By Rebecca Huff, For The Miami Student
Tensions rose at the Regional Campus Process Committee's public forum Wednesday, Feb. 18, on Miami University's Hamilton campus. When audience members weren't getting the answers they wanted, the meeting quickly shifted from informational and straightforward to an attack against the committee.
Despite the harsh winter weather, roughly 60 people showed up to take part in the conversation. Students, faculty, staff, Alumni and most of the committee members were there as well.
"You have what you call your marching orders, which is what some of us thought all along and what we've been protesting, that this is a done deal. Unfortunately, your people and sincere efforts are being manipulated and used for no good purpose because we are already screwed," said John Krafft, associate professor of English.
Committee Chair Jim Oris, went from being calm and collected to annoyed and exasperated as he rubbed his forehead when applause erupted.
"You all have to understand I've been at Miami for almost 30 years. Some of my closest colleagues are people from Miami Hamilton and Middletown in the biology department," Oris said. "I understand what you're going through, they're my friends, they're my colleagues, I've worked with them. I'm not being manipulated, John, I didn't ask for this job. But I have a lot invested in this to make this successful. So you'll have to understand where I'm coming from."
What some audience members failed to realize is that the governor and Ohio Board of Regents mandated this process in 2008.
The committee addressed multiple concerns involving open enrollment versus selective enrollment, separate accreditation, offering more degrees and whether they are actually listening to the concerns voiced. The Task Force Committee held multiple student-only forums last semester so students could voice their concerns.
"We brought every single concern that was in front of us to the Task Force Committee," said Sabrina Cox, regional student and member of the Process Committee. "A lot of the concerns that the students had were uneducated concerns, so we could very easily dispel whatever they were saying because they didn't have facts behind it. I think what needs to happen is that the SGA [Student Government Association] on both campuses need to do a better job educating the students on what's really happening."
Regional Director of Grant development, Amy Lamborg, expressed her opinion on the selective enrollment versus open enrollment debate.
"We spend a ton of time serving people who probably shouldn't even be here, honestly, and I hate to say that, but their GPAs are so low they're not going to be successful - no matter what we do," said Lamborg. "Even if we are giving them the best learning services on the planet. They are not going to be successful."