Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

ASG hears student concerns about Miami Dining and voices support for Ohio House Bill 27

Steve Large presented a new plan prioritizing student mental health.
Steve Large presented a new plan prioritizing student mental health.

Miami University’s Associated Student Government (ASG) discussed several issues during their weekly meeting on Feb. 27, including student concerns. ASG heard from the assistant vice president of health and wellness and passed legislation supporting Ohio House Bill 27 (H.B. 27).

Senator Nya Hodge said there were eight cases of food poisoning at Bell Tower in the last two weeks, specifically from the chicken. Hodge committed the concern to the On-Campus Affairs committee.

Senator Abby Showalter expressed concern about Miami Dining, as well. She is dissatisfied with the affordability, specifically with the food court Dividends in the Farmer School of Business.

“It's no secret that the food at Dividends is incredibly expensive,” Showalter said. “Spending $16 on a salad is ridiculous.”

Secretary of On-Campus Affairs Grace Payne said she could reach out for an official response but doesn’t think anything would change due to the supply and demand of the products.

Showalter said allergens weren’t listed on the GrubHub app, but Payne redirected her to the Miami Dining website to find them. Nonetheless, the concern was committed.

Steve Large, assistant vice president of Health and Wellness and chair of the mental health committee, spoke to ASG about the committee’s progress surrounding communication and future initiatives. 

The Ohio Department of Higher Education awarded Miami $980,000 with the intended focus on student mental health to be spent over the next two years. Large said some of the money was spent on a web developer to update Miami’s website. 

“Our website, as it pertains to resources, is not great,” Large said. “It's not intuitive. It's not comprehensive. It's very disparate.”

Large said another part of the money set up the Mental Health Incubator Fund where people can apply for funding for different initiatives and programs surrounding mental health. For year one and year two, $60,000 was set aside, and 17 applications have already been submitted.

“Student mental health is everyone's value and responsibility here,” Large said. “We wanted to make sure we had an opportunity for folks to try to get access to some of that money.”

Large said he hoped the committee could work with other campus groups regarding mental health awareness in order to have more communication synchrony and strategy between groups

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

ASG passed legislation that voices support for H.B. 27 . Spencer Mandzak, Secretary of Academic Affairs and candidate for student body president, said the bill provides transparency to incoming students regarding paying for higher education.

Mandzak said if passed, students would receive a one-page document outlining details like the cost of attendance and financial aid. It would also say how much money average graduates make and how long it would take to pay off student loans. H.B. 27 has bipartisan support in the Ohio House.

Secretary of Governmental Relations Patrick Houlihan gave an update saying the committee is planning a civic engagement forum and is still looking for speakers.

A debate between College Democrats and College Republicans is at 6 p.m. on March 20  in Wilks Theater. Houlihan said they are still trying to find a moderator. Audience members will have the ability to ask questions as well.

The next ASG meeting will be at 6 p.m. on March 5 in the Joslin Senate Chamber.