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Welcome week, re-written: An unauthorized guide to Miami’s campus

The following piece, written by the editorial editors, reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.

Alright everybody, gather round. So, before we get started, we just want everyone to know that we won't be taking the conventional campus tour today.

That behemoth over there is the Farmer School of Business. Yep, it's pretty majestic. I'm sure there are a lot of people thinking of majoring in business or finance in this group, but we're just going to keep on walking today. The granite tiles, piano and general air of superiority is nice, but there are a couple hidden gems to see that I think will make your experience at Miami worthwhile.

This is Western Campus. You'll notice that the buildings here are a bit different. That's because this was originally the Western College for Women. It was one of the sites where, in June of 1964, activists were trained before heading to Mississippi to help register African American voters.

The college became part of Miami University in 1970 and it's now home to the individualized studies program - you can actually make your own major if you don't find one here that you like.

A lot of students prefer the natural stone facades of the buildings here versus the straight, red brick. When I was a freshman, I lived in McKee Hall and my favorite spot used to be the Western Pond in front of Peabody Hall. It's changed a little bit. They've uprooted some trees and replaced a few benches, but there is still this little gazebo where I spent my days sitting and reading.

There are other places to go when the helter-skelter of maintaining grades, involvement in clubs and relationships with friends and family starts to pile up. There are some people who never figure this out, but Miami has more than 17 miles of hiking trails to take advantage of.

One of my favorite places to go on the weekends is Bachelor Pond. When it gets warm you can just sit and listen to the symphony of frogs croaking, birds chirping and the wind rustling through the trees.

Now we're back on the main campus. The building on the left here is Bonham House. Hundreds of students will walk past this building on the way to pick up mail or head to the Rec Center every day, but almost none of them know what goes on inside or why.

Miami University is named for the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, which lived here in southwest Ohio before the Battle of Fallen Timbers and the signing of the Treaty of Greenville in 1814. Bonham houses the Myaamia Center, which has been crucial in studying Myaamia language and culture and maintains ties between the university and the tribe.

Do you all see that radio tower behind Bonham House? That's Williams Hall and it used to be an NPR affiliate. The top floor is still riddled with radio labs and there is even a TV studio on the first floor. Now, I'm a journalism major, so I may be a little biased, but I think it is one of the most unique buildings on campus.

How many sports fans do we have in the group? Ah, just one. Well, I know it seems like you're fighting a losing battle - I'll be the first to say that we aren't exactly known for our stellar sports teams. However, the sports history here is pretty cool.

My grandpa had always referenced Miami as the "Cradle of Coaches," and it is actually the reason why I came here. The first time I visited, I walked down the steps to Yager Stadium and saw the big brick wall with the bronze statues and their glowing faces. Whenever I go to a game I just stop at the top of the stairs and look for a few seconds.

So, while I've never rubbed the head of a turtle on the Sundial and have stepped on the seal more times than I can count, I've had a pretty amazing time here.

It wasn't my intention to redesign the admissions office's pre-packaged, 40-minute tour and replace it with this Miami Student-made tour. I just think it's important to talk about all of the things that are never said, but have been crucial to my time at Miami University.

Any questions?

This tour is made of a collection of editorial board members' favorite places on Miami's campus. It does not reflect the views of an individual.

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