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With Crawford committed, students react to their new president

By Mary Schrott, Senior Staff Writer

Gregory Crawford will become Miami's 22nd president July 1, 2016 after receiving a unanimous vote of approval from the Board of Trustees last Friday. Before being offered the position, Crawford held forums last week on Middletown, Hamilton and Oxford campuses where he met with faculty, student groups and the general community.

Senior Magda Orlander met Crawford last Thursday at an invitation-only forum for students who represent different niches on campus.

"They filled the room with minorities," Orlander said.

Students from the Black Student Action Association, Feminists Working on Real Democracy, Spectrum, Diversity Affairs Council, as well as international and Myaamia students were all in attendance, Orlander said.

"I was specifically asked to go to represent folks from the queer community," Orlander said.

While the forum was scheduled to take 30 minutes, Orlander said it took 40.

"You're inviting too many groups of people to be present to only talk for a half-hour," Orlander said. "Going from 30 to 40 is a big difference."

Crawford had the opportunity to introduce himself and speak about diversity at Miami. However, Orlander said she didn't learn much due to the time restraint.

While she described Crawford as energetic, nice and excited, Orlander said just having those qualities are not going to win her trust.

Orlander was pleased with Crawford's promise to work with students, but said now all she can do is wait to see his execution.

"We want to see administration put their money where their mouth is," Orlander said.

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In addition to meeting Crawford at the forum, Orlander said the presidential nomination process affects her acceptance of him.

"When you're presented with one finalist you accept it as fact that this person has been appointed," Orlander said. "In terms of the search process, there is a lot to be wished for."

Sophomore Davaughn Golden went to the forum open to all Wednesday morning, the day before the invitation-only forum Orlander attended. While Golden was also personally invited to the Thursday forum for his work regarding diversity and association with the Black Action Movement, he wanted to go Wednesday to get a general feel for the candidate.

"It gave me a chance to understand his background and what he wants to do for Miami," Golden said. "I felt confident that he was telling the truth."

Like Orlander, Golden feels the process to nominate and appoint Crawford was suspicious.

"We heard his name and then he got a position," Golden said. "We didn't hear about anyone else. He's climbing the ladder relatively quickly which makes me a little weary."

Golden said Crawford gave an unspecified, runaround answer about diversity at Wednesday's open forum.

However he clarifies his doubts are common and he would have them for any presidential candidate.

"I have faith that he will do a good job," Golden said.

Sophomore Kayla Carson said she did not attend any of the forums last week because of scheduling.

"It was a hard time to make, like 9:45 in the morning on a Wednesday," Carson said. "I really wanted to go."

While Carson has not yet met Crawford, she has doubts of him, which stem from his lack of social media presence. She currently follows President Hodge on Twitter and thinks it's "sketchy" Crawford doesn't have an account.

Carson is excited for Crawford to come to Miami, however, based on his academic resume.

"He's in academia, not a CEO, which could help make Miami the best school it can be."