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Miss Universe 2014 Drama: FIU Suffers Backlash Over Financial and Women’s Rights Concerns

Miss Universe 2014 Drama: FIU Suffers Backlash Over Financial and Women’s Rights Concerns

AS SEEN IN THE NEWS: Daily Mail

Business tycoon and Miss Universe franchise owner Donald Trump with the 88 candidates of the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant pose for a groufie in Trump National Doral Miami. (Photo credit: Miss Universe Organization)

Florida International University hoped to lift its profile by hosting the Miss Universe pageant but the ceremony is not only costing it hundreds of thousands of dollars, but its also causing dissent among staff and students.

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The university, which announced the deal before signing a contract, has to pay over $540,000 to host the event – a fee inflated by $400,000 in arena roof work needed to accommodate cameras and lights.


And the cost isn’t only financial, with the university suffering a backlash from students and staff about the image the January 25 pageant presents.


FIU administrators insist the pageant will pay and believe the enhanced arena will make the university more competitive in securing concerts and events.


FIU professor Susanne Zwingel, an expert in women’s rights and gender-equality issues, wrote to the university’s president Mark Rosenberg expressing her disappointment.
She wrote: ‘Mr. President, female objectification is a dangerous part of American mainstream society.’
Ms Zwingel said that FIU had a duty to stand up to the status quo, but was instead perpetuating it.
She said: ‘A university has a responsibility toward young men as well,’ Zwingel wrote. ‘It should help them unlearn the messages sent about women by society as a whole — that they are to be judged by their looks and that it is fine to treat them as objects for men’s fantasies.’


To ease tensions, the university has tried to distance itself from the pageant, by not calling itself a sponsor and removing its logo from the pageant website.


Despite this Rosenberg suggested those who watched the pageant abroad would be curious enough to visit the university’s website to learn more about it.


During the telecast, FIU will still receive a couple of ’10 second mentions’ and more than 100 media outlets will cover the event.
Staging Miss Universe at a college is unusual, but not unprecedented. The University of Hawaii hosted it in 1998 at a cost of $3.3 million.


In addition to the arena roof work the FIU will spend $30,000 on relocating a wooden basketball floor and $16,500 transporting teams to other locations for the time it can’t use the arena. It will also lose $20,000 from cancelling two previously booked events.
The pageant will contribute $75,000 in scholarships, with an expected state match raising that to $150,000.

Credits: Daily Mail

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