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Even at a time when most people are more digitally-inclined than ever, Oxford's Hike-a-Thon is seeking to encourage people to unplug and enjoy the trails. Photo by Caroline Bartoszek.

Annual Hike-A-Thon calls people to unplug and enjoy nature

  On a crisp October weekend in years past, the Oxford community gathered together to hike. Families and students perused the booths that lined the entrance to the trails near the stables. Some people socialized while picking up pamphlets; others would grab a map and hit the trails.  Instead of gathering for one day of hiking, this year's Hike-A-Thon experience has been expanded to the whole month of October.


What is herd immunity, and what would it mean at Miami?

More than 1,500 Miami students have tested positive for COVID-19 since Aug. 17 — nearly 10% of the total student population. As infections continue to rise, many students have joked about getting infected intentionally in the name of herd immunity. But for the health professionals informing Miami’s response to the pandemic, this trend has dangerous implications for the Oxford community.


Empty rooms, full to-go boxes: Miami’s dining halls in 2020

  From the outside, Maple Street Commons looks just like it has in previous years.  One step inside the front door, however, and that notion is quickly dispelled.  In order to comply with COVID-19 protocols and ensure students stay safe when getting their grub, Miami’s dining halls look drastically different than they have in previous years. 


Professors work toward safe classroom environment

 With a majority of students now living in Oxford, students and professors alike have had to adapt to a new classroom environment. Even though the university’s active case number has seen a steady decline in the past two weeks, the partial return to classrooms has people worried that trend may be reversed. 

Despite the transition to being online, the marching band hasn't lost the pep in their step.

Marching on: the Miami University Marching Band goes virtual

The week before classes start each fall, around 250 students dot the football field at Yager Stadium, each on a specific mark. Practicing morning to night, they create a wall of sound that fills campus. Once school starts, they are the life of football games and beacons of school spirit.  This year, the stadium is silent. 


Digging deeper into "Plant Your Roots"

  Online classes to online activities to online events.  With this being the life of a college student for the past six months, many were excited to branch out and do something outside of a computer screen. On Sept. 24, Miami Activities & Programming (MAP) hosted its first face-to-face event of the semester, “Plant Your Roots,” where free succulent plants were available for students to pick up near the Armstrong Student Center.

An assortment of fresh peppers are some of many produce options at the Oxford Farmers Market.

Sunny Saturday mornings at the market

 Farmers markets have a long history of providing fresh food, art and a center for communities to come together. The Oxford farmers market is no different, bringing the community together for decades, a tradition that has continued despite challenges faced during a pandemic. 


Lifting weights and staying safe: re-imagining the Rec

  As I walk up the long stretch of stairs to the Recreation Center (Rec), a staff member in a red t-shirt sprays and wipes the railings. Inside, there is caution tape where water fountains used to be.  Almost every machine is being used and students on benches stay inside a barrier of yellow tape. Some students walk to the next area with a rag and spray bottle in hand.  Surprisingly, it is not a complete ghost town.


Miami Greek Life takes on digital sisterhood and brotherhood

  The usually full social calendars for the members of the Miami Greek community are virtually empty with pandemic safety precautions limiting gatherings of more than 10 people.  With coronavirus continually changing our social world as we know it, Miami Greeks are trying to find as much normalcy as they can during these unprecedented times. Instead of the normal mass gatherings for chapter, weekly chapter meetings are now conducted virtually through a screen. 


How Zoom outages are affecting Miami

Zoom, the video-conferencing application that Miami uses for online learning, was down and undergoing maintenance for nearly four hours on Aug. 24. This Zoom blackout slammed the brakes on schools across the country and introduced students and instructors alike to a new kind of virtual snow day.

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