Debate Team’s Virgil Capote excitedly asked the crowd what was America’s oldest pastime. Professor Joseph Treaster yelled “farming.”

“Close but no cigar,” replied Capote, “It’s activism and advocacy. The American Revolution, the women’s suffrage moment, the civil rights movement, the ability to change the world. Advocacy and activism, which is debate.”

Capote is the reigning International Pan American Debate Champion, and spoke of the family he’s found in the UM Debate Team. The team has won numerous competitions nationally and internationally, and works with the Miami-Dade Urban Debate League to bring debate to under-privileged middle and high school students. 

“Well I don’t know how to follow that,” said Chelsey Sellars, executive editor of distraction Magazine, as she showed off last semester’s issue.

Distraction is a high-gloss, quarterly magazine that is dedicated to defining the culture of the student body by providing an entertaining and insightful “distraction” to daily stresses. The magazine was most recently nominated as a finalist for the 2016 Pacemaker Award by the Associated Collegiate Press.

For students interested in film, Delta Kappa Alpha (DKA), a national co-educational cinema fraternity, had representatives in attendance. With chapters only in top film schools around the nation, DKA works to give its members hand-on experiences in the film industry and has produced impressive alumni including Julie Andrews, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas.

“We plan events that promote film on campus,” said DKA member Kara Bogasky, “We intern for film festivals and work in workshops that help us apply what we learned in the classroom to the real world.”

A representative from the Public Relations Experience Program (PREP), informed students of the benefits of this one-of-a-kind experience for students interested in public relations. PREP allows students studying any major or minor within the SoC to gain first-hand knowledge through experiential learning by immersing themselves in the industry while simultaneously gaining elective course credit.

Also present were students from UMTV, the university’s Emmy award-winning cable-news station with programs filmed, produced, and edited by UM students. From a sports show to a late night comedy program and a live news broadcast, UMTV has room for every and any major.

Finishing off introductions, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and Ad Group explained how their organizations open doors for members in the journalism and advertising industries, respectively.

SPJ is a professional organization dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Professor Treaster listed the wide range of local and national internships brought to students by the SPJ.

Ad Group introduces students to the world of advertising through guest speakers and field trips to advertising agencies, media outlets, and suppliers in South Florida. Members attend various functions held by the local professional club, the American Advertising Federation of Greater Miami, and can volunteer their time at the January judging of the ADDY creative awards. 

Below is more information for each organization:

UM Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA): Follow on Facebook for updates and upcoming events, https://www.facebook.com/University-of-Miami-PRSSA-660769873998693/.

The Miami Hurricane: Student Media Open House, SSC Student Media Suite, 7 p.m., Sept. 6. http://www.themiamihurricane.com/

The Ibis: Email editor@ibisyearbook.com for more information in applying. http://www.ibisyearbook.com/

UM Debate Team: Meetings are held in Wolfson 4027 or 4028 Monday and Wednesday, 5-8 p.m.

Distraction: First general meeting on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m., SSC Student Media Suites and every Wednesday at 7 p.m., http://www.distractionmagazine.com/

PREP: Applications available at Wolfson 3001 

Ad Group: General meeting for prospective members is on Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. The location will be confirmed soon. Follow Ad Group on Facebook for more information, https://www.facebook.com/umadgroup/.

Visit http://com.miami.edu/groups-organizations/overview to view all School of Communication groups and organizations.