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2020 was a difficult year for all of us. From the major disruption and grief that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, to the stress and anxiety of the 2020 election and racial violence across the country, this year can be summed up with one word: burnout.
The Miami Patriot is a small online “newspaper” founded this year. According to its mission statement, The Patriot seeks to provide “an alternative to echo chambers that obstruct the free flow of ideas.” The irony that by establishing a purely conservative outlet, The Patriot created yet another echo chamber was evidently lost on its founders.
Faculty choose Miami University as an academic home for some of the same reasons that students and their families do: because Miami’s faculty are dedicated to research and scholarship both inside and outside of the classroom.
Famous orator, Daniel Webster, once said about veterans, “Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.”
Fall at Miami should be a spectacular time. With the trees changing and clear skies filtering through those leaves which bud on the branches, it’s no wonder Miami brands itself “the most beautiful college that ever was.” Unfortunately, there’s something which ruins that view. Some of you may not have noticed the rectangular red-white-and-blue stickers popping up around campus recently. Maybe it’s because the brisk summer-fall air makes you walk a little bit faster to class, or because you’re enjoying a stroll with your friends. But, notice them or not, these little pieces of hatred adhere themselves to every light pole and every message board: propaganda from the white supremacist, neofascist hate group Patriot Front.
On June 15, President Crawford announced the creation of a Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). According to The Miami Student of July 15, fifteen students have now resigned from the task force. Their statement (“We will not work for free”) indicates that they were discouraged by the selection of uninformed participants, use of committee time to bring them up to speed, lack of time for serious discussion, dismissal of student suggestions, and failure to deal in a timely fashion (or at all) with insensitive remarks by some members. Perhaps most disheartening was the “lack of authority … to successfully implement the solutions created.” Clearly, they felt that their time was being wasted.
To the stakeholders, advisory council, and leaders of Miami’s College of Education, Health, and Society (EHS):
We members of the faculty and staff of the Miami University Department of Media, Journalism & Film are angered and saddened by the unjust killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others who have suffered as the result of police brutality and racist violence. These events highlight the endemic nature of racism and racist violence in the United States. We mourn with their families and communities and stand in solidarity with Black communities and the Black Lives Matter movement in the struggle for racial justice.
Dear President, Provost, Board of Trustees and Miami University community,
To the President and the Provost:
The Miami University Senate is considering a policy to ban all amorous relationships between faculty and students and between graduate students and undergraduate students. Although well meaning, the proposal poses a threat to the liberty and associational rights of faculty, staff, and students; and it infantilizes students.
We write to register our alarm at hearing widespread national references to COVID-19, or the global coronavirus pandemic of 2019 and (now) 2020, as the “foreign virus,” the “Chinese virus,” or the “Wuhan virus.” Not only is such rhetoric false, it is also dangerous. Loneliness and fear are intrinsic risks of any public health crisis under the best of circumstances. Medical nativism just escalates all the risk of isolation and anxiety our Chinese students might face.
On Wednesday, Feb. 5, Miami University officials announced that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will serve as the spring 2020 commencement speaker.
A few weeks ago, a racist picture was sent by now-former ASG Senator Maxwell Hessling.
The thoughts I offer below are based upon short remarks I gave at Miami's beautiful Lavender graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 5.
Dear colleagues and friends,
Nine years ago, outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan gave the commencement speech at his alma mater.
Since its founding in 1809, Miami University has failed to cultivate a culture that is welcoming and receptive for its Black students. Historically, the actions taken by administration, while recognized, simply are not enough. We, the Black Action Movement 2.0 (BAM 2.0), on behalf of Miami University's Black community, are holding administration accountable for effectively combating the issues plaguing its Black students. Therefore, these are our demands.
TO THE EDITOR: