The following reflects the majority opinion of the Editorial Board. Miami University announced last week that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will be the 2020 Spring Commencement speaker. The decision has divided the campus and put politics at the forefront of graduation — an event meant to celebrate the achievements of those students walking across the stage. Miami extended the invitation to speak at graduation to DeWine shortly after as he was elected as Governor, Secretary of the Board of Trustees (BoT) Ted Pickerill wrote in an email to The Miami Student. In previous years, Miami has consulted a committee made up of students, faculty and staff led by Pickerill before selecting a speaker. This year, however, no students were consulted before DeWine was selected.
The following reflects the majority opinion of the Editorial Board. At a press conference on Sunday, Miami University officials revealed the two Miami students suspected of having the coronavirus tested negative for the disease. This announcement came four days after the university notified the Miami community there may be coronavirus in Oxford. “At a time like this, when you’re facing challenges, the best comes out in people,” University President Greg Crawford said during the press conference. “All around this campus, I really saw love and honor showing through in these challenging times.” Apparently, Crawford wasn’t following the community’s reaction on social media as closely as we were.
The following reflects the majority opinion of the Editorial Board. Happy spring semester, Miami University! It was an eventful J-Term, and we’ve got a lot to catch up on. The Miami RedHawks played (and lost) the Lending Tree Bowl, that sushi place finally opened up in Armstrong and the university announced 39 staff positions will be eliminated as of July 1, 2020. Surprised by that last one? We bet! On Jan. 23, University President Greg Crawford sent an email to Miami faculty announcing 40 staff positions would be eliminated across the Oxford and regional campuses. Since then, The Miami Student confirmed one of the initial 40 positions will not be cut, but there was no follow-up from Crawford or the administration communicating that change.
Well, folks, we’re in the homestretch. Two more weeks until we can kiss this semester goodbye and ride off into the sunset toward holiday cheer and a little less homework. Our staff has been reflecting on the good, the bad and the ugly of this past semester, setting our sights on what we hope to improve come January. We’re drafting our New Year’s resolution, if you will. Going forward, we at The Miami Student hope to see the relationship between our reporters and Miami’s administration improve in hopes to increase transparency on our campus. But achieving this resolution starts with setting some common ground and erasing the idea that our staff is pushing an anti-administration agenda.
Last Thursday, The Miami Student broke the story detailing how former Miami University first-year Nicholas Shaw was expelled for sexual assault by his former university, Indiana University - Purdue University Indiana (IUPUI). Shaw later plead guilty to criminal confinement in an Indiana court and served six days in jail in relation to the sexual assault. Kaite Anderson, the woman Shaw assaulted, resorted to posting this information in the Miami University Class of 2023-Parents Facebook group last week, which is where we first learned about Shaw. Anderson reached out to Miami University’s Office of Admission about Shaw back in early September. She also reached out to The Student around the same time, but we missed the tip. We sincerely regret not being able to hold Shaw accountable and to share Anderson’s story sooner.
It’s the first Tuesday of November, which means citizens across the country are heading to the polls to vote in local elections. And while national media outlets are already laser-focused on next year’s presidential election, it’s our job as your local neighborhood news outlet to tell you it’s important to vote on what’s on the ballot *today*. Federal elections may dominate our national political landscape, but our local government officials are far more accessible than our state or national representatives. This is especially true for Oxford, as our local officials are heavily involved in the community. The officials elected into office today will enact policies that directly impact our day-to-day lives here in Oxford, dealing with everything from parking tickets to long-term sustainability in Oxford.
It’s Miami University’s midterm month, a tradition that should be listed alongside kissing under Upham Arch and failing an exam after stepping on the seal. Ask any student at Miami how they’re doing right now, and they’ll give you the same answer: stressed out of their freaking minds. Currently, there is no standardization between departments or colleges on how midterms are administered. The only requirement from the university is that professors submit their midterm class grades by Oct. 18th. But the inconsistency of midterms often means these grades often don’t accurately reflect how a student is actually doing in the class. The lack of parameters means Miami’s midterm season tends to last the entire month of October, with students facing an overwhelming amount of assignments and — in some cases — multiple midterms for one class.
On Oct. 3, a screenshot of an Islamophobic GroupMe message was followed by the resignation of first year on-campus senator in Miami University’s Associated Student Government (ASG), Maxwell Hessling. In his message, Hessling wrote that “one of my favorite Halloween costumes lol” is a picture of a white child in Islamic clothing with a fake bomb strapped to his chest. We at The Miami Student believe this incident can serve as an example to members of ASG and the Miami community alike as to how crucial it is for all of us to expect far more from our elected officials, from our peers and from ourselves when it comes to taking personal accountability for ignorance, understanding the impact words can have and how to properly apologize and move forward.
Earlier this month, 18 former members of Miami University’s Delta Tau Delta (Delts) fraternity were charged on hazing and assault charges. The charges came after an anonymous first-year new member was bludgeoned on his buttocks with a spiked paddle, forced to drink alcohol, smoke weed and was subjected to additional physical abuse during a Big/Little Reveal event last spring. After the men were charged, reporters from The Miami Student reached out to members of Miami’s administration, leaders of Miami Greek Life, representatives from Delta Tau Delta’s national headquarters and the 18 individuals who were charged asking them all to comment and share their side of the story. A few individuals gave vague and brief responses, some said they could not comment on the matter but most did not respond to our reporters at all.
As Fall Break looms at the end of the week, students are forced to decide whether the single extra day tacked onto the weekend is enough time to warrant the travel home. Currently, Miami only considers excused absences for religious obligations. In order to be excused for those holidays, a student must inform their professor within the first two weeks of class of all of the obligations they anticipate participating in for the entire semester. But what if a student decides last minute they want to spend a holiday (religious or not) with their family? Or experiences the death of a loved one? Or is sick? Or is subject to major personal trauma?
Last week, Miami University sophomore Conor Phlegar tweeted that Channel Miller, the woman sexually assaulted by Brock Turner at Stanford in 2015, was raped as a consequence of being drunk. After he deleted the tweets, he wrote that he stood by what he said and hoped what he said resulted in individuals expanding their views on rape. Miami administration responded by tweeting that Phlegar’s views did not align with the University’s Code of Love and Honor, and that victim-blaming has no place on Miami’s campus. The tweet was followed with resources on what to do if you or someone you know has been assaulted.
Climate change is a threat to every current and prospective student at Miami. Our quarter life crises are looking more like mid-life crises as the impacts of climate change are starting to be felt across America and the rest of the world and our global life expectancy looks to be cut short.
The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.