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Opinion | Student success in Over-the-Rhine should prompt program expansion

By Editorial Board
On February 20, 2012

Friday, Miami University's Center for Community Engagement (MUCCE) located in the Cincinnati neighborhood, Over-the-Rhine (OTR) will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Miami students designed MUCCE as a place devoted to community engagement and interaction. MUCCE has a residency program for 12 to 15 students to live in OTR during the fall semester to take classes, participate in design projects, student teach and be active in after-school and day care programs. OTR is a historically underprivileged neighborhood. In part through the presence of MUCCE, it has become a focal point for social justice reform.

The editorial board of The Miami Student commends the university for pioneering a program that encourages students to live and work in an environment that needs economic and social attention.

Since its inception in 2002, the program has seen success, attracting a diverse group of students in majors such as architecture, education and business. Similar to the study abroad experience, involvement in MUCCE pushes students to step outside of their comfort zone but without the cost of many study abroad programs and located only an hour away from Miami.

Moreover, it is a program that offers privileged students attending Miami a chance to see another side of life and make a difference in helping the less fortunate, meanwhile gaining valuable life and professional experience. It is an overall solid program that is cost effective, helpful to the community and it promotes personal growth.

This board feels MUCCE has the potential to grow and reach even more students, particularly by better publicizing the program. Success will increase with a larger pool of student applicants.

Once students from different majors and studies become more involved, the program will grow and be more effective. In addition, the program should network with other organizations and departments in the university.

By spreading publicity around to all corners of the university, OTR may gain more exposure to encourage students to help out a community in need. Ultimately, it takes a unique type of person to find the OTR program appealing so more publicity is needed to attract those students and encourage typically unlikely students to participate.

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