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The Miami Student Oldest university newspaper in the United States, established 1826

VOLUME 139 NO. 31



TODAY IN MIAMI HISTORY In 1964, The Miami Student reported that the University Senate approved a plan to switch Miami University to trimesters beginning as early as September

1965. The plan allowed for three 15-week terms going from September to August, with a break in June. Miami could not implement the plan without state legislature approval.

Early decision applications nearly double BY ADAM GIFFI


Students at Miami University often say they knew they wanted to attend school here from the moment they set foot on campus. The university has capitalized on this sentiment, according to Michael Kabbaz, associate vice president for enrollment management, with a dramatic 96 percent increase in early decision applicants. “No other institution saw the increase that we saw,” Kabbaz said. “We had 466 applications in 2010 and in 2011, we ended up with 913 of these applications. That outpaces any institution in the country.” Jennifer Herman, senior associate director in the Office of Admissions, said

early decision is a binding agreement where prospective students apply to a university and receive notice of their acceptance or deferral promptly and in exchange are therefore required to attend the university if they are accepted. The deadline is Nov. 1 for these applications and students are notified on Dec. 15. Of the 913, Herman said 684 have been admitted. While the agreement is obligatory, Herman said there are occasionally a few students that do not ultimately attend because they simply break the agreement and back out or for reasons such as a family crisis. Herman said there is a slightly higher acceptance rate for early decision students. “Early decision applicants

typically show great personal and academic promise and they send a strong message to us by indicating we are their first choice,” Herman said. However, Kabbaz said the true advantage to applying for early decision for those that know they want to attend Miami is simple. “You get the stress of the process over,” Kabbaz said. “If Miami is your first choice, this is the perfect avenue. A very anxiety-ridden process can be over for a student before the holidays.” Students who are denied can apply again for regular admission and receive their final decision in March along with regular decision applicants. Along with focusing on the special feeling of

being at Miami, Kabbaz said a huge effort was made to promote the outcome of attending school here: where students are getting jobs upon graduation, what graduate schools they go on to attend,

what we did this year is just make a strong concerted effort on the admission part to really start promoting the outcomes.” Kabbaz said any materials disseminated to prospective

No other institution saw the increase that we saw. We had 466 applications in 2010 and in 2011, we ended up with 913 of these applications.” MICHAEL KABBAZ


graduation rates and more. “Miami’s outcomes rival that of the top public institutions and frankly some of the most highly selective institutions in the country,” Kabbaz said. “So really

students from the admissions office in 2011 were focused on these outcomes, an effort he said has clearly proved effective. First-year Maggie Ledbetter did not apply for early

decision when she was looking at Miami, however, she sees the increased rate of those that do as a huge positive for the university. “I had friends that applied this way because they have wanted to come here for years,” Ledbetter said. “More students like this are great because they are really passionate about Miami.” Kabbaz could not agree more and feels these students add value for everyone on campus. “The best part about early decision students is that they are coming to Miami as their first choice,” Kabbaz said. “This means that they couldn’t be more excited to be here and by having students with this level of enthusiasm on campus, it adds to the excitement and experience for all students.”

Blackboard portal takes a victory lap BY PATRICK MCCOY




Holiday lights in uptown Oxford illuminate the snow-dusted sidewalks Monday night. A light accumulation of snow fell Monday afternoon and evening, bringing with it colder temperatures and a true feeling of winter.

Rebellion remembered:19th century culprits leave legacy of disobedience BY LAUREN CERONIE CAMPUS EDITOR

The snow that is dumped on Miami University nearly every winter leads to cancelled classes, disappearing dining hall trays and the occasional snow phallus built by the more juvenile first-years. The snow today leads to rather tame activities but the same cannot be said for the snow that fell on Oxford during the January of 1848 and led to the Snow Rebellion. In 1848, Erasmus MacMaster was the president of Miami, though his popularity among students was dismal. A few years previously, MacMaster had managed to incite the ire of Miami’s literary societies, forerunners to fraternities, by attempting to bring them under the control of the university. Anger over MacMaster’s methods of running the university festered and led to some student unrest. One summer during MacMaster’s term, students rounded up 23 cows and drove them into the campus chapel. However, that unrest soon became outright rebellion.

This is part of a series The Miami Student is running about the University Archives. All information in the following article was obtained from the University Archives with the help of University Archivist Bob Schmidt. On the night of Jan. 12, 1848, a thick snow fell on Miami. Using this as inspiration, the men of Miami blocked the doors of Old Main (now the site of Harrison Hall) with several giant snowballs. They got out of the building using a rope, which they left dangling from an upper story window. When the school’s custodian arrived the next morning, he had to use the rope to climb into the building and begin clearing out the snow. MacMaster, furious at the students, called them into the chapel and vowed he “wouldn’t rest” until everyone involved in the incident was thrown out of the university. The students, however, were not intimidated. The

next night, students nailed shut the doors and windows of Old Main and filled the building with the university’s entire stockpile of firewood, old stoves, broken tables and benches. The college bell was also taken down and thrown into the well. The students did their work thoroughly. They barricaded Old Main Thursday night and the faculty couldn’t enter the building until Monday. Faculty tried to catch the students, but had little success at first as students said they were sworn to secrecy about the event. Eventually,

were cancelled while the interrogations took place, so the boys stood out in the yard and cheered as boys were called in for questioning. If a student was suspended or dismissed, the boys would carry him around the campus on their shoulders. In the end, four students were dismissed, 11 were suspended and two left. This meant that half of the senior class was gone and many others said they would not return to Miami. The students, though rebellious and disruptive, were not stupid. Before their

Students nailed shut the doors and windows of Old Main and filled the building with the university’s stockpile of firewood, old stoves, broken tables and benches.

however, it became clear that a large percentage of the student body had been involved. MacMaster and the faculty resorted to questioning the students one by one. Lessons

dissent, they talked to the president of Centre College in Danville, Ky. and were guaranteed a spot at that college should they be expelled from Miami.

As classes resume, students may have noticed that although Miami promised an end to Blackboard, this will not be a reality as remnants of Blackboard remain. As a result of a renewed six-month contract, students and faculty can expect Blackboard to be around until June, which according to Cathy McVey, director of strategic communications and planning, will cost an additional $24,915. IT services is working with Campus EAI, a software vendor, to create the new myMiami portal, McVey said. “We anticipated that we would complete [the new myMiami portal] by the end of the fall semester,” she said. “Due to a number of issues with the project, the portal was not ready to be launched at the agreed upon time.” These issues were largely due to delays on the vendor’s part. Although the Campus EAI staff worked around the clock, a postponed release was inevitable in order to secure a production-ready service, McVey said. While students and faculty can expect delays on the portal end, the integration of Sakai to replace Blackboard’s course management system has had no problems. Some students disliked Blackboard’s services and are happy to see their end, according to senior Austin Halsey. He said he does not understand what is going on with the switch and the two systems. “As with all things, there is going to be confusion with change. What I don’t understand is why the switch was even made,” Halsey said. “What Miami did was switch one system for another confusing one,

leaving students lost in the chaos.” Students at Miami are not alone; a nation-wide campaign #EraseBlackboard has spurred out of the dislike towards similar systems, initiated by Coursekit, a competitor in the learning management industry as a clever marketing tactic. Coursekit a venture-funded startup is one of the companies trying to innovate in the industry. “It is really a Blackboard replacement with a

Due to a number of issues with the project, the portal was not ready to be launched at the agreed upon time.” CATHY MCVEY


heavy emphasis on social networking,” CEO and co-founder Joseph Cohen said. “The key thing here is that we give the instructor every single tool that they would want to manage their course. We do that in the most simple elegant way.” The university reviewed many systems before choosing Sakai. “Given the speed at which technology changes, all systems ... need to be reviewed regularly to determine if they are meeting the university’s needs in the best and most efficient manner,” McVey said. “Faculty are not required to use Sakai, nor were they required to use Blackboard. There will always be alternative systems that some faculty will choose to use.”






Miami jumps 25 spots on ‘Best Values’ list BY KAILA FRISONE


For the 14th year, Miami University received a place on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine’s “100 Best Values in Public Colleges” list. This year, Miami placed 52nd for in-state best values nationwide and 49th among the out-of-state public university values. Brent Shock, director of student financial assistance, said he is very pleased with Miami’s placement of the top 100 and other national rankings. “They reflect what we already know, which is that the value of a Miami University education is top notch. It can’t be beat,” Shock said. According to Kiplinger’s,

a number of factors are used to calculate the value of the top 100 schools including cost and financial aid, student indebtedness, competitiveness, graduation rates and academic support. The two factors with the most weight are cost and financial aid, weighing in with 33 percent, and competitiveness with 22 percent. Marc Wojno, senior associate editor at Kiplinger’s, said a good competitiveness score can be obtained if incoming first-years have high test scores, the university has a low admission rate and the number of accepted applicants enrolling is high. Miami jumped 25 spaces on the list this year and Wojno said the improvement is largely because the

incoming first-years scored higher on standardized test scores. Wojno said competitiveness was weighed more heavily than some of the other factors because it is a factor many prospective students and parents desire, and also improves the academic quality of a school. “This was a decision we talked about amongst each other as to what was most important to highlight,” Wojno said. This year, schools received extra points in their student indebtedness score if a low percentage of students borrowed money and if the average debt at graduation was low. Wojno said the socioeconomic status of the

families from which students come is not factored into their report. The student-faculty ratio and first-year retention rate are factors for the academic

“Certainly, the university should be very proud of our graduation rate. We’re among the highest nationally,” Shock said. The only other public Ohio

They reflect what we already know, which is that the value of a Miami University education is top notch.” BRENT SHOCK


support score. Miami’s student-faculty ratio was 17 and it’s first-year retention rate was 89 percent. Miami also has a fouryear graduation rate of 68 percent.

college to make the list was Ohio State University, which placed 37th in-state and 40th out-of-state. Wojno said Ohio private schools also tend to make the top 100 in the private school ranking.

“Our rankings are proving that it (the value of public schools versus private schools) is very comparable these days,” Wojno said. Senior Megan St. Arnauld said she used rankings such as Kiplinger’s when applying to colleges. As an outof-state student, she found the rankings of cost value to be most helpful. Shock said he is proud of Miami’s ranking in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine as well as Miami’s recognition by as the number one Ohio school in regards to best salary potential. “The outcome (of a college education) is what determines the value and whether or not it was a solid investment,” Shock said.

Does ‘It Get Better’? Students weigh in on LGBT life at MU BY KELSEY JOHNSON


All students face challenges, but when those challenges stem from something stigmatized by society, does it ever get better? Members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community face unique circumstances at a liberal arts school with socially conservative tendencies. The It Gets Better Project is geared towards struggling LGBT high school students who might benefit from an encouraging word. Its basic mission is to provide these students with examples of how their lives will get better after their teen years. It also convinces them that they are not alone. Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris and Kathy Griffin are a few very well-known participants in the project. Director and Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Madelyn Detloff believes an LGBT person’s life may not necessarily get better when coming to Miami, but it doesn’t get worse. Detloff named a particular course that she teaches called WGS 202: Introduction to GLBT Studies, which “helps a lot of first-years.” Detloff also said the Office of Residence Life is working on “safe spaces or safe zones” where LGBT

students can go if they are having a difficult time with something or if they need extra support. Miami first-year Jovan Barraza came out during his senior year of high school. A graduate of New Albany High School in New Albany, Ohio, Barraza said that it was generally considered to be the “rich kid school.” “When I first started being open about my feelings, it felt confusing because everything was so new to me,” Barraza said. “People sometimes felt awkward around me too when I talked about it. There was a new uneasiness that had not been there before.” Barraza said most of the students on Miami’s campus are accepting of gay students. “Of course, the phrase ‘that’s gay’ is still heard many times, but a lot less than I heard it in high school,” Barraza said. Barraza said he thinks overall, Miami is welcoming to gay students. “When I went to my first Spectrum meeting I was expecting a small group, but there were so many people there it was overwhelming — in a good way,” Barraza said. First-year Derek Biggers attended what he calls a “conservative high school.” “For me, it did get better in college,” Biggers said. “I’m sure there are places more ‘gay friendly’ than Miami, but I haven’t encountered any problems as a queer individual.”

Biggers said he thinks while for many people it does get better, it does not for others. “It’s not so much the environment you live in, but instead it’s that one person that gets through your thick skull to tell you it’s okay to be who you are,” Biggers said. There is one main organization for LGBT students on campus, which is Spectrum. Barraza thinks Spectrum is “doing great as the leading LGBTQ organization.” The ‘Q’ in the acronym stands for ‘Questioning.’ Ron Becker, associate professor of communication, agrees Spectrum is doing well as the primary organization of its kind on campus. “Spectrum has not exhausted its resources,” Becker said, meaning that although it might be beneficial to have another LGBT organization on campus, Spectrum has many more options and ideas available. Becker said it might be appealing to have some sort of sports league or organization for gay and lesbian students, but too many groups would splinter the progress of Spectrum. Becker would like to see other parts of the university step up and do more. “Miami’s climate could be better, could be more welcoming,” Becker said. “We need to figure out how we can talk to the core of




WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND Students trek to class despite Thursday’s miserable winter weather.

University signs up for CrimeReports to help students stay aware, safe BY KALER HAZEN STAFF WRITER

The Miami University Police Department (MUPD) is now a member of a website called CrimeReports, which allows users to view recent crimes on a map of the Oxford, Ohio area. Students and faculty can go to and type in ‘Miami University Oxford Campus’ in the search bar on the top left corner of the screen to view the map of Miami’s campus and other outlying streets. MUPD has always shared text-only messages of crime alerts in the Oxford area, but

the map feature on CrimeReports allows students and faculty to be more aware of what’s going on around them and areas of campus that could be unsafe at certain times. According to Claire Wagner, associate director of university communications, the site will serve as another source of information for students and staff, and open up opportunities to be more aware of personal safety. CrimeReports can be used in addition to a service distributed to student email accounts known as Campus Crime Alerts that tell readers where a crime took place, a

general description of suspects involved and what exactly happened should the crime be unresolved and the persons suspected of committing it missing. “We always hope for students to be aware of their surroundings and personal safety, this is just another tool for them to be aware of what’s happening in their area,” Wagner said. Upon arrival to the website, student users see an image of Topeka, Kansas, and from there can type in any location and corresponding crime readout that they want to view. When students are

searching for the Oxford campus area, it is important to type ‘Miami University Oxford Campus’ into the

University campus in Hamilton. The website displays all kinds of criminal offenses, including the presence of sex

CrimeReports lets students get a better idea of what’s going on around campus and allows them to stay in safe areas at the right times.” IAN FREE


search bar. If all of these keywords aren’t typed out, the map may display the Miami University airport or the Miami

offenders in some areas. According to MUPD Lt. Ben Spilman, the program will be beneficial not only for those who reside on or near

campus, but also for concerned parents and those visiting the area. Spilman also said the cost for maintaining the program is minimal at less than $1.50 per day. Crimes that are filed with the MUPD are automatically sent to the database. “It’s another way that we can share information with the community,” Spilman said. Sophomore Ian Free said, “CrimeReports lets students get a better idea of what’s going on around campus and allows them to stay in safe areas at the right times.”









BEAT Trio nabbed for pair of robberies Parked car suffers exterior damages Around 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oxford Police Department officers met with a man at the corner of Vine and Bishop streets about damage to his Honda Fit. The male said his vehicle was parked near the intersection of Vine and Bishop Streets between Saturday and Monday. When it was left there, someone broke the driver’s side mirror.

Residents report overnight vandalism Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, Oxford Police Department officers were dispatched to N. University Avenue regarding property damage. Upon arrival, the officers met with a male resident. The officers observed a small window pane broken out of the front storm door. Also, a trash can near the driveway had been knocked over and the contents had been strewn about the property. A large trash bag was left, torn open on the front porch. The victim said he believed he heard something around 1 a.m. but did not investigate what he heard. The victim did not believe he or any of his housemates had any enemies and he did not name any potential suspects.

Lost fake ID leads to penalization Around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, an Ohio driver’s license was turned into the Oxford Police Department that was found to be a fake. Officers used a picture of blonde female on the ID to locate the owner of the ID on Miami University’s campus. Officers showed up at the residence hall and identified the female as sophomore Kerry Dever, 20. Dever’s picture resembled the picture in the fake ID. She told officers that the card was hers and that it must have fallen out of her pocket. Dever was issued a citation for possession of a fake ID.

Male charged after foot chase Around 2:45 a.m. Thursday, an Oxford Police Officer saw a group of six to eight males running on S. Campus Avenue. The officer believed these males were the suspects in an earlier altercation. The males were running behind multiple houses and the officer went after them. When the officer stopped them and told them to stop, they continued running. The officer finally met two of the males in front of a house on Poplar Street. When the officer tried stopping the two males a second time, they ran again and the officer got out of his car and chased them in the opposite direction around the house. The officer met one of the males in front and asked why he kept running. The male said he didn’t want to get in trouble and was then identified as Miami University sophomore David Baker, 20. Baker was charged with obstructing official business.


Over the winter break, there were at least six reported burglaries of Miami University students’ offcampus housing, according to Oxford Police Department (OPD) reports. Among these burglaries was one that occurred at Miami Village on Dec. 23,. On this occasion, three men were arrested for taking a 32-inch flat screen TV and DVDs from an apartment in Miami Village. All three men were taken into custody after it was confirmed by the residents of the apartment that it was their TV, which had been stolen. As officers were investigating the apartment, they noticed another apartment had its front door kicked in. Nothing was stolen from that apartment, but the three males were arrested for burglary of the first apartment and suspicion of the burglary of the other apartment. The tenants of both apartments were at home for Miami’s winter break. During the weekend of Dec. 10, there was another burglary at Miami Village. OPD Public Information Officer Sgt. John Varley


Several break-ins were reported over the winter break at the Miami Village Apartments.Three men were arrested in connection to the crimes. confirmed the arrested men were also being investigated in relation to the Dec. 10 incident. “Obviously they are going to be suspects, but right now, we are working on if we can tie them to it,” Varley said. Over the winter break both OPD and Miami University Police Department (MUPD) planned for possible burglary attempts. The departments created a dual-response initiative

to prevent and combat burglaries both off and on campus, according to Varley. “Our departments had a cooperation and coordination of our resources during the holiday break,” MUPD Lt. Ben Spilman said. During the break, both departments had joint roll call meetings with each other every morning. A roll call is the meeting each department has at the beginning of each shift. “We were able to

coordinate to check properties and parts of town that required patrol, which led to a very positive result for both of our departments,” Spilman said. Both Miami property and off-campus housing experienced a spike in burglaries over winter and spring breaks, according to Spilman. However, as most students move out in the summer, they do not normally see a rise in burglaries at that time.

“It was pretty quiet this break with very few incident reports and no spike in burglaries,” Spilman said. “I will say it was a success also because in past years, we made burglary arrests but a lot of times it came about because we would get them after the fact,” Varley said. “This time, we were able to catch them at the house and have a direct tie right there and not have to back track.”

Local armored car plant to open Miami cashes in on state vanity plates BY MICHELLE ROWLEY


A new armored car plant will soon be opening in Fairfield. The O’Gara group, a Cincinnati based security company recently acquired San Antonio, Texas based Protection Devices Inc. According to Greg Cassman, project manager for the company, the number of jobs from the plant will steadily increase to approximately 100 in 2013. The company signed a lease in Fairfield to open a second plant after it acquired the Texas-based manufacturer of armored vehicles. Like most areas in the United States, Fairfield has not been immune to the hardships of the recession. Fairfield’s Mayor, Ron D’Epifanio, believes is a great opportunity to boost Fairfield’s economy. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that it will be a positive

change,” D’Epifanio said. “There is a great demand for jobs these days, so any additional jobs are great for the community.” The new plant will be producing non-military cars (primarily SUVs) to be used by government officials, celebrities and other prominent public figures. These vehicles are distributed around the country and provide maximum security and protection, Cassman said. According to Cassman, the plant is a permanent project. This specific factory is part of the mobile divisions of the O’Gara Group’s strategic business plan. The other two components include training and services sectors for new employees, as well as a sensor systems division (both of which are located elsewhere). Fairfield, which has a population of 43,000, expands to approximately 100,000 during regular working hours, which makes

commuting workers key to the local economy, according to D’Epifanio. Fairfield was chosen as the site of the plant because it is near I-75 and other major expressways, in addition to being the former location of another plant for Protection Devices Inc., the largest armored vehicle company in America. Sophomore Maeve Andrews believes any effort to create more jobs is a positive change. “Whether it’s 10 or 10,000 jobs, anything and everything will really help this small community out,” Andrews said. “Since more workers means more paying customers at Fairfield businesses,” Andrews said. Andrews also said it is a great opportunity for the small community of Fairfield to expand in other areas as well.


Like most other colleges and universities, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) produces vanity plates that bear Miami University’s logo. Since 1998, Miami-sponsored vanity plates have been available to the public to show off school spirit. Vanity plates seem like a fun way to show pride, but they are also very lucrative for the university. According to the BMV, there is a $35 annual fee for anyone who owns a vanity plate. In Miami’s case, $25 of that annual fee goes to the university’s general scholarship fund, according to Director of Annual Giving Emily Berry. The general scholarship fund is run through the financial aid office and is



High Street was closed to traffic for the day during the first day of classes Monday for pipe restoration at the intersection of Campus Avenue.

used to distribute aid to various university-sanctioned scholarships, according to Berry. Unlike other schools, however, Miami provides two types of vanity plates with various designs and layouts. “A couple of years ago, we were notified by the Ohio BMV that they would allow more than one logo choice, and we took full advantage of that,” Berry said. With the annual fee being charged to every owner of a Miami plate, the university has accumulated more than half a million dollars since the inception of the program. “Since 1998 through 2010, the university has accrued $539,225 through this program,” Berry said. Add about another expected $55,000 from more than 2,000 plates sold in 2011 and the university has a windfall of surprising revenue. In fact, since 1998, the BMV has sold 22,951 Miami vanity plates. School pride goes farther than just showing it on your plate, according to Berry. “Several years ago, we were given the numbers of license plates sold from each school across the state and Miami consistently came in second to only Ohio State University,” Berry said. The number of plates sold has increased every year, and this source of school pride and university revenue has students excited. “I never really knew there were Miami vanity plates available to buy,” Senior Andy Solalda said. “However, I do think it is a great way to show your school spirit and if the fees only go to the general scholarship fund then I totally support it.”








EDITORIAL The following piece, written by the editorial editors, reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.

As problems snowball, it’s time for students to take a stand PATRICK GEYSER THE MIAMI STUDENT


Pedestrians and drivers should both be conscious on the road On the streets that pass through and around campus, it seems that pedestrians more frequently are being injured by drivers, or are having close calls. The recent serious accident involving a first-year student and the previous injury of a faculty person in the same Patterson Ave. crosswalk last March are just two examples. We encourage both walkers and drivers to be more alert to their surroundings. More drivers are distracted, whether it’s using a cell phone or multitasking while driving. Pedestrians are also often listening to music, chatting or checking their cell

phones when they step into the street instead of checking for vehicles. You may have noticed some of the six temporary signs that are on busy crosswalks around campus. Miami University is using these to remind drivers that Ohio law mandates yielding to pedestrians in a crosswalk. Miami University police officers have been instructed to be more assertive regarding vehicular traffic stops for crosswalk violations as well as pedestrian law enforcement of street crossing outside of marked crosswalks. Walkers, remember, it takes time to stop a car. At

35 miles per hour, a driver will need about 136 feet to react and then come to a complete stop. You don’t want to test that. We urge people, young and old, to remember the adage, “Look both ways before you cross the street.” We don’t want any member of the Miami community to put themselves at risk of serious injury.





In 1848, Erasmus MacMaster was the president of Miami University and somehow found it valuable to dismiss student needs and manage university control over literary societies, forerunners to fraternities. Were these students angry? Students blocked the doors of Old Main (now the site of Harrison Hall) with several giant snowballs, leaving Old Main drenched in snow; the following night, students nailed shut the doors and windows of Old Main, filling the rooms with large furniture, leaving Old Main inaccessible to faculty until the following Monday. It isn’t that these students pulled a harmless prank for a good laugh — they did it because their student freedoms were hindered by poor, clouded judgment delegated to someone whom they initially put their faith in. While these same issues don’t arise today, Miami still has issues many students are concerned with. While we would never advocate vandalism or other criminal behavior, perhaps a little civil disobedience could help the university put things in perspective. These are a few things that get us riled up:

ACADEMIC ADVISING IS LACKING For Miami University students, deciphering remaining college and major requirements listed in the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) is a daunting task. However, students are promised that resources are available to help: academic advisers. Often, however, advisers clearly know less than some students about requirements. Students are left frustrated upon realizing that one course credit does not count on DARS or the last minute realization that a senior won’t graduate because two credits for the science requirement remain. To remain a competitive university, students need to focus on the courses that count. The university needs to invest in training knowledgeable academic advisers who can help sift through massive college and major requirements. It is crucial for students to know someone is out there who can keep them on the right path.

TEXTBOOK PRICES DRAIN STUDENTS’ WALLETS Though it may not be a problem unique to Miami, the current college course textbook situation is often frustrating to students. Not only are course textbooks often extremely expensive, but students can usually earn only a small fraction of what they originally paid when selling their books back. While some professors consider costs when selecting course books, many pay little or no attention to price. Additionally, Miami has been slow to comply with laws that require teachers to post required books before registration so that students could factor in textbook prices when selecting courses. Some students have turned to less-expensive bookstore alternatives such as online sites or rental programs, but why aren’t professors and bookstores held accountable for subjecting students to high prices?


Rule of Thumb Syllabus week We used to be able to ease into the new semester, now we’re hitting the ground running.

Seniors going out this week Seniors are starting their last semester by hitting Uptown hard this week.

First snow of the year The sudden snow shower left campus glistening and brought the return of winter.

While Miami promotes its business students and the Farmer School of Business, many should realize this isn’t the only academic entity the university should pride itself in. FSB students already receive the privilege to walk the halls of a beautiful building, but let’s not neglect certain buildings on campus that have the potential to have just as many resources if the university would pay more attention to them. Miami does not equal FSB — we are more than that. We all come from different areas to study different subjects that pertain to our interests; why can’t the university acknowledge those that have the potential to be just as academically important?

CAREER SERVICES DOESN’T FOCUS ON RECRUITING FOR ALL MAJORS Miami’s Office of Career Services is designed to help students get jobs after graduation. However, for students who are looking for a job in education, research, the arts or even journalism, the options for interviewing on-campus are few. Career Services appears to make a concerted effort to bring businesses to campus to recruit students from the Farmer School of Business. Of the six special mock interview sessions scheduled for the spring semester by Career Services, four of them are for students with majors that fall in FSB. Only one of those six sessions is for students with “any major.” Nearly 91 percent of employers at the Spring Internship and Career Expo (ICE) are looking for students with business majors (including “any major” postings). Only 49 percent of employers want someone with a degree from the College of Arts and Sciences, and that includes the “any major” job postings.


Progress on gay rights Here’s to a future where gay students feel completely accepted in Miami’s community.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day As you’re celebrating a three day weekend, remember MLK’s fight for civil rights.

Greek Rush Congrats on finding new sisters and brothers, just remember to keep your individuality.

Ides of March coming out on DVD On Tuesday, Miamians can pick up the movie that was filmed here last spring.

Miami has a reputation for being occupied by “rich kids”, but that does not mean the university should capitalize on this often very untrue stereotype. It seems that the university comes up with new money-sucking tactics every year. Sure parking is a scarce resource, but the exorbitant costs of parking on campus shock our peers at other schools. Now the university is charging extra for adequate on-campus Internet, a student necessity that our student fees should cover. This moneysucking problem even extends to off-campus housing, as students often pay not commensurate with living conditions. Are these problems supply and demand at work, or is the “rich kid” stereotype of Miami University being conveniently abused?

EROSION OF FACULTY Miami is in the midst of a virtual faculty hiring slow-down. Compared to dozens of teaching positions open a few years ago, tighter budgets mean that Miami now only looks for a handful of faculty at a time. The proportion of clinical and non-tenure track faculty has steadily increased. Students should take a stand and demand that Miami make a commitment to maintain excellent undergraduate teaching by supporting and hiring creative, passionate and highly qualified faculty.

The Miami Student Oldest university newspaper in the United States, established 1826


CPA construction



It is infurating for students to reroute through the building instead of the sidewalks.







Poachers in 2011 Last year was one of the worst years for elephant poaching.

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A leaner U.S. military may not provide beneficial results On Jan. 5, President Barack Obama made a rare appearance in the Pentagon briefing room to reveal to America his new strategy for the military. In light of the recent debt-ceiling crisis, which was systemically resolved by the passing of the Budget Control Act of 2011, the U.S. military has been scrambling to prepare for hefty budget cuts. As of now, the military is facing more than $400 million in cuts toward military spending over the next decade. This means military focus will shift and the armed forces will shrink down to where they were before 9/11. Now the military will focus on the Far East, Africa and combating cyber warfare. At last week’s strategy reveal, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta tried to affirm speculations about flaws in the cutbacks by saying the military will still remain competitive by continuing to conduct missions from counterterrorism, countering weapons of mass

destructions and monitoring nuclear threats. He stated, “We will be fully prepared to protect our interests, defend our homeland and support civil authorities.” However, according to National Public Radio reporter Tom Bowman, officials say the army may lose 70,000 troops from more than half a million. The two primary branches of the military that will see fewer numbers will be the Marine Corps and the Army, which are set to shrink around 2015. Branches such as the Navy and Air Force will be vital in these regions because of their skills in sea and air navigation. Moreover, according to Bowman, the new strategy will “no longer be sized to conduct large-scale contingency operations” and the “U.S. will abandon its ability to fight two wars simultaneously.” These two major distinctions were how America fought wars in the last decade. The primary focus for the military shifting its




Iowa caucus does not swing election voters

It was easy to get caught up in the overzealous media hype surrounding the Iowa Caucus earlier in the month. The way every news organization portrays it, a person would think the caucus was a “sure-thing” indicator on who would be the eventual winner or the election, or at least the nomination. After all, everyone knows about how President Bob Dole won in convincing fashion over Dick Gephardt in the 1988 election. Or when President Tom Harkin went on to beat Dole in the following election.

nomination will be, and a roll of the dice on who the next president. According to the “Caucus History Past Years’ Results” on http://, from the 1972 caucus to the 2008 caucus, Iowans successfully picked the eventual Democratic nominee just six out of 10 times, with “uncommitted” being the top vote getter twice. Meanwhile, since 1976 to the 2008 caucus, Iowans correctly picked the eventual Republican nominee just six out of nine times, with three of them being the unopposed,

In this day and age, there is often a negative stigma attached to mainstream music, which incessantly loops over and over again on the radio. It is true — not all mainstream music is inappropriate or completely manufactured, however, most people view popular, overplayed songs with an attitude of utter disgust due to the vulgarity and the language used throughout. Not only do people despise popular music because of the bad language which its artists frequently employ, but they also look down on this music because of the revolting and repulsive themes it promotes. For example, sex, drugs and drinking. Lady Gaga, who is just 25 years old, is currently one of the most popular artists in the world, and coincidentally, is also the richest person in the United States, having just surpassed Oprah Winfrey this past year. Nevertheless, the reason why mainstream artists like Lady Gaga are allowed to use lewd language, wear dresses made entirely of meat and essentially do whatever they want while still making money, is because these musicians are able to sell themselves and their products (their music, which often times is not even very good) to the masses. Despite the fact that popular music happens to be extremely off-putting (in my opinion), I never thought we as individuals within a constantly evolving society could have as great of an impact, if not bigger, on these mainstream artists as they seem to have on us everyday. However, the other day I can across a YouTube video posted by an 18-yearold boy named Benjamin Breedlove, and my perspective was completely and forever changed. Ben was a senior at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. He posted a YouTube video, titled, “This Is


The winner of the Iowa caucus from either side has gone on to become president just five out of 19 times. A person has better odds at a roulette table, literally.

Never heard of those events? It’s because they never happened. Both Dole and Harkin were declared winners of each of their parties caucus in Iowa. In the end, neither of them went on to become the President of the United States, let alone receive the nomination for each of their parties. Actually, Bob Dole did become the nomination eight years later in the 1996 caucus, the same year President Clinton beat him to be reelected. The Iowa Caucus is at best a coin flip on deciding who each parties

sitting president. The winner of the Iowa caucus from either side has gone on to become president just five out of 19 times. A person has better odds at a roulette table, literally. Iowa’s six Electoral College votes don’t even make it a swing state. By comparison, Ohio has 18, three times as many electoral votes as Iowa. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency, so Iowa is less than 3 percent of the amount of votes it takes to win an election. Former Ambassador Jon Huntsman was right not to waste effort


focus on the Far East is an attempt to keep an eye on China. This is where cyber war comes into the mix. In an interview with CBS News, Panetta explained why cyber war is a growing threat for America. He said, “The reality is that there is the cyber capability to basically bring down our power grid to

and resources in the state. The other reason why the numbers are all so scattered and a poor indicator on predicting the president is because of the people who make up Iowa. They are good people, but are a poor representation of the rest of the country. According to the last census in 2010, Iowa is 91.3 percent white, compared to the country at 72.4 percent. Over half of all Iowans, 55 percent, identify themselves as Protestant and nearly 83 percent claim some form of Christianity. The United States is far more diverse, 79 percent are some form of Christianity. A 4 percent change may not seem like much of a difference, but with the U.S. population over 300 million, it means an additional 9.3 million people that don’t identify as Christian, with very few of them calling Iowa home. The hype surrounding the Iowa caucus is never deserved. It is nothing more than a ceremonial first pitch to officially kick off the endless amount of political ads Americans will be bombarded with during the next 10 months. The state hardly ever drastically effects elections. While Tuesday night’s New Hampshire primary made things interesting because presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has reeled off two straight wins, but in general, Iowa is not a strong predictor on who the nominee for either party will be, let alone the president.

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create … to paralyze our financial system in this country to virtually paralyze our country… We’ve got to develop the technology, the capability; we’ve got to be able to defend this country.” Panetta must not be alone in his fear of an enemy attacking our power grids. According to Bowman, our military is watching China because they are mastering cyber war techniques. This is a pivotal time in American history. So what do these cutbacks mean for the average American? 1) Generals and admirals reduced Since the end of the Iraq War and the troops in Afghanistan are preparing to withdraw, top-ranking generals and admirals are getting the boot. As of March 2011, Pentagon officials have eliminated at least 27 high-ranking jobs. According to a Dec. 28 article in The Washington Post, Gates approved the plan to reduce the number of billets of generals and admirals from 952 to 850.


Moreover, jobs that previously went to three-star generals will now go to two-star generals. According to the article, military leaders fear that the cuts could “make it more difficult to promote and retain promising officers.” 2) Fewer benefits for troops and their families While the Pentagon has yet to disclose the troop reduction numbers, the strategy says the Pentagon will have to find savings in pay and health care benefit for members of the military. However, nothing has been revealed thus far. The question is what is going to happen to troops who are cut or who are asked to retire early? The Pentagon has yet to tell us. 3) Helmet Theory Last semester, I learned about this theory in my Media and the Military capstone from Ret. Naval Captain Richard Dubberly. He said you have the choice on helmet if you buy a motorcycle. You can either buy a helmet based on quality or price. You also have

the choice to not purchase a helmet at all. Then, if you find yourself in an accident you cannot go back and change your mind on your helmet choice. You are left with the decision you made. This theory is relevant to the recent cuts because once we are slimmer we can’t get go back. We are left on the battlefield with the helmets and manpower we supply our troops. As I contemplate the implications of this strategy I can’t help but recall John Stewart Mill’s utilitarianism principle, “the greatest good for the greatest number of people.” Is this new military strategy the best for all of us? In terms of budget cuts it’s the best idea so far. But I can’t help but think about the men and women willing to serve in our military and make it their career. These new cuts are preventing that security. But maybe for our nation this is what’s best for the time being. I’m obviously torn.

Pop music can mean more to our generation Although mainstream music still enforces and exercises cheap musical practices in order to make money and be worshipped around the globe, I now see that it is possible for an individual like Benjamin Breedlove to make a change. My Story,” approximately five days before he died of a heart attack on Christmas morning. Ben’s video has received more than 1 million views and has been trending around the world since he passed away just a few short weeks ago. In his video, Ben mimics the style of another YouTube video by Jonah Mowry, titled, “What’s Goin on…,” in which a high school boy (Jonah Mowry) expressed the bullying he endured throughout his entire life. In his video, Jonah does not speak, but is crying. Music plays in the background as he holds up note cards with his story written on them. Benjamin Breedlove does the same in his video, however, he tells his personal story. Ben was diagnosed with a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, a very serious and deadly heart condition. His parents learned of his condition when he was still a baby in the hospital. Ben told of how he cheated death three times throughout his struggle with HCM. Towards the end of his story, Ben explained the third time he cheated death on Dec. 6, and also tells of a vision he had, where he seemed to be in a never ending, white room with no walls (or Heaven), where he was dressed in a suit, couldn’t stop smiling, felt at peace and he saw himself in a mirror with Kid Cudi standing beside him. Ben said at that moment he was proud of himself, his life and everything he had done. He describes it as “The BEST feeling!” He further explained that Kid Cudi’s song “Mr. Rager”

was playing at the part where he says, “ When will the fantasy end? When will the Heaven begin?” Throughout the video, you can tell Breedlove is a man of faith. After being revived, Ben indicated in the video that he wished he never left that white room. The second to last note card Ben holds up in the video reads, “Do you believe in angels or God?” Then he follows it with a card that says, “I do.” No matter what your religion or beliefs, this YouTube video by Benjamin Breedlove, made merely a few days prior to his death, has inspired while simultaneously making millions that have seen this video think and evaluate their beliefs, including Kid Cudi. Because this video was made popular posthumously, shortly after this video was released, Kid Cudi viewed it and has since responded. The mainstream artist expressed how deeply moved he was by this young man’s faith-filled video. It is amazing to me that someone so beautiful and honest could touch not only the hearts of millions around the world, but that Ben could also reach the heart of mainstream artist Kid Cudi. Although, mainstream music still enforces and exercises cheap musical practices in order to make money and be worshipped around the globe, I now see that it is possible for an individual like Benjamin Breedlove to make a change. Ben made just as big of impact on the world as Lady Gaga and Kid Cudi, while enforcing and giving light to noble and moral themes.



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FROM PAGE 2 the Miami stereotype and make them understand that these are your issues too.” According to Becker, Miami is a relatively conservative school and a homogenous environment. Becker wants incoming and current students to realize that they do not have to conform to any norm. “We need to have conversations with a variety of students to get them to focus on a perspective,” Becker said. He explicitly mentioned fraternity organizations as a group to focus on. Becker said his goal is to evoke a sense of inclusivity on Miami’s campus. Doing so requires “creating more awareness and reflection” among the non-LGBT students. By becoming more inclusive, these students will find that it is easier to get a job. More interaction with diverse groups is a dependable way to enhance one’s experience at Miami, Becker said. Becker provided one way in which he tried to get other parts of the university involved. This was with the faculty flash mob that took place Nov. 10, 2011. The flash mob danced to Katy Perry’s “Firework” and seemed to be a success in promoting the “Are You In?” program, which aims to advance the ideas of inclusivity and diversity on campus. “When it comes to the events put together by Spectrum like the Drag Show, there is always a big turnout from a variety of people, not just LGBT,” Barraza said. “There are a number of gays that are not part of Spectrum and straights that are.”

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WELCOME TO THE HALL OF FAME* Earlier this week, Barry Larkin became the newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Garnering support from 86 percent of voters, Larkin made quite the jump from the 52 percent he received in his first year on the ballot in 2010. And yet, the story for many is the impending class of 2013. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa headline the most notable list of nominees who have absolutely no shot of being inducted into Cooperstown in the foreseeable future. All three have numbers that should warrant first-ballot inductions, yet all will fall short. Hence the asterisk I added to Hall of Fame. I’m not here to say that the baseball community should turn a blind eye to the use of performanceenhancing drugs. With the Ryan Braun issue still painfully relevant, it’s clear that the problem, while much less rampant, is still just that: a problem. But to completely shun all of those who are not just directly related to Performance Enhancing Drug’s (PEDs), but any player who even played in the steroid era that isn’t named Derek Jeter, is flat-out wrong. If voting trends continue as they have, would you really be comfortable with a Hall of Fame that did not include Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro or Alex Rodriguez? Or, in other terms, the all-time home run king, the best pitcher of his generation, the owner of three of baseball’s eight 60-home run seasons, one of only four players with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs and the next possible home run king? The best way I’ve heard this conundrum explained was by ESPN’s Bill Simmons. When you look at the Hall of Fame for what it really is, it is simply a museum. In a museum, you should be able to walk

in, observe all of the exhibits it has to offer and leave knowing the entire history (a very broad version of that history, but still) of that subject. Would a museum without the best players of a generation really do that? I understand it is an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Of the thousands and thousands of players who have donned a Major League Baseball uniform, such a staggeringly small percentage of them will be immortalized in Cooperstown. The sense of honor in that achievement cannot be denied. However, wouldn’t that honor be tarnished because the best players aren’t there? If voters continue to rule with an iron fist in terms of steroid era players, there’s only two ways it will unfold: there will either be an awkward gap between pre and post-steroid era players (which would diminish the respectability of the Hall), or they’ll have to start inducting lesser-quality players who weren’t connected, or as connected, to steroids (which would diminish the respectability of the Hall). The thing these voters don’t understand is that in many ways, inducting PED users could almost be more shameful than neglecting them. Let’s say the Hall of Fame made a rule that the first sentence on a PED user’s plaque was something stating the player’s transgressions; do you really think those players would be proud of that? Would Bonds or Clemens really want to give his induction speech next to a plaque that says he cheated? You can say all you want about steroid users sullying the name of the Baseball Hall of Fame. But, if we’re really prepared to keep these players out of Cooperstown, all we’ll be left with is a Hall of Fame*.

Miami extends streak to nine BY BRIAN GALLAGHER


To say the Miami University women’s basketball team has been on a roll lately could be seen as an understatement with the way the team has been winning. With a convincing 7355 victory over Kent State University Wednesday night, the RedHawks continued their winning ways and saw their record move to 13-3 and 3-0 in the Mid-American Conference. “We’re starting to put more minutes together,” Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa said. “We’ve been focused on our defense and rebounding to keep us in games, and today I felt our offense executed better than any other game this year.” The ’Hawks took the lead right out of the gate with a jumper by senior guard Maggie Boyer, who would pour in 17 total points on the night, 15 of those coming from three-point territory. Before the Golden Flashes could say “What happened?” Miami was up by eight 14-6 after just four minutes of play. After a 10-0 run to go up 24-8 with 10 minutes left to play in the first half, the Kent State faithful had to know that their team was in for a long night. The Golden Flashes were able to get back into the game with a little run of their own, scoring seven unanswered points and cutting the deficit down to 12 at 29-17. However, the RedHawks did not let them get any closer and took a 38-23 lead into the locker room at halftime. Boyer led the way in the first half with 14 points, hitting four three-pointers. She combined with junior forward Kirsten Olowinski and junior guard Courtney Osborn, who had 13 and 11


Junior guard Courtney Osborn drives to the hoop Wednesday night against Kent State forward Diamon Beckford. Osborn is leading Miami in scoring, averaging 19.1 points per game this year. points respectively, for all 38 of the RedHawks’ first half points. “I was just taking what the defense was giving to me and was able to take advantage of those looks,” Boyer said. “We also got stops on defense and that was able to open things up.” Miami came out in the second half bent on preventing the Golden Flashes from thinking about a comeback. Olowinski hit a three to start things off and the ’Hawks pushed the lead to 51-29 with 14:52 to play on another three-pointer from Boyer. But just when it seemed

that Kent State should start warming up the buses for a long ride home, the RedHawks’ shots went cold and the Golden Flashes were back within 11 at 64-53 with just under three minutes to play. However, clutch shooting by junior forward Rachel Hencke, who scored seven of the team’s last nine points, was enough to shut the door and run Miami’s win streak to nine in a row. Osborn led all scorers with 20 points and Olowinski added 18 of her own to go along with nine rebounds. Those two along with Boyer

have given Miami scoring options that many teams have been hard-pressed to stop. “If Maggie, Kirsten and Courtney have games like that all year, we’ll win a lot of games,” Fantanarosa said. The RedHawks next travel to Athens, Ohio to take on the Ohio University Bobcats in the “Battle of the Bricks.” Tip-off is 2 p.m. Sunday. “I think the biggest thing to bring to the next few games is energy,” Boyer said. “Continuing to rebound and play good defense is going to help us win games.”

MU men struggle to finish off Kent State BY JOSH NORTH


The Miami University men’s basketball team (410, 0-2 Mid-American

Conference (MAC)) lost their third game in a row at Kent State University (10-4, 1-1 MAC) Wednesday 7167 in a game that featured 15 lead changes. The Red and White were led by a strong performance from their frontcourt. Sophomore center Drew McGhee led the RedHawks in scoring with a career high 16 points and was helped by senior forward Julian Mavunga who contributed 14 points and also led the RedHawks with six rebounds and four assists. “It wasn’t really a plan to get me involved [in the offense],” McGhee said. “We knew they would focus on Julian. That gave me great opportunities to score and we took advantage of it.” The ’Hawks got off to a hot start early, shooting as high as 72 percent at one point in the first half. Sophomore forward Jon Harris made four trifectas in the first half to contribute to Miami’s early 30-19 lead with 6:09 to play in the first half. Harris finished with 12 points.

However, Miami began to turn the ball over near the end of the half and allowed Kent to go on an 8-0 run to close out the half. The Red and White regrouped in the second half, opening up a nine-point lead with 11:50 to play after freshman guard Brian Sullivan, making his first career start, hit two free throws to put the ’Hawks up 57-48. The Golden Flashes, led by 2010 MAC Player of the Year Justin Greene, began to nip away at the RedHawks’ lead with a series of “hustle plays” that Head Coach Charlie Coles talked about after the game. “I can pick out three hustle plays that we didn’t make,” Coles said. “If we want to win these games, we have to take them. Kent willed themselves to a victory.” The Red and White held the Golden Flashes to 35 percent shooting from the floor in the second half, but failed to keep them off the foul line as Kent State finished 19-25 from the charity stripe. Greene scored

a bucket with 18 seconds remaining to put Kent up 69-67 after two consecutive missed three pointers from the RedHawks. Miami turned the ball over on the next possession, and two more free throws from junior guard Randal Holt capped a 13-2 run by Kent to end the game. “It’s there for us,” Coles said. “We competed, but we didn’t go all the way with it. We’ve got to keep working before Buffalo next week. I want to challenge the guys to see what they can do.” The RedHawks will come home looking to win their first MAC win this weekend against the University at Buffalo. Coles had one message to Miami students with regards to the game this weekend at Millett Hall. “[Miami] did everything to win this game except win it,” Coles said. “Please come out this weekend and support our boys.” Tip off is set for 6 p.m. Saturday. Fans can listen to the game on Miami’s IMG Sports Network.

January 13, 2012 | The Miami Student  
January 13, 2012 | The Miami Student  

January 13, 2012, Copyright The Miami Student, oldest university newspaper in the United States, established 1826.