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NEWS

Solar Tour makes stop at local research center

Laura BryantWith energy use and conservation becoming subjects of greater concern across the nation, Miami University will be hosting part of the Ohio Solar Tour at the Ecology Research Center (ERC) Oct. 7 to help educate students about alternative energy sources.The Ohio Solar Tour travels across the state of Ohio touring public facilities with energy saving technologies. This October, the tour will be stop at the ERC, just north of Miami's campus off of State Route 732, for an open house at the facility, followed by a workshop discussing passive solar home designs from 10 a.m. to noon. Scott Johnston, the associate professor of architecture and interior design at Miami, will lead the workshop.Solar technologies use the sun's energy to produce heat, light and electricity, and researchers are trying to find cost-efficient ways of taking this technology into home designs.One of Johnston's solar designs will be shown at the ERC. "There is a small classroom that is solar-heated," Johnston said, explaining his design. "There is a large window area with storage walls to collect heat and distribute heat in the evening hours." Using his solar room as an example, Johnston will discuss uses of solar energy. "There will be an overview of different kinds of solar systems and which ones are better in south west Ohio," Johnston said.An open house will begin at 9 a.m., followed by tours of the facility beginning at 1 and 2 p.m. Facilities contain corn and bean field experiments, beehive research, experimental ponds and one of the nation's weather facilities, which is one of two in Ohio. Here, wind and temperature are measured along with acid rain quantity.Rodney Kolb, station manager of the ERC, is proud of what the center has to offer."It is one of the university's best kept secrets," Kolb said. "Freshmen and sophomores do not realize what opportunities they have here."Kolb said he wishes more students were aware of the 169-acre research center just minutes away from their classes. At the ERC, undergraduates, graduates, and faculty can conduct research in a range of areas, all meant to further their education.With energy preservation, fear of gasoline shortages, and global warming as front-page issues, this event is meant to show active ways that these topics are being addressed. And for those students who need a little incentive to attend, the ERC will be selling solar-heated hot dogs. And even if it is cloudy, Johnston said the ERC will find ways to heat the food.The event is free and is open to the public, however space is limited for the workshop. For more information about the Ohio Solar Tour go to www.greenenergyohio.org.


NEWS

Journalists need immunity from revealing sources

(Eric Frey)A federal judge ordered Sept. 21, 2006 that sports reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, of The San Francisco Chronicle, be jailed for 18 months, holding them in contempt of court. The two were jailed for failing to testify for an investigation of who leaked grand jury testimony for their book on Barry Bonds and steroids, Game of Shadows. This event is a sad moment for journalists and a blow to their First Amendment rights. It brings into focus the need for a federal shield law to help protect reporters and continue to encourage whistleblowers to provide critical knowledge for the public good.A federal shield law would protect journalists from jail time if they refuse to reveal their sources to government prosecutors. While there are some state shield laws protecting journalists from having to reveal their sources, the lack of a federal law leaves them open to federal prosecution, which has been a common occurrence recently. Such a shield law would ideally protect journalists while still allowing provisions that in extreme circumstances, such as national security interests, could compel reporters to reveal their sources for a story. Journalists have the important role of serving as the watchdog to ensure that government and other groups are held accountable. To perform this needed service, journalists sometimes rely on anonymous sources who can be guaranteed that their identity will be kept secret. Without this protection most sources would not risk their jobs or the other repercussions of revealing privileged internal information. Continued pressure on journalists to reveal sources will not only have an effect on potential sources that would otherwise be willing to talk with journalists, it will also have an effect on the types of stories journalists are able to invesitgate, a chilling effect that sharply limits investigative stories as well as their ability to hold other groups accountable.One possible concern with a federal shield law is that there are no standards for what qualifies someone as a journalist. But, this could be solved with the institution of an accreditation process. Also, while the abovementioned reporters did receive their information from a source who violated the law, the fact that a law was broken must be weighed against the public benefits that have accrued. Thanks to these two journalists, sports organizations have begun to hold players to much higher standards with regards to drug testing.As journalists, the editorial board finds this issue particularly pertinent, and finds it important to defend the First Amendment rights cases like these attack, both for the benefit of the profession and the public.


The Faith Lutheran Church hosts Community Adult Day Service, where Oxford's older residents can participate in a variety of activities.
NEWS

Adult Services Week highlights Oxford's center for elderly

Mary Pettigrew and Stacey SkotzkoThe Faith Lutheran Church hosts Community Adult Day Service, where Oxford's older residents can participate in a variety of activities. (Michael Pickering)In an effort to highlight the importance of programs for elders in the community, Oxford City Council declared last week National Adult Services Week. Community Adult Day Services is a particular program within Oxford that caters to the elderly and offers Miami University students the chance to help."We provide supportive care and programming for older adults with special needs," said Community Adult Day Service coordinator Joan Potter-Sommer. The service allows older adults a chance to get out of the house. Located on Campus Avenue in the Fellowship Hall of the Faith Lutheran Church, elderly citizens interact socially through activities like reading current events, gardening, making crafts, baking and even playing corn hole.The advantage of this service being so close to Miami University's campus is the opportunity students have to volunteer. The speech pathology and ideology students use this service as field placement, while others volunteer their time through Greek life. Dana said this could be beneficial to students who are interested in interacting with people outside of their age bracket."Miami students are looking out for a diversity of people besides other students like themselves," Dana said.Melissa Price, clinical supervisor in the department of speech pathology and audiology, said that approximately five or six graduate students participate at the center for their field study, working with about 12 to 13 elderly residents."(The residents) put it up on the calendar that it is Miami student graduate day," Price said. "(Residents) get really excited."Price explained that the Miami students participate in games and activities with the residents, about two hours a week."They play some card games, thinking and interacting games," Price said. She said they even organized a family feud type game show.Price said that Miami's first lady and university ambassador, Valerie Hodge, attended an open house at the center Sept.21."The proclamation (from City Council) recognizes that there is a day service in town that is available to help families and older adults," Potter-Sommer said. Some of the people that attend this service have Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, Parkinson's disease or dementia. "It allows families to understand what their options are in caring for someone," said Oxford Vice Mayor Prue Dana. "It may be a condition that can be stabilized. (The families) can find out what they can do at home that enhances that person's life."The program is funded through Medicaid; the Elderly Service Program, a tax levy in Butler County; as well as privately paying clients. Community Adult Day Service volunteers are especially needed during the winter. Outings, like going to the mall, require a one-on-one basis with each senior. "You want their quality of life to be as good as possible, for as long as possible," Dana said.Contact Potter-Sommer at (513) 523-0464 for more information about volunteering.


NEWS

Former D.C. insiders to debate education

Laura HouserKicking off Miami University's Lecture Series this year will be two people speaking on a topic that hits close to home - education. Tom Daschle and Rod Paige will visit Hall Auditorium at 8 p.m. Oct. 16, speaking on politics and education in "No Child Left Behind (NCLB): Is It Making the Grade?" Daschle, a former Democratic Senate leader, voted for the No Child Left Behind Act, but has since become one of its critics and Paige, the U.S. Secretary of Education from 2001-05, was a key figure in shaping the legislation. Paige was also the first African-American to serve in this position. With the midterm elections rapidly approaching this November, Richard Little, Miami's director of communications and a member of the Lecture Series Committee, emphasized the importance of inviting such noted political figures - especially since education will be a key issue this November.Frances Fowler, a professor in the department of educational leadership, spoke to the importance of No Child Left Behind to today's educational system. "I don't think you can understand what is going on in America's public schools today without understanding No Child Left Behind," Fowler said. "I would say that NCLB is driving what happens in most schools and districts around the country."The act, which requires greater accountability from elementary and secondary schools -- including proof of students' proficiency in core subjects - has remained a contentious item in national politics since its introduction in 2001. The act also issues yearly report cards to schools, detailing their "yearly progress" in raising proficiency levels - which are then available to parents. Teachers are also required to be "highly qualified," and parents are able to place their child in another public school if their original school is identified as "needing improvement." Critics contend that the federal government has not fully funded the program, while others claim that it puts excessive emphasis on testing."The No Child Left Behind Act is one of the major realities with which American educators are dealing," Fowler said.Little sees bringing these two key political figures to campus as generating a healthy debate."It seemed like a perfect match of people to debate these issues," Little said. Daschle was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978 and then to the U.S. Senate in 1986. Elected Democratic leader in 1994, he served as minority leader for 10 years, with a brief tenure as Senate majority leader from 2001-03. After serving 18 years, and now retired since 2005, he is the third-longest Senate leader in the Democratic Party history.Before Paige was the U.S. Secretary of Education, he served as dean of the college of education at Texas Southern University, then as superintendent of the Houston Independent School District - the nation's 7th largest school district. He was also named National Superintendent of the Year in 2001."(This event) should help people understand the provisions of (NCLB) better, and gain knowledge of the law which have become controversial," Fowler said. Little hopes all students will attend this event, regardless of major."Any student who follows current issues should attend. " Little said. "But certainly education majors, political science majors and others will find the debate informative." Many students are certainly expected - in fact, Little predicts a sellout of Hall Auditorium. The event is free, but tickets are required and will be available to students and faculty Oct. 11, and the general public Oct. 13.


NEWS

ASG works to fill student positions

Michelle Scaglione and Stacey SkotzkoBecause there are empty positions on university senate and Student Affairs Council (SAC), Miami University's Associated Student Government (ASG) is working on legislation that would make the positions more desirable to students and easier to fill.According to ASG Executive Vice President Ben Lingeman, the positions that aren't filled are the student at-large positions. Lingeman said there are three at-large positions on SAC and 10 available on university senate, and only about half are filled on each. With the current system, undergraduate students who are interested in running for university senate or SAC need to get a petition from ASG. The petition requires 135 undergraduate student signatures. Once the student has 135 signatures he or she can then run for election.When ASG votes on legislation within the next week, the number of signatures needed may be reduced to 35, which is the number that off-campus senators need in order to run for election. SAC had problems filling seats last April and only four students ran for university senate at-large positions last year. While students are usually elected in the spring, it does not matter what time of year a student runs when positions are available. Currently, spots are still open on both university senate and SAC for undergraduates and any student can run for these yearlong positions.Members of university senate represent different organizations and academic departments, with approximately 70 faculty members, administrators, the ASG President and students filling positions. University senate deals with issues that are of an academic nature. SAC has faculty and administrators as members, but is largely comprised of undergraduate students. SAC deals with all issues that are outside of academic policy. This includes changes in Miami's constitution, student handbook, alcohol policies, parking policies and student organizations. "135 signatures can be quite daunting," said Jens Sutmöller, off-campus student senator "It is discouraging to students who are just throwing around the idea of running for a position."Sutmöller did not consider the unfilled positions to be an immediate problem, because last year's students are filling in the spots temporarily until others can be selected. "We just want to create participation above what we already have," Sutmöller said.Lingeman also said he did not consider the unfilled spots a dilemma.Another piece of legislation that may be passed Tuesday will allow students to hold positions on both university senate and SAC. According to Sutmöller, students have already been serving on both, yet it is technically not allowed by current ASG bylaws. Because of precedent, neither Sutmöller nor Lingeman see students sitting on both as a problem.Lingeman believes that students can also handle the responsibility of both."Student Affairs Council only meets when needed," Lingeman said. "Usually that's only once or twice a month - sometimes less.


NEWS

U. senate extends smoking restrictions

Lauren Miller, Senior Staff WriterA heated debate lit up Miami's university senate that, at a 48-4 vote, put out the current smoking policy and sparked a new one. The new Smoking Regulations Policy Proposal will prohibit all faculty, students and staff from smoking within 25 feet of all university facilities, including buildings, indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, indoor and outdoor theaters, bridges, enclosed or sheltered walkways, residence halls and parking garages. "We have a rule in place right now, but we don't have a formal enforcement policy in place in the residence halls," said provost Jeffrey Herbst.According to Adolf Haisler, senior associate vice president of finance and business services, the only notable difference in the new policy as opposed to the old one is a written restriction of smoking at least 25 feet away from an academic or administrative building.The university's old policy on smoking as outlined in the 2006-07 Student Handbook says that smoking is not allowed in university buildings, residence halls or vehicles. In the Office of Residence Life Guide to Residence Hall Living, the policy is extended to say that students must smoke at least 25 feet away from the doors and windows of residence halls. For administrative buildings, these documents do not specify that students must be at certain distance in order to smoke. Miami will enforce the new policy by posting "No Smoking" signs in appropriate places across campus, moving ash trays at least 25 feet away from all university facilities, promoting assistance available through the university to help individuals stop smoking, and identifying the new policy in Web sites.Students present at the meeting raised concern that the new policy would be useless unless there were tangible consequences for violating the smoking ban. "I see absolutely no sense in passing any type of policy or even considering any further (measure) that contains no enforcement mechanism," said graduate student Sarah Martin. "It would be like trying to run a government with no executive."Two of the four votes against the policy came from students.In terms of enforcement for this particular policy, all members of the Miami community would be responsible for knowing the policy and directing those who are smoking in nonsmoking areas to locations where smoking is permitted.Resident adviser and university senate member Anne Towne expressed more optimism about the potential benefits that could arise from the new policy. "I think if we make an effort to change the culture, or to encourage everyone to start smoking away from the buildings, then a certain level of enforcement doesn't necessarily need to be implemented at all," Towne said. Senate members voiced concern over who the new policy administrator will be and whether or not bus shelters will be included in the new policy.Once these questions are answered and everything is finalized, the new smoking policy will go into effect. Herbst said he believes this will occur in approximately one to two months.Although there is an increasing movement of nonsmoking campuses across the country, Circleville Bible College is the only college in Ohio to completely ban smoking on its campus.


NEWS

Letters to the Editor

Parking regulations vaguely enforcedMiami's parking system reminds me a lot of the book Catch-22. Here is a system where maps issued by the parking office are incorrect and restrictions on signs are written in invisible ink. A couple weeks ago I parked my car on Oak Street to go to an evening class. I parked in an area designated as "Red Permit Only, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m." and seeing as it was after 4 p.m., I thought I'd be in the clear. I returned to find a ticket slid under the windshield wiper. Not understanding my offense, I went to the parking office the next day where the woman, who was generally friendly and nice, explained to me that even though the sign said one thing, it really meant another. What was apparently written in invisible ink was that at all other times, a permit is required. Seeing as I live off-campus, I did not feel the need for an on-campus parking permit. I inquired as to where I could park and when without a permit to prevent future ticketing. The woman was nice and waived my ticket because it was my first one, but continued to give vague responses as to where I could park. I learned that had I parked on the other side of Oak Street, although it bears more restrictive signs requiring yellow and blue passes, I would not have gotten a ticket. Why this is true I am not sure. I took a map of the designated parking areas on campus to take home with me.My friend found these maps to be false. She has a blue pass, which should generally allow you to park wherever you feel like it, except in red areas during the day. But it was not so. Before parking her car overnight in an area denoted on the signs as a blue lot, she consulted with a local police officer, who agreed that she should be able to park there. A few days later a friend informed her she had two tickets on her car for parking in a "yellow zone" with "no overnight parking." She took a photo of the sign and brought it to parking services. At parking services, she was handed the same parking map I had picked up. Not only was the area she parked a blue area, but the slashes indicated that student parking for all passes was available after 4 p.m. Despite this overwhelming physical evidence, parking services informed her that she was incorrect and would have to try to appeal her $110 fine, which may or may not be approved. I understand that Miami raises revenue by charging for parking passes and ticketing. However, I fail to understand why they would spend so much money on parking garages that are too expensive for students to afford and much less economical than buying a parking pass. It seems that the money could have been saved and students could be spared from arbitrary ticketing. The best solution seems to restrict parking to the red faculty passes during the day and open the garages up to students with parking passes after hours. Am I the only one who sees the hypocrisy in this?Allison Plavecskiplavecad@muohio.eduIncrease in poverty larger than stated Your Miami Student banner headline of Sept. 5, "Butler Co. poverty rises 3.7 percent" has the math completely wrong. The actual one-year increase in the Butler County poverty rate, according to the data presented in the article itself, is closer to 40 percent.The second paragraph of the article reads, "Recent census estimates show a rise in the percentage of Butler County citizens living below the poverty level from 8.7 percent in 2004 to 12.4 percent in 2005."Twelve point four percent minus 8.7 percent equals 3.7 percent, but that 3.7 percent does not express the actual percentage increase in statistical poverty. The 3.7 increase (at this point not truly a percent figure but a math figure) in poverty must be measured against the 8.7 figure from 2004. Rounding up for the sake of simplicity the poverty rate increased roughly four-ninths in one year in Butler County, vastly more than the headline figure of 3.7 percent.Further, semi-anecdotal evidence reported later in the article supports this view. From the fourth column of the same article: "Jeff Diver, executive director of Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families (SELF), said SELF served about 7,400 individuals at this point last year but has already served 11,000 people this year."Other speakers in the article report similar trends. If the headline had read "County poverty rate up by a third in one year" it would have been more nearly accurate. And conservatively so. You do the math.Despite the appropriate prominence given the story itself and the excellent photo of the Oxford Mobile Home Park (which I toured this summer), the headline drastically under represents the challenges we face, not the least being the correlation between poverty and crime. There is an old maxim: "Necessity knows no law." As the late great Oxford Mayor Caroline Hollis was often wont to quote: "We are a nation of laws, not of men." Poverty breeds necessity, and desperation breeds crime. All become its victims.Dean sandageformer executive director,Butler county community action agencyddsandage@earthlink.netEditor's note:The Miami Student recognizes the factual errors present in the Sept. 5 article headline, "Butler Co. poverty rises 3.7 percent." According to statistical data, the headline should correctly read, "Butler Co. poverty rises by 40 percent." We regret these errors.


NEWS

Miami hosts first diversity expo

Stephanie PattonIn an effort to increase the collaboration between the many multicultural groups at Miami University, the first Diversity Affairs Expo will be held Sept. 28. According to Eloiza Domingo-Snyder, the director for the Center of Diverse Student Development, Miami lacks a strong cultural infrastructure. She said individual groups do not typically collaborate to achieve goals and there are not many friendships or alliances between organizations. "The primary purpose (of the expo) is to get these multicultural student groups to see they have a lot in common," Domingo-Snyder said. She said all these groups are fighting oppression and dealing with being a minority on a primarily white campus and that they all share a bond.The expo will be informal, with tables arranged around the room for each group to display information about their organization - much like Mega Fair. However, unlike Mega Fair, which is designed to help the entire student body learn about groups, the Diversity Affairs Expo is intended to help groups learn about each other. Rob Lewis, the diversity affairs secretary for ASG, said students are welcome to go and check out the groups. But, the chief purpose of the expo is to have the heads of the groups meet each other, work together, and form an intercultural and multicultural community. This is the first Diversity Affairs Expo and Lewis hopes it will become an annual tradition. "It's a good way to start off the year," Lewis said. Because this event is not designed to attract individual students, sponsors have not promoted the event around campus. Lewis and Domingo-Snyder e-mailed the leaders of the student organizations about the event, so the heads of the organizations have been informed. Domingo-Snyder said the promotion was low-key, and mostly done through word of mouth. There are approximately 30-35 minority organizations registered with the Office of Student Activities and Leadership. Lewis said as of Sept.13, 13 or 14 groups had confirmed they were attending and he expects more reservations before the expo.Some of the groups that have already registered include Spectrum, the Asian American Association and the NAACP. The expo is not limited to minority and multicultural groups. Domingo-Snyder said other groups and individual students are welcome to attend. She said they are reaching out to everyone on campus and are trying to see how different groups can work together to achieve common goals. "I would encourage all groups to come out to see if there are ways to collaborate," Domingo-Snyder said. "I would encourage students to come out and learn what these multicultural student organizations are doing, to see if there is any way to collaborate. This would benefit not only these groups, but the entire climate at Miami."The expo will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Shriver Multipurpose Room.


Clawson Hall is the current home to many of Miami's international students.
NEWS

In light of new U.S. policy, MU seeks Saudi Arabian students

Jonathan Williams, Senior Staff WriterClawson Hall is the current home to many of Miami's international students. (Michael Pickering)Miami University's Office of Admissions is attempting to utilize a recently announced educational exchange program between the United States and Saudi Arabian governments as a way of building the international student population on campus, which currently includes no Saudi Arabian citizens.Under the agreement reached between President Bush and the Saudi King Abdullah, as many as 15,000 new students may be arriving in the United States within the nest few years, many of them receiving full tuition reimbursement from the Saudi royal family.David Keitges, director of international education at Miami, said that Saudi citizens who do not receive full tuition reimbursements might be attracted specifically to a university like Miami because of its relative affordability."Our out-of-state tuition is lower than that of most private colleges or universities," Keitges said, "but we have to be out there actively pursuing them."Most Saudi students will be attracted to a university with an intensive English language program, said Aaron Bixler, director of international admissions for Miami. Since Miami does not have an English language program and since one does not seem to be on the immediate horizon, Bixler said the university is starting to learn how to best utilize the means it does have available."We're working on a possible partnership with the University of Dayton that would allow students to study English there for a year and then come to school here," Bixler said.Miami does offer creative writing, linguistics, literature, technical and scientific communication as majors, but nothing specific to the English language.While Keitges said that a number of Saudi students are attracted to coastal regions such as California and New England, Bixler said that Miami has an important part to play in the exchange program, since the Saudi government is especially interested in having students enroll in institutions in the Midwest to get the "full effect" of an education in America.While Bixler cannot anticipate any specific numbers of Saudi students that might enroll at Miami, he said he hopes to see some on campus by fall 2007.To combat any acclimation concerns that Saudi students might have while studying in Western cultures, Associated Student Government (ASG) is willing to adapt to meet any needs, whether it be through the creation of new student organizations or through applicable event programming, said John Woods, ASG vice president of management."One thing that I have learned in ASG is that we could be real effective if we get more money to work with from the university," Woods said. "That way we could offer a lot more programming."Bixler specifically mentioned the Ramadan holiday, which began Sunday, as a potential point of concern for Saudi students who are also Muslim.Since dining halls across campus open their doors at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m., students participating in the holiday will not be able to eat at campus dining halls during the month. According to custom, Muslims may only eat between sunset and sunrise during Ramadan.Michael Stevenson, assistant to the president for institutional diversity, said that, because of differences like this, the unique perspectives of Saudi students would be welcome on campus."We have a lot of students here from traditional Christian backgrounds who might make a lot of assumptions," Stevenson said. "Because of this, any effort to attract Saudi students would be most welcome."Keitges said that, while the program might be in large part an effort by the Saudi government to improve its world image in the wake of the current political situation, it is a great opportunity for Miami to continue to diversify its student body. Miami currently has 138 international students enrolled, and while the figure is an improving one, Keitges said that the university realizes its need to better its international recruitment process."Our students are going to work in a different, very global economy 30 years from now," Keitges said. "International education brings together groups of people who might not otherwise be in each other's presence"


NEWS

Constitution must not be warped to stop gay marriage

Brain GraneyWhen State Representative Tom Brinkman traveled to Miami last semester to discuss his lawsuit against the university, a questioner out of the crowd asked the politician to explain his opposition to a bill in the Ohio legislature that would have recognized the Fourth Amendment as a guarantee of legal rights. Brinkman explained that his opposition to the Fourth Amendment rested on a judicial interpretation of the amendment that led to a safeguard of abortion rights and a trampling of states' rights in the matter; a philosophy eventually summarized in Roe v. Wade. Yet while many conservatives criticize Roe v. Wade endlessly and articulate a position of states having the natural power to regulate a social matter like abortion, the inverse stance is taken on gay marriage. Social conservatives in Congress have proposed a constitutional amendment to nationally define marriage as only between a man and a woman. No legal precedent exists to support this amendment or any reasoning as to why it should be adopted. For a party so devoted to prevent federal encroachment on states' power, it is disappointing to see the Republican Party endorse a constitutional amendment that is not only unnecessary, but also targeted to prevent states from reaching their own legal conclusions on the matter.Opposition to gay marriage rests primarily on moral and religious grounds. As much respect as can be paid to the long tradition of marriage, secular law cannot properly evaluate such arguments. Proponents of same-sex marriage are not asking churches and specific religions to endorse or even recognize their legal union. Opponents of gay marriage can still refuse to accept its validity in their religions. But the Constitution should not be used as an obstacle to equal rights. Vice President Dick Cheney recognized the significance of equal legal access when he said, "With the respect to the question of relationships, my general view is freedom means freedom for everyone ... People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to." Gays and lesbians are productive members of society with long and meaningful relationships with their partners and it is unclear how same-sex marriage would lead to moral deviance, societal chaos or even Armageddon as some ridiculously claim.For all the concern enunciated about judicial activism usurping the Constitution, the real concern should be focused on using the Constitution as a vehicle to restrict rights of those unable to find the political representation to defend themselves. Fourth Circuit Court Judge James Wilkinson stated, "To use the Constitution as a forum for even our most favored views strikes a blow of uncommon harshness upon disfavored groups, in this case gay citizens who would never see this country's founding charter as their own."Far more profound and important to our country than the tradition of marriage is the tradition of our Constitution serving as a model of representative democracy to other countries. Terminating that constitutional tradition for the sake of banning the legal recognition of same-sex relationship strikes me as as silly and deeply sad as well. In a climatic world of terrorism and war, important issues of life and death face us everyday. But Congressional leaders in Washington seem content wasting their time and seriously considering a provision that would restrict citizen's rights in this land of the free.


NEWS

En route to N.Y. with MU football

There's something about having a police car lead me down the highway that makes me want to strap on a helmet and some pads to battle Syracuse myself.There's something about seeing quarterback Daniel Raudabaugh amiably slap quarterback Mike Kokal on the back during a pregame practice that throws my whole universe out of whack and leaves me scared and confused.You mean to tell me the two quarterbacks don't actually plot against one another, University of Northern Colorado style?No. This isn't a vortex I've entered, but life on the road with the Miami University football team.Some free food, a trip to exotic and beautiful - well, not beautiful - but exotic-Syracuse, N.Y., and add some college football on top of it and I'm officially "gellin" like felon.It's not just the free food that I love, although that part certainly is sweet (pun intended), but it's the chance to catch the Red and White away from the press podium.Like catching junior running back Brandon Murphy twitchingly rubbing his hands together in the hotel lobby before game time, or senior cornerback Frank Wiwo's ritual of taking a shower, praying, and then drinking a Red Bull before taking the field.It's the everyday stuff, such as watching senior free safety Joey Card check his cell phone messages before heading on Miami's chartered jet to Syracuse or a pregame bonding session at a chapel the night before.I was feeling so much brotherly love that I asked if I could wear a football warm-up suit too. I also appreciated the athletic administration's kind rejection.My ego was definitely swimming in it all. It hit its height when some kids in the hotel lobby thought I was a football player and asked me to do a Heisman pose. But I blew them off to immediately get to the team dinner and prepare for game time.But unlike the free food, I learned that preparing for game time sucks. Contrary to what the movie The Program would have you believe, life on the road with a college football team isn't all about hoards of chicks and photo ops. It's about constant preparation. Preparing for the game is a life of endless meetings. As soon as the team hits the hotel, the RedHawks sequesters themselves into hotel ballrooms to undergo a series of meetings, treatments and then some more meetings.You'll hear the occasional music coming from the players' hotel rooms but that's the extent of goofing off.Suddenly, this party was about as much fun as a German karaoke bar.You also start to understand the fact that football is life for these people. You always think you understand but you don't.You don't understand until you've talked to the wives, moms, dads and coaches of the players and hear what they've invested into Miami football. You don't understand until you look into the eyes of players who were 0-3 on the season and desperate for a win.At a pregame meeting, screams of "wake up" and "I want big plays all game" could be heard down the hall of the hotel ballroom from Head Coach Shane Montgomery as he tried to rally his troops. The press corps was going to have to look out because I was jazzed and looking to make some big plays.The plays, however, came at the wrong end of the stick, and a team that has gone 0-4 for the first time since the 1989 season had to live with that fact together for the next four hours on the return trip home.Pissed off faces and deafening silence can only characterize the plane and bus rides back to Oxford.The road trip party had immediately transitioned into a scared-to-make-noise situation. Maybe it's not the life it's cracked up to be, but after it's all said and done, the important thing is that I at least got some free food.


NEWS

Campus Swap

Rachel MountThe customs official at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport probably saw a lot of students like me everyday. We are the students who babbled on about that "special American smell" as we slid our passports under the window, and pulled on hooded sweatshirts and flip flops as soon as our feet hit American soil. So the official could probably tell that his cheery, "Welcome home!" would lead to some teary eyes. We were finally home in safe, familiar America. After four whirlwind months in Luxembourg and Europe, Oxford was perfect. However, there were no jaunts to Paris, no delectable croissants, no classes in a castle, and no singsong greetings of "Moien," which is the Luxembourgish staple for "good morning." That is, until I learned that there were, in fact, some "moiens" being exchanged in Oxford right now. Miami students like myself had traveled over 4,000 miles to experience a different culture - Luxembourgish students come to Oxford to do the exact same thing.Miami has a longstanding relationship with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The university inaugurated a study abroad program there in 1968, and in 1988 it was formally named the Miami University John E. Dolibois European Center (MUDEC). Today, 125 to130 students make Luxembourg their home every semester, and more students visit during summer programs. MUDEC has developed a close relationship with the people of Luxembourg and their government, and the relationship is strengthened by a dual exchange of students.According to Michelle J. Apfeld, international student and scholar adviser, six students from Luxembourg are currently attending Miami this fall. Unlike most Miami students who study abroad for a semester or two, these students generally come here for two or more years. Students may start their studies at the University of Luxembourg and then transfer, or come to Miami with no university experience.Christian Betzen transferred to Miami this fall from the University of Luxembourg."Let's start in the beginning ... I love America," Betzen said. He has traveled to America 28 times and has visited all but five states. When Betzen decided that he wanted to attend college, he knew, just as certainly, that he wanted to attend an American college.Betzen looked at places like Florida and Tennessee, until his teachers in Luxembourg told him about Miami. According to Betzen, there is a lot of "positive mouth-to-mouth propaganda" about the university.I learned about Luxembourg in the same way; people just talked about the program, and their positive experiences gradually made an impression on me. Still, just as many Europeans have never heard of Ohio, many of my family and friends weren't sure about Luxembourg. I soon had to give the same reiterated spiel."No, it's not Lichtenstein, or Genovia, it's between France, Germany, and Belgium," I would try to explain.Betzen met with Raymond Manes, assistant dean for administration of the MUDEC program, and learned about the benefits Miami could provide. MUDEC has a special scholarship program reserved for students from Luxembourg who want to study at Miami. There are 10 scholarships available every year; some are for partial tuition and some are for full. Jeff Konter, a sophomore from Luxembourg, appreciates the scholarship."My parents and I couldn't afford for me to come here without it," Konter said.Konter explained that all of Luxembourgish students who come to Miami have one thing in common. "The Lux people here are special characters," Konter said. "They know what they want in life, and they focus on their goals. We are all strong personalities."Konter likes to see all of the Luxembourgish students get together, usually weekly, to cook or go out to eat. There is no formal orientation specifically for Luxembourgish students, although there are programs for all international students. Still, the students become an informal group here on campus.While spending a semester surrounded by foreign languages and customs, the approximately 130 students from Miami formed close friendships as well, and quickly. While traveling, it was always a pleasant surprise to spot a fellow "MUDEC-er" across a boulevard. As much as I loved talking to the local people or experiencing a city with just a journal, it was comforting to have friends who understood Miami and America. We could reminisce about Bagel and Deli or curl up and watch Gilmore Girls when cultural and language immersion became too overwhelming.From the philosophical to the ordinary, any student studying abroad is quick to pick up on differences between cultures. Konter points out that the bread in America is too fluffy, but that there are great burgers and steaks. However the "friendliness factor" makes a much larger impact on him. "People smile at everyone here," Konter said. "I used to think it was superficial, but now I like the friendliness. I still appreciate honesty, but now I'm friendly with everyone." This was one of the first things I noticed while in Luxembourg. Smiling at a stranger on the street was usually returned with a confused look, not a smile. Luxembourgers were warm and friendly; it just took more effort to figure that out.Betzen appreciates the "college life" at Miami. At the University of Luxembourg, there is no real campus. In Luxembourg, Miami students, like myself, enjoyed a miniature campus in the form of a century-old chateau. However, students who had an hour-long commute in Luxembourg must now enjoy the locality of Oxford's campus.Differences between countries are easy to pick out, but sometimes the similarities take a little longer. Konter, who spoke about the constant happy faces that Americans put on, realized that Europeans can also present fronts to the world. "It's just a different type of face in every country ... maybe happy, maybe busy, maybe cold. But they're just all faces," Konter said. "You can't generalize Americans."After hearing this, I pulled out the journal I kept during my stay in Luxembourg and flipped to the last page:"Even with the European Union, the euro, the increasingly common language abilities ... there is no such thing as a typical European. I wish I could describe 'the' European woman, and 'the' European man, but I can't." Perhaps that is the most valuable lesson students studying abroad learn, whether at Miami or in Luxembourg. People, cultures, and countries don't always fit into perfect little boxes.We can't generalize the world.


Linebacker Clayton Mullins tries to take down Syracuse running back Delone Carter in the RedHawks' 34-14 loss. Mullins had five tackles on the day.
NEWS

'Hawks drop 4th straight

Jonathon Angarola, Senior Staff WriterLinebacker Clayton Mullins tries to take down Syracuse running back Delone Carter in the RedHawks' 34-14 loss. Mullins had five tackles on the day. (Contributed Photo)In a loud and raucous Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., the Miami University football team looked to squeeze the Orange and end its three-game losing streak Saturday night.The Miami RedHawks, however, couldn't muster a consistently moving offense all game and fell short, 34-14, to Syracuse.For the fourth straight game, the RedHawks (0-4 overall, 0-1 MAC) failed to score a touchdown in the first quarter, in which they gained only three yards of rushing on 11 attempts."We talked about getting off to a fast start," Head Coach Shane Montgomery said. "I don't know if it's because we're a young football team or we're just not ready to play." Miami's defense didn't help matters early on, as the RedHawks allowed Syracuse to score a touchdown on each of its first two drives. Syracuse's first score came on a seven-play 55-yard drive to score up the middle for a one-yard Curtis Brinkley touchdown run.The Orange struck only two minutes and 30 seconds later, as SU quarterback Perry Patterson connected with Taj Smith on a 42-yard strike to put the Orange up 14-0 with 7:32 left in the first quarter.Miami finally showed some offensive potency in the second quarter. Junior wide receiver Pat O'Bryan led it off for the 'Hawks, as he pushed his way to a first down after an 11-yard Mike Kokal strike. A nine-yard pass only two plays later to wide receiver Ryne Robinson put the 'Hawks on the board at 14-7.But poorly executed special teams play again took its toll on Miami. Kicker Nathan Parseghian failed to capitalize on a nine-play 56-yard drive as the Orange blocked his 35-yard field goal attempt. The RedHawks wouldn't attempt another field goal for the rest of the half, despite being within the Syracuse 35-yard line twice."I think we're two-for-six on the year (in field goal attempts)," Montgomery said. "We've got to evaluate that and see if it's more of the line or it's more of the kicker ... We'll look at it, and if we need to make a change there we will."Miami's final drive of the half ended after the 'Hawks attempted to convert a fourth-and-nine, but a dropped pass by senior wide receiver R.J. Corbin that would've brought Miami inside the five-yard line kept Miami down 14-7.The RedHawks came out fired up in the second half, stuffing Syracuse for two-yard loss to begin the half. After two short Orange passes, Miami sacked Syracuse, but a defensive holding call kept the drive alive and the drive resulted in a field goal.Miami's offense couldn't keep up with the Orange attack and failed to score on its next two possessions. The ineffective rushing attack failed to alleviate any pressure on the passing game. And, the offensive line provided little protection for Kokal, allowing two sacks on its second failed drive."We weren't able to move the ball running-wise, and when you have third-and-one yard or third-and-half a yard you have to be able to convert and we just weren't able to," Kokal said.Miami rushed for only 31 yards on the day, averaging 1.1 yards per rush.With the score 17-7 in the fourth quarter, Syracuse finally capitalized on Miami's offensive woes by going on a 67-yard drive, which was capped by a five-yard Patterson touchdown pass.After the 'Hawks failed to score on the ensuing offensive drive, the Orange ate 4:17 of the clock by driving 23 yards and hitting a field goal to put Syracuse up 27-7, with 5:43 remaining in the game.A Syracuse touchdown off an interception off of backup quarterback Daniel Raudabaugh only two plays later put the win out of reach for the 'Hawks and gave them their fourth straight loss.The 0-4 start is the RedHawks worst start since the 1989 season, when Miami finished 2-8, and is only their sixth 0-4 start in program history."We've got to keep pushing on," Robinson said. "We'll eventually get our 'W' whether it be next week or the week after that. Our team is not going to stop fighting."Miami's next chance to garner its first win comes Saturday, as the RedHawks head to the University of Cincinnati to play in the annual Battle for the Bell game against the Bearcats.


NEWS

Rally '06 aims to further diversity through arts

Kristen VlietAn organization at Miami University wants to get students moving - toward diversity on campus.MUvement, a group created in spring 2005, is hosting a peaceful rally hoping decrease stereotypes and promote student dialogue about diversity from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 30, on Central quad.With performances by Miami University Dance Theatre, The Misfitz, a Step Show, the Walking Theatre Project and Miami University Gospel Singers, RALLY '06 will showcase its mission through the arts."(MUvement) is a social forum to create an environment that is inclusive, rather than exclusive," said senior Justin Rifis, president of MUvement. "(It) opens one to the insensitivity and unnecessary actions that take place on this campus."RALLY '06 will bring together groups such as Association of Latin and American Students, Hillel, Associated Student Government, Spectrum and the Asian American Association, among others.MUvement was created following the death of John T. Petters, a Miami student who died in Italy over his spring break in 2004. Petters had shared his concern about the lack of diversity on campus with Teresa Tolentino, a Miami Spanish instructor. Petters explained to her his vision of creating a more diverse campus where minorities would feel welcomed. Following Petters' death, Tolentino decided to continue the dream they had discussed.Tolentino approached the university about starting an organization, and Miami insisted that before such an organization could be formed, student interest needed to be present. In an attempt to organize the interest she knew was present at Miami, Tolentino shared Petters' dream and story to numerous students and faculty.Rifis was one of these students. "We have to get the message across to people who don't care (about diversity)," Rifis said. Rifis notes the "utterly prevalent" discrimination on campus, but said that it is too deeply rooted for the administration to be able to deal with it alone. By hosting RALLY '06, MUvement hopes to attract students who are interested in these issues, and to address those who do not acknowledge this as a problem on campus. "(RALLY '06 is a way to) give the message a voice," Tolentino said.She acknowledges the large portion of the student population who recognize the lack of diversity at Miami, and welcomes those students to participate in RALLY '06. "I think it would be wonderful if the image of the students who are understanding and empathetic and willing to grow could be seen by the community," Tolentino said. "We need to be allies to everyone on that campus that's ever (been) hurting"


A move to full-time judges would impact Area I court in uptown Oxford, where a part-time judge currently presides over cases.
NEWS

Ohio considers eliminating part-time judges

Sarah FosterA move to full-time judges would impact Area I court in uptown Oxford, where a part-time judge currently presides over cases. (Lauren Fleming)Miami University students in court for a traffic ticket or charges of underage drinking could find themselves having to travel out of town, if a proposal to eliminate part-time judgeships in Ohio goes through. Currently, three part-time judges serve each of the three area courts in Butler County: Area I, Area II and Area III. Judge Rob Lyons is the part-time judge that serves the Oxford area, which is Area I.But Butler County may be in the process of eliminating part-time judgeships in the municipal courts, a division of the county court system.This is a move that state Chief Justice Thomas Moyer wants all Ohio counties to work toward, in an attempt to cut costs and remove any appearance of a conflict of interest in judges who preside over a courtroom one day and serve as an attorney the next.Each of the three part-time judges in the Butler County conduct regular criminal and traffic dockets one day of the week and are practicing trial attorneys on other days. County commissioners are looking into eliminating these part-time judgeships and hiring one or two full-time judges to fill their place. If a change does take place, it could have mixed results for individuals who have to go before Area I court."I believe it would have a significant effect on students because the full-time judge would not be located in Oxford," said Wayne Staton, an Oxford lawyer and finance professor at Miami University. "The student would have to travel perhaps to Hamilton or the Westchester area."In addition to travel time, Staton said full-time judges could be problematic for students due to their potential detachment from the university community."The change from part-time judges to a full-time judge would be detrimental to students," Staton said. "I believe the full-time judge wouldn't be as sensitive to students. It would be in students' best interests to continue with the part-time judge." Court Administrator Linda Lovelace said she does not see a conflict of interest occurring in Oxford cases, because Judge Lyons does not practice much at all in the area. Yet she also thinks that it is important for Butler County to be included in state processes."We would like to be included in whatever process is selected to move forward because we have good input on the matter," Lovelace said.Proponents of the change believe that the elimination of part-time judges will also save the county money by eliminating the need for extra court personnel. This cuts down the costs of records and separate computer systems. The state splits the costs of municipal and county judges, with the county paying $35,500 of a part-time judge's $62,800 salary and the Ohio Supreme Court paying the rest, according to Ohio Supreme Court spokesman Chris Davey. This may not be the best plan for all counties, though. Lovelace said that turning to full-time judges might not save money for Oxford."The county court is still going to have the same amount of money funneling into the system, but expenditures would increase with a full-time judge," Lovelace said.According to Lyons, who has been a part-time judge in Butler County Area I court since 1999, the county would not benefit from the county courts going from part-time to full-time judges. The three part-time judges in the Butler county courts handle approximately 30,000 cases each year combined. The Supreme Court recommends that one judge in the full-time courts preside over 1,000 to 15,000 cases per year, Lyons said."One thing is clear - turning the county courts from part-time to full-time would not be a financial save," Lyons said. "It would actually be more expensive due to the requirements (from the state). We would actually need four full-time judges."Lyons said that presently, the three part-time county courts are run very efficiently. "We conduct business in an expedient, efficient manner," he said.Although they are not full-time, Butler County's judges are available to their clients at any time for problems arising in court, such as issues involving search warrants.Students may get less personal attention if Butler County was served by one full-time judge for all three area courts, according to Dan Haughey, a defense attorney and professor of business law at Miami University."I think at a personal level Miami students are very fortunate to have Judge Lyons," Haughey said. "He is a Miami graduate and has taught on campus in the past, so he understands the culture at the university."While Haughey understands the chief justice's stance, he believes it is a tough question to consider as far as how the Oxford community would be best served."This is a hot topic and definitely hits close to home for judges in Butler County," Haughey said. "We (defense attorneys) deal with these judges on a day-to-day basis and we are a close-knit community."In Ohio, 52 out of 88 counties have full-time judges in municipal courts. The remaining 36, however, rely on part-time judges to conduct Area I court charges. The county court system consists of mayor courts, municipal courts and common pleas courts. County courts are part-time by definition, but the municipal court can be full-time or part-time. The territorial jurisdiction of the Area I Court includes the city of Oxford and all of Milford, Morgan, Oxford, Reily and Wayne Townships. In Area I court, traffic dockets are held Thursdays. There are also civil dockets and arraignment dockets. Offenses that are brought to Area I court include misdemeanors such as traffic violations, domestic violence and bail bonds. In order for any changes to go into effect for all courts (other than the Supreme Court), there would have to be a change through the legislature. County positions such as the county commissioner or auditors do not have the authority to change the nature of the courts.


NEWS

In typically conservative Butler Co., both parties working to gain votes

Allison Cole, Staff WriterButler County is known as one of the most conservative counties in Ohio. With November's midterm elections approaching, questions arise whether or not the county will remain a stronghold for the Republican Party, as it was in the 2004 elections.According to New York Times polling data, Butler County is decidedly Republican for the House of Representatives race and seems to be an easy win for incumbent Majority Leader John Boehner. Overall, however, Ohio is leaning Democratic in the governor's race. According to a Columbus Dispatch poll released during the weekend, Democratic candidate Ted Strickland is leading Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, 52 percent to 33 percent. The same poll showed Rep. Sherrod Brown (D) leading incumbent Sen. Mike DeWine (R) 47 percent to 42 percent in the Senate race. Sondra Engle, publicity director for Oxford's League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation of citizens in government, said the idea of Butler County being safe for Republicans depends on the current issues and the political climate. A visible shift in national opinions could potentially mean a shift at the local level."Due to the overall change, Butler County could also see a change in voting trends," Engle said. "All we can tell is we have good candidates from both parties." For the last five years, Butler County has elected majority Republican candidates. Auditor candidate Jack A. Zettler (D) said that of 25 county offices in Butler, Republicans hold all of them.Butler County's overwhelming Republican reputation has been visible in national elections as well. In the 2004 presidential election, local voters cast their ballots in favor of George Bush over John Kerry at a rate of about two to one. President Bush received 109,872 votes in Butler County, while Kerry received 56,243. Joe Statzer of the Ohio Republican Party said Butler County had the highest ratio of Bush to Kerry votes of any in the state and was critical in Bush's election.Because of Ohio's reputation as a battleground in elections, both parties are working to get their voices heard across the state before November's midterms. Kim Cornett, county coordinator for Democrat Tom Strickland's gubernatorial campaign, said the national public opinion shift has made Ohio even more key for Democrats to win."Ohio is always an important state to win because what happens here, politically, reflects what occurs in the rest of the country," Cornett said.Cornett said Democratic candidates understand that voters here are key to winning, and are working as much as possible in this area. The party is focusing on making their campaign efforts more personal by door-to-door canvassing, talking to voters one-on-one and speaking to groups. Candidates will also be making appearances in the area.Similarly, the Republican Party, Statzer said, has put just as much focus on Butler County as on other counties, despite its safe reputation. He said not only local representatives, but statewide candidates will make appearances in Butler County as well.Both parties wanted to emphasize the different issues they find important to the residents of Butler County. Cornett said the main issues the Democratic Party wants to focus on are jobs and the economy, including the minimum wage initiative and taxation.The Republican Party, according to Statzer, is mainly focusing on immigration issues and taxes. Locally, they are concerned with keeping the Butler County economy steady.Within Oxford, Engle said issues important to the citizens include a transportation plan and the cost of housing. Currently, there is a public transportation system for Miami University students, but not for other Oxford residents. Similarly, students now occupy houses once meant for low- and middle-income families, and Engle said this poses a problem for families."People are now forced to live in the townships due to a lack of housing," Engle said. "Oxford residents are in need of lower price housing." With the election quickly approaching, both parties are just trying to reach out to residents. Engle said right now the hope of the elections is to create a good balance in power.


NEWS

Cheering for the Yankees

Sarah Wolff (Dan Chudzinski)Leaves falling, cool weather and football is what describes the fall season for most people. However, home run, strike, safe and out, are the words of fall for a large cult of people. With less than a week left of the regular season, us major league baseball fans are chomping at the bit for October to come and bring postseason. Many of you might actually know who I am. I've either defended my team to you by shaking my hand in your face, high-fived you for wearing Yankee apparel or stood next to you while I chucked chicken wings at the television screens uptown. Fall of 2003, it was top of the sixth inning and the Marlins scored their second run. It had been a long week of bad plays and sad nights for my Yankees. With every unsuccessful hit, I seemed to be getting more frustrated. If we didn't win that night, it was over and the Marlins would win the World Series. As soon as the Marlins got their second run I started throwing chicken wings. My poor friends were trying to sit me down before the BDubs employees saw me.For as long as I can remember I have been a Yankees fan. I was a little girl who soaked up every word that came out of her daddy's mouth and after years of listening to his love of the Yankees I soon realized being fan was not optional. Being a Yankee fan may seem like a fad acquired because we always win. Yet despite what you nonbelievers think, I love the Yankees because I am from New York and they are my team. In my house, summer is baseball season and we spend it right: watching the Yankees on the YES network. After coming to college and leaving my bubble in New York, I came to the harsh realization that my cousins - the Mets fans - were not the only people in America that had bad thoughts about my beloved baseball team. Soon after arriving I realized wearing my baseball hat to class was not just about finding a quick way to get ready, but it was a statement. Choosing to go to school in Ohio was hard because of how far away from home I am. This caused my level of interest in baseball to grow since I have been at school. Being a Yankee fan brings a little part of New York to my second home, Oxford. My mom has sensed the increase in my level of enthusiasm about the Yankees and has started to become a bigger fan herself. I always figured she would tell me that it is just a game but during the past three years, she has sent me more Yankee stuff than I would buy for myself. When I moved into my apartment my housewarming gift was a blue "No Parking" sign that reads, "Yankee parking only. Red Sox fans go home." When I got the sign all of my roommates and I immediately determined that the sign had to go above my bed. Dating a Red Sox fan is not only unacceptable but sacrilegious. In my three years at Miami I have realized that there are not only Red Sox fans, but there are also anti-Yankee fans. There is this bizarre breed of people who all have the same one-liners about my team and the same profane, rude comments about my favorite players. Honestly people, how many times are you going to tell me that Steinbrenner is evil or that we buy our team? Instead, use that energy to cheer on your own teams that need the help, because my team, the one you hate so much, just won their ninth straight American League East Division championship. That puts the Yankees in second place for most consecutive division titles won. Despite all of your anti-Yankee bad thoughts, I guess we must be doing something right. The most baffling question I have is about how people choose their teams. There are all of these anti-Yankee fans who hate me and other Yankee fans, but they love teams they have no allegiance to. Or better, they cheer for multiple teams: one for where they live, one where they go to college, or just good teams that are playing well now. I may love a team that has more money than God, but I am from where the team is from. Miami has a large population of people that sport Red Sox hats. Now I have not done the math, but I bet the percentage of people from Massachusetts and the amount of people sporting Red Sox fan apparel does not match up. All of you want-to-be Red Sox fans that love the team and have never seen Boston or seen the Red Sox play in their own stadium, I just don't understand you. So all of my Yankee fans, it is time to band together. Wear your Yankees apparel cheer on your team and if you see a fellow fan, give them a high five.


NEWS

Public needs education for 2006 election

Danielle ZawadzkiI voted for Bush in the 2004 election. I'm going to put that out there right now, and hopefully all you liberals will swallow the vomit that just rose up in your throat. The reason that I am disclosing this obviously heinous error in judgment is to prove a point, but also to state for the record for all my accusing friends and anyone who cares to read this that I am not a Republican, nor am I a liberal. According to Facebook.com I'm a "moderate," a.k.a. I'm normally on the fence about certain issues and candidates. On many college campuses the words Republican and Democrat have taken on dirty connotations, and I would just rather not associate myself with all that negative energy. It doesn't make sense to me that in a country where democracy is valued above all else that someone has very little chance of succeeding in getting their voice heard if they don't identify with one of two political parties. I commend the people who are Libertarians or Green Party members, but when it comes time for elections, their candidates don't realistically stand a chance. This is not to say that people shouldn't stand up for their beliefs and support the candidate that they want to win, but in our current government a vote for a third party is a throw-away vote. It's ridiculous that we are forced to choose between only two candidates in order to make our vote count in America, where we want to be seen as the paragon of democracy for all other countries. We prize freedom of the press, speech, religion and not only does our government often fail to model these ideals, but as its citizens we also fail in taking advantage of these freedoms. Due to the massive amount of technology to which we have access, there is unlimited information at our fingertips, yet we are still one of the most ignorant nations in the world. People don't feel the need to stay updated on current events or to familiarize themselves with the candidates and the issues because they are personally unaffected by many of the changes that take place in government. I had my eyes opened to my own ignorance while I was studying abroad. I happened to get into a political debate with a college student from Australia. I was put to shame as he explained the mechanics of Australian government and questioned me about specific aspects of American politics. I was astonished how well informed he was about the politics of a country that wasn't even his own. We are especially fortunate to be in an academic environment and there is no excuse for our ignorance. I know it's early to be thinking about the upcoming elections, but consider doing something to prepare for them. Any ignorant person can complain about the way that the government runs, but it takes a well-informed voter to affect actual change. We don't need a political war; we need a raising of political consciousness and maybe one of these days Republicans and Democrats will put down their weapons and work together toward educating all of us confused moderates.


NEWS

CDC's suggestions for HIV testing should be adopted

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued recommendations Sept. 21 urging all individuals aged 13-64 to incorporate HIV testing into routine medical care. Such periodic testing, according to the CDC, would help detect HIV infections earlier, permitting people to benefit from earlier access to treatment and minimizing the risks of infecting partners. The CDC also advises the elimination of separate written consent and prevention counseling prior to the tests, which act as barriers to testing. A patient's general consent for medical care would be sufficient. Still, these barriers are written into many state laws and their removal would take years. In light of this and other factors, The Miami Student urges states to adopt laws that would eliminate barriers to testing and pave the way toward more routine HIV testing for all individuals.The CDC recommendations come at a time when nearly a quarter of Americans infected with HIV, some 250,000 people, do not know they have the disease. Additionally, 42 percent of those who test positive only submit to the test due after the development of symptoms indicating AIDS, which means they may have had the disease and been passing it on for years. It is critical then, that regular HIV testing be implemented as other routine blood work tests are - without specific, written consent or lengthy counseling prior to the test - so as to decrease the time and number of barriers associated with submitting to an HIV test. Many civil liberties groups are worried, though, that the elimination of such barriers will lead to HIV testing being handled without much regard to the emotional well-being of an HIV-positive person. While this and similar concerns are valid, the CDC has articulated the need to "identify and counsel persons with unrecognized HIV infection and link them to clinical and prevention services" after a positive result is obtained. Also, separate written consent and prevention counseling were put into practice at a time when positive identification of HIV was a certain death sentence. Now, however, there are treatments that aid the quality and length of life for an HIV-positive person. The risks associated with HIV infection and the benefits of regular testing far outweigh the benefits of separate written consent and counseling before testing. Therefore, The Miami Student stands by the CDC recommendations and urges states to eliminate barriers to testing within existing laws.


The Oxford Police Department has conducted more than 60 compliance checks this academic year, up from less than 20 last year.
NEWS

Police boost compliance checks

Katie Wedell, Special Projects EditorThe Oxford Police Department has conducted more than 60 compliance checks this academic year, up from less than 20 last year. (Michael Pickering)Oxford's alcohol-providing establishments should be aware that the 18-year-old trying to buy a case of beer may be doing more than just looking to party. The Oxford Police Department (OPD) is testing more frequently than in years past to find out whether businesses are selling alcohol to underage individuals, through the use of "underagers," or underage individuals, to test liquor license holders during alcohol compliance checks. And due to increased availability of personnel, OPD has stepped up the frequency of these checks, performing at least 60 at liquor establishments in Oxford so far this semester. Last year they performed less than 20 the entire year.In recent checks from Sept. 8 to 9, police checked 10 different establishments the first night, with Johnny's Campus Deli as the only failure. OPD then went back and checked nine of same establishments the next evening plus three additional locations with no failures.Sgt. John Buchholz of OPD said checks are performed at random but that officers may focus on a place where they have had problems or failed checks in the past."We're not as big so it doesn't happen to us as often," said Andrew Reber, an employee at the U Shop. But he did mention that he was only aware of U Shop being checked once all of last year and that there have been frequent checks so far this semester.Buchholz explained that compliance checks are performed to see whether or not establishments are carding those attempting to buy alcohol."It's designed to make sure they know how to check IDs," Buchholz said.Typically OPD will send in a pair of underage people and have them attempt to buy alcohol using their own IDs and money provided by the police.Buchholz said that they are not allowed to lie or use a fake ID and must show identification when asked."A lot of it is designed to test the bars or carry-outs in the normal circumstances that they would be tested under," Buchholz said.He said that if the underager knows the clerk, the check would be called off because that relationship would taint the test. Also, the subject is allowed to lie if they are asked if they are working with the police. If the subject is successful in obtaining alcohol, they pass it off to a police officer or a 21-year-old partner outside and the establishment is notified that they have failed the check."When we confront the people with a violation the underagers are long gone," Buchholz said.Any establishment that fails a check is issued a citation by liquor control and the clerk is personally cited for selling alcohol to a minor.Buchholz said punishments for a liquor permit holder could range from a first offense of a small fine to permanent removal of that establishment's liquor license for repeated offenses.Establishments are notified at a later date if they pass a check."After it happens they send you a letter saying that on this date between these times you were checked and saying that you passed," Reber said.He also said that knowing weekend checks are going to happen doesn't change the way the U Shop operates because they train employees to always check IDs regardless of rumors of compliance checks.Buchholz said OPD does not do checks every week, but they will be doing a round of checks the upcoming weekend of Sept. 29-Oct. 1.Private property is also subject to random checks.Although an off-campus party isn't a legal liquor provider, police can test individuals the same way as bars and carry-out establishments. Buchholz said OPD will send underage test subjects into any party."(We will send underagers into a party) that is clearly open to the public where anyone can walk in or out," Buchholz said.He said at these types of parties, no one is usually monitoring the alcohol or checking to make sure that those drinking are of legal age.To test this, subjects are sent in and attempt to get the OK from a resident to take alcohol. In these situations, as well as the bar compliance checks, the subject is not allowed to actually consume alcohol. They simply have to prove that they would have been allowed to. If they are directed to a keg or refrigerator containing alcohol without anyone checking their age, then the police have probable cause to come back and cite the residents with providing alcohol to minors. "If you are allowing people onto your property, you are responsible for any drinking that goes on there," Buchholz said. "A snow fence and a sign do not relieve (residents) of any responsibility"

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