Video | Ingram: work harder, play smarter
Tuesday, Student Body President Heath Ingram commended Miami University's strong student body and challenged the university to continue to improve in his State of the Student Body Address.
"The state of Miami University's student body is strong and it is, without a doubt, only getting stronger," Ingram said. "Our university has a lot to be proud of this year as we have received national recognition for a myriad of exceptional accomplishments."
Miami's recent ranking as second in the nation for excellence in undergraduate teaching, the university's high four-year graduation rate and successful athletic teams and student organizations demonstrate the strength of the university, according to Ingram. Ingram challenged Miami to improve further through the Miami Legacy Initiative and the construction of the Armstrong Student Center (ASC.)
During the address, Ingram spoke of the Miami Legacy Initiative, which is designed to help students understand Miami's history and traditions, create lasting pride in Miami and enhance the value of the Miami degree.
"The Miami Legacy Initiative is designed to develop pride, love and respect from the earliest days of a student's experience at Miami and help it last for the rest of their lives," Ingram said.
Part of the Miami Legacy Initiative includes connecting with Miami alumni and soliciting donations in order to make Miami more competitive with schools such as Princeton University and Dartmouth University, Ingram said.
"If we really want to compete we need to begin engendering students with an expectation to give back to Miami and invest in their degree," Ingram said. "I don't want to say we're going to be the best undergraduate university in Ohio or the best school in the Midwest, we should be the best school in the nation."
President David Hodge, who attended the address, said in a later interview he felt the initiative let students know the future of Miami is in their hands.
"The initiative crystallizes what has been part of every president's agenda, we are concerned that people understand Miami's history and tradition and what students themselves can do," Hodge said.
In the address, Ingram challenged students to "work harder and play smarter." This will improve Miami's reputation and enhance the value of a degree from the university, according to Ingram.
"I don't want students to slave over work but we need to make sure we're doing the best we can to be good students and make sure we're representing Miami at all times," Ingram said in a later interview.
Ingram also challenged the administration to build better infrastructure for international students.
"We as a community must recognize that we play an important role in creating a more accepting environment for people of all different backgrounds," Ingram said.
Finding ways to accommodate international students is high on the administration's agenda, according to Hodge.
"We've had this very rapid increase of international students who have a hugely positive impact on the university but now we need to find ways to accommodate their needs better," Hodge said.
The Miami Legacy Initiative and the construction of the ASC both act to build the Miami family, according to Ingram.
"The Miami Legacy Initiative is an attempt to engender students with a sense pride and the Armstrong Student Center provides a space, a physical facility, for students to begin that," Ingram said in a later interview.
The ASC will revolutionize the way Miami students and organizations interact and give students much needed study space, according to Ingram. said.
Ingram said he hopes the Miami Legacy Initiative, ASC and his challenges to the student body will help Miami continue to be a remarkable university in the future.
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