About 250 freshmen fidget and murmur in the cavernous ballroom at Florida International University. The newcomers wait for the next segment of an orientation session FIU requires all incoming students to attend. Hanging on a wall above the stage is the university's mascot, a large panther baring its fangs, slashing with a mighty paw, and trailing a lightning-bolt tail. The ferocious feline is painted gold, blue, and red in a glittery finish. It appears... More >>>