ESTABLISHED 1826 — OLDEST COLLEGE NEWSPAPER WEST OF THE ALLEGHENIES
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016
Volume 145 №24
Miami University — Oxford, Ohio
After protests, AS MILO SPEAKS, ASG gives up MU COMMUNITY gifts, dinners ORGANIZES
DANIELA MUNOZ THE MIAMI STUDENT
Miami students gathered Thursday night to hear the College Democrats and G.O.P. debate health care, foreign policy and education.
College G.O.P., Democrats square off JANUS Forum pushes policy in a year of insults POLITICS
JAKE GOLD SENIOR STAFF WRITER
“The College Dems are sitting on this side!” Even in a policy debate, the small crowd in Pearson 128 couldn’t avoid the polarization of party politics. On one side — stage left, symbolically — Nick Froehlich and Sarah Seigel represented the College Democrats, with their club members sitting front of them. Stage right, Caleb Stidham and Imani Fields from the College Republicans. Off to the side, a cardboard cutout of Ronald Reagan stood, watching. “[This is] an opportunity to share our side of the aisle without any extra baggage that comes with scandal politics, which is the norm these days in the mainstream media,” Froehlich said. The JANUS Forum policy debate between the College Democrats and the College Republicans touched on three major topics: healthcare, foreign policy and education. JANUS Forum president Kirsten Fowler, who moderated the debate, accepted three questions from the audience. The topics were climate change, the national debt and the 9/11 victims bill. “I think this a unique time in American politics and students have a lot of opinions on that,” Fowler said. “I think this is a great forum for students to express those in a polite and thoughtful way.” Fowler posed some ques-
Report details dangers to college media JOURNALISM
Dependence on university funds leaves newspapers vulnerable
Four major players in the university media community released a joint report Thursday detailing what they view as dangers to the independence of student media organizations. A committee of representatives from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the College Media Association (CMA), the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) collaborated on the nine-page report, “Threats to the Independence of Student Media.”
The document details the role student media play in university communities, citing recent examples in which student media faculty advisers and students alike have been prone to censorship, disciplinary action and removal from their positions after publishing material perceived as damaging to administrators. Yesterday’s report was the brainchild of staffers at the Student Press Law Center, including executive director Frank LoMonte. “We had a string of especially bad incidents over the
last two years, where advisors were being pushed out of their jobs in very blatantly retaliatory ways for what their students had written,” LoMonte said. “What we wanted to do was start a national conversation about the hostile climate on many college campuses for journalism [and] the fact that many campuses don’t view journalism as an asset, or as having any civic importance, but as an annoyance to be stomped out.” And in many communities, like Oxford, student media may be the main source of public information, according to NCAC executive director Joan Bertin. NEWSPAPERS »PAGE 5
The funds will be used to buy needed benches
MIAMI ALUM TALKS THE POLITICS OF WHITE SUPREMACY
THE MIAMI STUDENT
The Associated Student Government has decided to donate the money previously budgeted for their cabinet dinners and executive gifts to build benches for disabled students on campus. Following protests from the Residence Hall Association, student senators and other organizations, ASG President Maggie Reilly and the rest of the body decided the funds needed to be reallocated. “Once people expressed concerns with our budget, ASG knew it was our job to find proper allocation for this money as soon as possible,” Reilly said. The funds will all be donated to implement new benches on campus. Reilly said the idea came from disabled students who came to ASG, requesting help for bench placement in hightraffic campus areas. After working with disabled students and university architects, the money will be directed to the university’s advancement department, who will handle the logistics for purchasing and placing these benches on campus.
On Monday, Dec. 5, students and faculty will gather to create a safe space for all identities, defend Miami as a welcoming community and educate themselves on strategies to navigate today’s politics. The Shade Family Room stage in the Armstrong Student Center will be decorated with human-size flowers, contributed by a variety of student organizations, as a display of solidarity and support. At the same time, Milo Yiannopoulos, a senior editor for Brietbart News, will be speaking in the Harry T. Wilks Theater, just steps away from the art display. An event, “Growing a Garden of Love,” will be held in the Heritage Room of the Shriver Center from 6 to 9 p.m. — the same time as Yiannopoulos’s lecture. The activities, which will focus strongly on community building, include poetry, crafts and spoken word. At 7 p.m., students will also have the opportunity to join Miami alumnus Kevin Samy, a speechwriter for the Obama administration, for a discussion in Upham Hall 001, “The Politics of
BENCHES »PAGE 5
YIANNOPOULOS »PAGE 2
Humans of Oxford
College Democrats look
Drew Zubek: Home-grown botanist
to revitalize after Nov. 8 ELECTION
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
PLANTS »PAGE 2
Just as the 2016 presidential election brought many American citizens into the political fold, the same seems to be happening here on Miami’s campus. Miami’s student body leans slightly to the right, according to Miami’s CIRP survey results, a survey administered to incoming first year students to the Oxford campus. The percentage of students who consider themselves “conservative” at Miami is about 10 percent higher than at other public universities. This political tilt can be seen in student organization participation on campus — College Republicans has long been a larger organization than College Democrats. Since the beginning of the presidential election cycle, however, College Democrats has been closing that gap, said College Democrats’ Tsar of Communications, Nick
EDITORIAL p. 6
OP-ED p. 7
SPORTS p. 8
DISNEY’S POLYNESIAN PERFECTION
OFFICE HOURS ARE THERE FOR A REASON
THE AGE OF THE LAPTOP
BASKETBALL WINS IN OVERTIME
The Student’s critic writes that ‘Moana’ is a triumph of modern feminism.
“Spend the semester’s end free of the pangs of mental pain and dread.”
Reliance on information technology is stunting liberal education.
The Redhawks beat Grambling State University 78-76.
RYAN TERHUNE PHOTO EDITOR
DEBATE »PAGE 5
Drew Zubek likes plants. It’s a well-known fact amongst his friends and everyone else who lives in his corridor. “Clearly,” he says, gesturing to the exotic plants decorating every surface on his half of the room, “plants are my thing.”
His side of the room is a jungle of sorts. Green plants of all shapes and sizes are displayed neatly on the window sill, on the floor and on the shelving unit he added that stretches from floor to ceiling. To those in his hall, he is “Drew the Botanist.” “That’s what my whole corridor calls me,” he says. “That’s just my nickname. Out there on the wall it asks, ‘What are you thankful for?’
NEWS p. 2
CULTURE p. 3
UNDERCLASSMEN WILL LIVE OFFCAMPUS IN 2017 Miami University says there aren’t enough beds for 240 sophomores.
AUDREY DAVIS NEWS EDITOR
and they wrote, ‘Drew the Botanist.’” A grin stretches across his face. “Most people don’t really understand it, but then they see my room and think it’s super cool.” Drew’s plants all seem to be thriving in the warm confines of his dorm room. “Well, except this guy.” He points to what looks
Froehlich. And yes, Tsar is his actual title. There are currently 281 registered College Democrats on the Hub and 723 registered members in College Republicans. The organization has seen a steady increase in membership since last year, when a lot of people were energized by the Democratic primaries, said Froehlich. According to many members, the meeting the evening after the Nov. 8 general election saw record breaking attendance. First year Kelsey Demel attended her first meeting that Wednesday after the election. “I just thought that was the perfect time to go,” Demel said. “I wanted to see how the College Dems would react.” Froehlich said after the election, College Democrats is focusing on discussing policy issues and education on those issues during their weekly meetings. DEMOCRATS »PAGE 5
RE CY CLE
2 NEWS RHA fights for free feminine products CAMPUS
GRACE SCARBERRY THE MIAMI STUDENT
Flower Hall President Joshua Smith is heading an initiative to provide free feminine products in all bathrooms campus-wide. To further his initiative, he is currently trying to create a Resident Hall Association (RHA) committee and is reaching out to other universities who offer free products. “I would not call myself a feminist, but it just makes sense,” Smith said. Since many students do not have cars on campus, it would be especially beneficial for them. It can be inconvenient to purchase products at on-campus markets since many of them are far away from most residence halls. “It would be one less thing a student has to worry about,” Smith said. During a meeting with his RA, the idea was briefly mentioned to Smith. He passed it on at an RHA meeting and since then has been continuing the initiative. At a meeting with the director of housekeeping, Smith was told to contact campus housing facilities about the proposal. He has also contacted other universities who offer free products, including Brown University. He is trying to find out how many of their students have taken advantage of the products. “The communication is the hardest part,” Smith said. Right now, Smith is waiting to hear back from the sources he contacted. Until then, it’s hard to make further progress. Smith has also reached out to other residence hall presidents, hoping they will share the idea with their community leadership teams (CLT’s). As of now, he is the only RHA member working to initiate the idea. “Help would be very much appreciated,” he said. He said that in order to see any progress, people who are willing to get involved need to spread the idea. “If the whole thing gets out there and we get enough students behind it, facilities can only say no for so long,” he said. Tappan Hall President Bridgette Francis said she heard about the idea at RHA meetings. However, she has not seen Tappan residents or other executive board members trying to initiate it. She said she would work for the initiative herself if other people were more involved. Steven Sajkich, Tappan Resident Director, said that initiatives from RHA usually aren’t ignored. Not all proposals are accepted, but with enough student support, acception is more likely. “One example I have witnessed in the past is having extra bike racks placed near residence halls,” he said. If enough students initiate a proposal, it is more likely to be heard. “I feel like I would take advantage of it if they were offered,” first-year Juliana Livieri said. “Tampons are expensive, and it would be nice to save money on something you need.” Smith said a lot of people don’t understand that feminine products have a luxury tax. “It’s an essential item, so to put a luxury tax on it is asinine,” Smith said. Livieri said she probably wouldn’t go out of her way to push for free feminine care products, but she still supports the idea. “If it happens, I definitely think a lot of women would take advantage of it,” she said. “But with me, I know I would also be concerned with what type they are, and if they’re a brand I like.” Smith plans to have a presentation ready for university officials before spring break. He hopes they will approve of the idea over the summer and implement it for the fall semester.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016
Miami police arrest Tallawanda Hall thief CRIME
EMILY WILLIAMS MANAGING EDITOR
Miami University Police (MUPD) arrested a suspect Wednesday night in connection to burglaries reported at Tallawanda Hall. Several students who live in the residence hall, which is part of the Heritage Commons complex, reported to MUPD that, between 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22 and noon on Sunday, Nov. 27, an unknown person had stolen cash and valuables from their rooms. After conducting an investiga-
tion, MUPD obtained a search warrant and searched the suspect’s property Wednesday evening. The suspect was arrested and taken to the Butler County jail that night. MUPD filed charges against the suspect the following morning. “It came down to some really good police work from our investigation staff,” said MUPD Capt. Benjamin Spilman. “That work really paid off on Wednesday.” None of the students were home during the time of the burglaries, which occurred during the university’s Thanksgiving break. A campus crime alert ad-
dressing the burglaries was sent by MUPD on Tuesday morning. Sophomore Reid Rupp, who lives in Tallawanda Hall, said he searched his room after receiving the email alert about the thefts. Rupp discovered that his personal safe, which had been hidden in his closet, was missing. Although some of the other rooms had items out of place, Rupp said his room hadn’t shown any obvious signs of the theft. “They had put everything back perfectly,” Rupp said. Rupp, who went door-to-door in the hall to gather more information from other Tallawanda
residents, said most of the items that had been taken were small, like cash and watches, while the intruder left larger items like laptops and iPads behind. From his conversations with other residents, Rupp said, he could tell other students share his concern about security in the hall, especially with the long winter break just a couple weeks away. “We all feel pretty violated,” Rupp said. The hall is secure and students do not need to be concerned about further break-ins, Spilman said.
MU says 240 sophomores must live off-campus next year COMMUNITY
THE MIAMI STUDENT
Rising sophomores will have the option to live in off-campus apartments during the 2017-18 school year, according to temporary housing measures put in place by the office of Housing Options, Meals and Events (HOME). 240 beds within the Hawks Landing and The Commons apartment complexes will be available for these students. Though their location is off-campus, these communities will still be staffed by resident assistants and resident directors, like traditional on-cam-
pus housing. Residents of these communities will also be required to purchase a meal plan, likely at a reduced cost, said Brian Woodruff, director of the HOME office. This temporary housing was created in response in a shortage of beds due to renovations planned for Scott and Minnich halls. First-year MacKallie Householder said she likes living in a residence hall because she is closer to her classes. In an apartment, she said, it is not beneficial that she will still be paying the same price as she does this year. “You’re going to be farther away but still paying just as much
as if you were in the center of campus,” Householder said. Householder, however, said she likes having more housing options. She said many of her friends at other colleges are able to live off campus their sophomore year. “It’s nice to have options,” Householder said. “From that aspect the policy is beneficial.” Householder’s roommate, sophomore Leigha Raess, said she has enjoyed the residence hall setting. “I feel like living on campus has been a good thing for my sophomore year just because I’m closer to classes and everything is figured out for me,” Raess said.
Similarly, Householder said she feels comfortable in the residence hall setting. “I’m not necessarily gung ho about it because the only thing about living in a dorm for two years is you kind of know what you’re doing more,” Householder said. “So it would be like trying something all new again.” While the policy will not apply to Raess, as she will be a junior next year, she said the option for sophomores to live in off-campus apartments next year might be appealing to some students. “It’s a good option for people who maybe don’t enjoy the dorm setting,” Raess said.
FROM YIANNOPOULOS »PAGE 1
White Supremacy and the 2016 Election.” Senior Lana Pochiro, an intern with Miami’s Women’s Center, helped organize the event and art display. Pochiro said the effort has two goals — to show the community that Miami is a welcoming, accepting place and to bring people together to talk about how to prepare for the future. “It goes beyond having a supporting community,” Pochiro said. “My hope is to unite people who say, ‘No, we do not accept this.’ We want to educate others and develop real strategies.” After learning about Yiannopoulos’s upcoming visit to campus, students showed concern over the attitudes and messages that would accompany the speaker, said Rhonda Jackson, administrative assistant for the Women’s Center. From there, the event grew organically, Jackson said, and was very student-driven. Students wanted to create something that was beautiful, affirming and welcoming, she said. “We’re not protesting,” Jackson said of the event and art display. “We’re just not engaging.” After speaking with students at an event on campus in mid-November, Samy was motivated to volunteer to come back to Miami, this time for an event with a focus on the current political climate. Miami’s College Democrats helped to organize Samy’s visit on Monday. “There are all of these elements at play, so I want to inform about the politics of white supremacy in 2016 and what it means going forward,” said Samy. “Then, I want to also offer solutions — lay out the problem, lay out the concerns, educate about it and tell people where you can take that energy — your frustration, your concern,
FROM PLANTS »PAGE 1
like a stick planted in dirt. “Yeah, that’s a cashew tree. It’s supposed to be, anyway. He’s not doing too hot. It’s kinda sad.” The rest of the plants seem to be much better off. He has a coffee tree and a cactus and a ginkgo tree — just to name a few. In the future, Drew dreams of growing his own hops and opening a brewery. “It doesn’t even have to be a huge beer company, just something more fun to play around
HEATHER MCCOWAN THE MIAMI STUDENT
Senior Lana Pochiro, an intern at the Women’s Center, crafts petals for human-sized flowers that will be displayed in Armstrong. your worry. Here’s what you can do about it.” Samy originally intended to pursue a career as a professional athlete, but, after suffering a serious injury during his second season as a defensive tackle for the RedHawks, had to reevaluate his career path. A passion for public service led him to pursue a master’s degree in climate change policy at Yale. Samy has since been a member of the White House climate team and has served as a speechwriter for Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy. Samy noted that, although it’s important for a university to provide safe and welcoming spaces, those sentiments of support and affirmation have been used as fodder for the very groups that these protests and events oppose who often characterize the participants as “cry babies” or “special snow-
flakes.” Those opposing voices, though, are in the minority, he said. “When it comes to compassion vs. hate, the simple truth is there are more of us than there are of them,” Samy said. “Hatred has always been sparked by a vocal few. They have spectacle and stunts, we have numbers. We just need to get organized and active.” After Monday’s discussion, Samy hopes students will be equipped with actionable steps to respond to the political climate which has left so many individuals, particularly young voters, feeling uncertain. “Like most voters this election, the results threw me for a loop,” Samy said. “But one thing is for sure — if I can impart some kind of realistic, actionable step forward for folks who want an America where our politics is focused on ideas instead of identities, regardless of party, I want to do that.” One of the points Samy intends
to emphasize is the importance of staying engaged and taking ownership of the responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy. “Politics matters. Refusing to engage in the process isn’t a principled stance, it’s an abdication of your democratic right and a deferment of your power to somebody else,” Samy said. “It skews the system. This election makes that clear.” So far the response to the “Growing a Garden of Love” event and Samy’s upcoming visit has been very positive from both students and faculty, said Jackson and Pochiro. At a recent meeting, Jackson said, it became clear to her that Miami’s faculty has noticed the uncertainty and fear felt by students, and they want to help. “Silence speaks volumes. We need to have a response,” Jackson said. “It’s not just about policies and procedures. It’s about people’s’ hearts and minds.”
with the different flavors,” he says. “If that works out, and I have money, I would like to travel around and study plants all over the world.” Drew has already been all over the world. Growing up, his parents loved to travel and explore different foods and beers and alcohol. He has learned that the difference between America and the rest of the world is pretty crazy. “We went to Turkey once, and it was kind of scary, but at the same time it was amazing,” Drew says. “They call it the Holy
Land, and I’m not religious at all, but when you go over there, you turn religious.” Drew has collected many stories from his travels around the world. When he was nine, he was trapped in a bank with his family by armed guards with AK-47s near Panama, and on his fifteenth birthday, he climbed the Acropolis of Athens, and he’s also been dog sledding on a glacier in Alaska. “Plus, I got to look at the plants up there, so that made me super happy, but no one else liked it.”
That’s one thing Drew deals with a lot: he’s significantly more excited about plants than everyone else he knows. “We always go to Steak Night at Steinkeller’s on Wednesdays,” he says, “And the one day I came in and said, ‘Guys! My aloe plant is flowering!’ and they were all just like, ‘Yeah. Cool. Awesome, bud.’ And I was like, ‘No! No! That’s super cool! This barely ever happens!’” Drew knows no one else thinks about plants all the time. “But I definitely do. Plants are my thing.”
journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. everything else is public relations. — george orwell
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016
The Weeknd plays musical tug-of-war, with mixed results MUSIC
THE MIAMI STUDENT
Abel Tesfaye’s journey to superstardom was as strange as it was inevitable. He arose from Toronto in the early 2010’s with a string of excellent R&B mixtapes as The Weeknd. His first mixtapes, collected in 2012’s “Trilogy,” were filled with murky, mysterious songs that challenged the conventions of R&B. The music, combined with his alluring personality and instantly iconic hairdo, propelled him to the top of the genre. In addition to trendsetting beats, Tesfaye has a falsetto reminiscent of Michael Jackson, and he put that voice to good use on 2015’s megahit, “Can’t Feel My Face,” which became the ubiquitous song of the summer. A few months later, he released
“Beauty Behind the Madness”, an opus containing “Can’t Feel My Face” alongside equally popular smashes like “The Hills,” “Often,” “In the Night” and “Earned It.” By the end of the year, The Weeknd was at the top of the musical world, second only to Drake in popularity. So how does an oddball alt-R&B artist deal with a glaring spotlight? Apparently, Tesfaye’s solution is ditching the “oddball” part. This September, The Weeknd announced his new album, “Starboy,” and released a Daft Punk-assisted single of the same name. The album cover showed Tesfaye with a slick, short haircut. If he was going for a “new ’do, new you” approach, then he succeeded — somewhat. With “Starboy,” The Weeknd abandons his identity as a trailblazer who subverts the sounds of the mainstream while simultane-
ously defining the genre’s future. Instead, Tesfaye embraces the role of a modern-day music titan, a “starboy” with a collection of dance-floor ready trap beats mixed with 80’s funk- and groove-infused jams that are — you guessed it — dance-floor ready. For the most part, those funk fusion tracks — “Rockin’,” “Secrets,” “A Lonely Night” and “I Feel It Coming” — are the strongest on the album. Tesfaye’s vocals fit perfectly with the sound. “A Lonely Night” is a particularly groovy song with a beat that coerces body movement and a deliriously catchy bridge. “I Feel It Coming,” the album’s finale which also features French electronic duo Daft Punk, is as close to pop perfection as you’ll find this year. The backing piano is gorgeously melancholic, the chorus is uplifting and the funky rhythm builds on throw-
Cooking, culture and quinoa: Taking a class with the MU Culinary Association
back sounds without sounding derivative. These songs occupy a decent amount of the album’s runtime, but they are peppered between gloomy trap beats that, unfortunately, don’t hold their own. Tracks like “Party Monster” and “Six Feet Under” pack enough earth-shaking bass to fill the club floor, but there’s no defining characteristic to separate them from the standard fare by Future, Fetty Wap, Drake or Travis Scott. There’s nothing wrong with this genre, but Tesfaye’s voice separates him from these musicians. When Future mumble-raps through tracks, it seems born of vocal necessity; when The Weeknd strings together monotonous verses, it feels like wasted potential. Maybe that’s why the “Starboy” tracks featuring Future, “Six Feet Under” and “All I Know,” are two of the lowest points
on the album. Tesfaye doesn’t challenge or threaten his newfound stardom with “Starboy.” On the contrary, it’s a strong album that solidifies the Weeknd as the name to beat in the pop battleground. By combining modern club bangers with oldschool grooves, Tesfaye makes sure that all members of his ever-growing fan base will find something to dance to. But those two sounds don’t complement each other well, and the album’s impact is dampened by this sonic infighting. “Starboy” finds The Weeknd sacrificing some of his musical uniqueness in order to make more hits. While the result isn’t a step backwards, here’s hoping that the next Weeknd album finds a better balance between the two.
Humans oƒ Oxford Spencer Mraz: Standing tall through the pain
EMMA KINGHORN THE MIAMI STUDENT
I look down at the table in front of me. Black plastic to-go food containers litter our cooking space, labeled with names that seem slightly exotic such as cumin and quinoa. “It’s only my second class,” my cooking partner, Lyndsay, tells me. “They always fill up so quickly.” President of the Miami University Culinary Association, Madeline DiFilippo, said the goals of the club are “widening students’ cultural horizons of food” and “helping build a community among Miami students through an appreciation of cooking.” The MUCA holds six free classes a semester with different cultural or food group themes (think cheese party, or even Indian night). The executive board generates themes or ideas for their classes, and then the recipes are picked out by the leading chefs. As Miami chef Frank Page starts up the class, Lyndsay and I look at each other and smile nervously. “I always meet the nicest people here,” she says. Page walks us through our ingredients, what we’ll be creating and why he was excited about Peruvian cuisine; he attended a conference that focused on the culinary history of the region and is eager to share the knowledge and recipes with his students. The MUCA tries to celebrate other cultures by embracing their culinary traditions. “It would be a disservice to the members if we only focused on European food,” said MUCA treasurer, Micah Morris. “We would be missing out on what the rest of the world has to offer.” While we are not frying up guinea pig or anything too exotic, we are cooking up a selection of beef with quinoa, cole-slaw and sweet potato
SCOTT O’MALLEY PHOTO EDITOR
PEOPLE SCOTT O’MALLEY THE MIAMI STUDENT
fries that ends up being quite delicious. The idea of cooking without a recipe in front of you may frighten some, but Page makes it very painless, directing us step by step. “Add the oil.” “Turn the heat up.” “Cover completely.” We’re only standing in a large conference room with a handful of long, white tables, but I inhale wafts of cooking food and hear the hiss and sizzles of ingredients hitting the iron frying pan. Looking around I see some cooking partners getting to meet new people and others sharing jokes with old friends. As we move through the cooking process, Lyndsay and I become a team, working in tandem to mix all of our ingredients, spice the food to our liking and keep everything fresh. But as we start to cook our quinoa, we run into a few problems. Waiting with a foil-covered pan
to cook our quinoa, we play a waiting game, checking every 30 seconds or so to see how much liquid is left. After waiting several minutes with no noticeable progress, we start to worry, and Lyndsay turns the heat up. Chef Page said at the beginning the process should only take a few minutes. Do we have too much oil? We don’t know. So we turn up the heat. I look around and see other groups pulling off their foil and moving on with their recipe and look back at our still soupy-looking quinoa. I turn up our heat even more. We ask chef Page if we are ready to pull it off like the other group. He peers into our pot and teases, “Oh, you’re just so close.” These little fry pan ovens are doing so much work. I stand there slightly impressed that one small pan can accomplish so much for CULINARY »PAGE 5
EMMA KINGHORN THE MIAMI STUDENT
The first thing you’ll notice about Spencer Mraz is his height. Measuring up at 6’10”, he draws a lot of attention. People comment on it all the time. He only owns two pairs of pants. Usually, he has to get them tailored. It’s easier that way. But for funerals and special events, it’s harder. “I’m not going to get them tailored then because it’s not something that’s about me,” Spencer said. The longest he ever searched for a pair of pants was three weeks — for his grandmother’s funeral. He debated on wearing khaki shorts, but ultimately decided that was just unacceptable. His parents worked a lot when Spencer was a kid, so he lived with his grandmother during the weeks and his parents on the weekend. Even after he moved out, Spencer’s brother borrowed her car to drive them the mile to her house
and back almost every day. Her passing took a toll on Spencer. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through,” he said. She was in hospice for two weeks. He was in basketball season. So he missed a lot of practice, and his coach wasn’t happy. “He almost kicked me off the team for it, but it was worth it.” Spencer still finds reminders of his grandmother, often in the form of a small, yellow snack. “Goldfish. She ate them everyday,” Spencer said. Now, he finds them everywhere — on the sidewalk by his dorm, on the baseball diamond when he’s pitching. He always seems to find just a single, small, yellow cracker. “I feel like it’s a sign, that she’s there.” She went to every one of his baseball games and attended church three times a week. Every time Spencer would leave for a game, or to go warm up, she would give him the same parting message: “He’s watching over you.”
Polynesian perfection: ‘Moana’ is a true triumph of modern feminism FILM
THE MIAMI STUDENT
It’s impossible to watch a Disney movie with zero expectations. Mine, for “Moana,” were simply that it would be as good as 2013’s “Frozen.” But “Moana’s” mythological roots and the titular hero’s ancestral ties give the story a depth that the winter fantasy lacked. Moana has joined Disney’s ranks as their 14th official princess. But the character (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho), as she points out herself, isn’t exactly a “princess” — she’s the daughter of a Polynesian island chief. She’s expected to take over his responsibilities someday, but she’s more drawn to the ocean surrounding their island — somewhere she and the rest of the villagers are forbidden to venture into. Moana’s grandmother and selfproclaimed local crazy lady lays out the story’s conflict: Their people believe that a goddess named Te Fiti gives life to their island and all those
around it, but her heart was stolen long ago by troublemaking demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson). Maui lost the heart and disappeared, and if someone doesn’t track him down and force him to find and return Te Fiti’s heart, their lush paradise of an island will die. The chosen one to complete this task is teenaged Moana who embarks on an epic, but perilous quest to save her people. “Moana” has everything — gorgeous scenery, gut-wrenching family drama and a soundtrack featuring (and partially written by) “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. But its biggest strength is what the film is lacking: a romantic counterpart for our plucky young heroine. 2013’s “Frozen” was hailed as an icy triumph of modern feminism upon its release, an honor completely unwarranted by the princess flick. Maybe it was because one of its two female protagonists was single, or because prior to “Frozen,” Merida of 2012’s “Brave” was the only
prince-less royal female in all of Disney’s illustrious history. But in “Frozen,” Anna and Elsa’s kingdom is saved less from Elsa’s out-of-control powers than Elsa is saved from her own inner demons, and the fact that Elsa rules Arendelle without a love interest is not overtly feminist. “Moana” really is a triumph of modern feminism. Not because its heroine is a little feisty and rebellious, or because her primary concern isn’t finding her Prince Charming, but because she becomes her own hero as well as someone her village admires. She does so with some assistance from Maui (and the ocean itself, which serves as an equally spirited character), but it’s clear that Moana accomplishes what she does through her own hard work and unprecedented grit. These female-driven heroic tales are rare in film, and we shouldn’t take this one for granted just because it’s animated. Directors John Musker and Ron Clements, who have helmed Disney classics such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Alad-
din,” scrapped numerous drafts of the story in which male characters like her brothers or father overshadowed Moana, and the final product is deeply moving. This is a story that doesn’t waste time on unnecessary romance but instead focuses on following your gut and finding yourself. “Moana” does employ some tried-and-true Disney flick formulas. Devastating familial tragedy, a precocious but reluctant young ruler and irritating animal sidekicks made to sell stuffed animals all assist in moving the story along. And while its dialogue often veers into cheesy territory, it’s still refreshingly self-aware. Much of what comes out of Maui’s mouth seems to be self-inflicting jabs, like his response to Moana’s assertion that she’s not a princess: “If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess.” 16-year-old Hawaiian native and cinematic newcomer Cravalho breathes stubborn, spunky life into the film’s titular character,
and Johnson is just caustic and cocky enough to be endearing, not polarizing, as Maui. Plus, Jemaine Clement pops up as an obstacle to Moana and Maui’s goal in the form of a monster crab and sings a villainous, delightfully “Flight of the Conchords”-esque song called “Shiny.” The soundtrack plays a big part in this film’s success; it’s got everything from expositional, charming island numbers to existential power ballads. Paired with gorgeous scenery and incomparable attention to detail, this is a stunning, dynamic addition to Disney’s seemingly endless collection of animated musicals. “Moana” is a surprisingly but powerfully feminist odyssey of self-discovery. I’m biased, being a lifelong Disney princess movie fan, but I can acknowledge when they’re good and when they’re not — and this one is great by any standards, not just Disney’s.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016
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FROM BASKETBALL »PAGE 8
FROM SWIMMING »PAGE 8
“One of the things when facing pressure is, first of all, you’ve got to face it and you’ve got to relax and you’ve got to make simple plays— that’s how you handle pressure,” Cooper said. “You’ve just got to settle down because all pressure wants you to do is speed up and it sped us up.” The five-minute overtime began with the fans on their feet and the team reenergized. Harouna hit a three-pointer to start, Michael Weathers hit two free throws, and the RedHawks never trailed for the rest of the game. GSU came within one with a minute left to play, but Marcus Weathers came up with a monstrous dunk to push Miami’s lead to three. Harouna had the fans cheering with a layup then GSU’s senior guard Ervin Mitchell’s deep three-pointer quieted the crowd. Ultimately, the Tigers’ failed attempt at a buzzer beater ended the game. Miami’s turnovers were significantly less in the second half of the game and almost nonexistent in overtime, but the first half’s mistakes cannot be overlooked. The lack of scoring distribution along the roster is also an issue that Miami looks to fix going forward— Cooper is looking for more from his junior class. “I feel like crap right now but we won the game. The lesson is for me, you know what? We could have lost the game and I’d feel even worse,” Cooper said. “I’ll take the win, I’ll take these guys growing. Give ‘em credit—our guys found a way to win, they did.” The RedHawks’ next test is on the road against Fort Wayne on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
start each day at 10 a.m. with the prelims, and finish off at 6 p.m. with the finals for the events on that day. Thursday will include the 200 freestyle relay, 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle and 400 medley relay. On Friday, the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and the 800 freestyle relay. Finishing up the invitational on Saturday will be the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 400 freestyle relay and 1650 freestyle.
FROM HOCKEY »PAGE 8
has performed all season for the Big Red, and his first-star, 29-save performance in goal Saturday was key to his team’s victory. “Cornell is a well-coached and real solid team,” Blasi said. “They play heavy, and they can beat you in a lot of different ways. Their goaltender is one of the best in the country, so we’ve got our work cut out for us, no different than playing in our conference. You’ve got to come to play and play your best.” The puck drops in Lynah Rink in Ithaca, N.Y. at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Both games will be aired on the Ivy League Digital Network and Friday’s tilt will also be simulcast on ESPN3.
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FROM CULINARY »PAGE 3
FROM DEMOCRATS »PAGE 1
us — cooking beef, mixing sauces and spices, even frying up our vegetables. Lyndsay bends down to turn up the heat, yet again, and looks back up at me. “I think our gas is out.” I bend over and finally see the culprit of our uncooked quinoa problem. After putting everything together on one plate, we all sit down together. I meet people I otherwise would never have met, and I learn that many of them have taken classes before. Many say that it’s just a relaxing way to step out of the academic environment, while others, like Lyndsay, come for the people. “You have to eat dinner anyways, so why not learn to cook with people while you’re doing it?” said DiFilippo.
“I think the Democratic Party [as a whole] has realized after this election that not engaging with the other side at all is not a winning strategy,” he said. Because of this, College Democrats at Miami has undergone some changes. “A couple semesters ago, we would talk about where we lie on the left, how liberal or moderate we were,” said Charles Kennick, Secretary of College Democrats. “Now we talk about what we can do to promote our issues.” This change in agenda at College Democrats’ meetings mirrors another shift in the organization. Its members are becoming increasingly interested in ground-level activism and mobilizing their volunteer network. “We can get in a room and we can complain about Republicans and we can complain about Donald Trump all we want, but at the end of the day that’s not changing things,” Froehlich said. College Democrats plans to collect funds and supplies until the end of the semester to send to the protesters in Standing Rock Indian Reservation over J-term. Going forward, some specific issues that the organization is passionate about activism surrounding the living conditions of the staff on Miami’s campus and the
FROM DEBATE »PAGE 1
tions to both the College Democrats and the College Republicans. Other questions were directed specifically at one club. Each team was given two minutes to respond, and the opposing side recieved two minutes to rebut. This gave both teams enough time to properly convey their ideas. “I think it went very well,” Stidham said. “I think both sides presented their case to the best of their ability and I think it really gave the audience a clear sense of contrast.” After the closing statements, the audience joined together onstage to enjoy the free pizza. In these partisan times, at least there’s one thing that can still unite us.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016
environment said president of College Democrats, Maggie Bender. College Democrats is also looking to pair up with other student organizations on campus that are passionate about some of these issues as well. “That’s the kind of stuff that, even as small scale as it is, had an impact in a sense, even if it was just an impact in the [Miami] community,” said first-year and member of College Democrats, Jim Zedaker. Other members of the organization agree. Sophomore Cameron Kadis is a member of College Democrats and he believes that the move toward activism is not only good for the organization, but for the Miami community. “I think [activism] gets the word out and it helps people to develop a sense of community,” Kadis said. This semester specifically, Froehlich said, the organization has seen an increase in members getting out and volunteering, registering students to vote or campaigning for Democratic candidates. “We’re trying to build off momentum from the election,” Kennick said. “We’re trying to keep them involved in the process, even if they weren’t all that interested in politics. The election is not the end of the political cycle.” With the results of the presidential election in mind, Froehlich said that College Democrats is more motivated and their sense of urgen-
cy is even greater than it was before the election. “Sure we were sad Tuesday,” Froehlich said. “But Wednesday we were already planning on what comes next.” Another large change that the organization will see this academic year is Bender stepping down as president due to a heavy course load in the spring. “I’ve been here for three years now, and Dems is undoubtedly better than it’s ever been,” she said. “It’s only going to continue to get better.” On Wednesday, Nov. 30 in Pearson Hall College Democrats participated in a debate against College Republicans in which they discussed education, healthcare and foreign policy. The organizations took questions that originated in the audience to wrap up the debate. “I was impressed with the debate on both sides and continue to be impressed with [College Democrats],” Demel said. “The message is not so much, ‘let’s give up and pout.’ It’s ‘let’s work toward communication and negotiation between both the parties.’” Many in both organizations were in high spirits following the debate. “I think it was a good event to focus on how we can move forward and govern after a campaign season just filled with blood rhetoric, scandal and personal attacks,” Kadis said.
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FROM BENCHES »PAGE 1
In the future, the money will be added into ASG’s overall budget so that it can be used for student organizations, future ASG programming or to meet any student need that future ASG members see fit, Reilly said. “It is our job to help the student body and we will continue to strive to make necessary changes and implement ideas and programs that meet the needs of the students as best as possible,” Reilly said. Amy Berg, secretary of communications for ASG, hoped that the re-allocation decision would help separate this ASG cabinet from previous administrations. “The original budget reflected what previous cabinets had done as well as what initiatives we wanted to achieve this year,” Berg said. “We had heard concerns from the senate about the gift budget. After cabinet talked, we decided to donate the funds rather than receive gifts like previous cabinets had done. “We hope this cabinet will serve as a good example to the future cabinets to come.”
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FROM NEWSPAPERS »PAGE 1
“We’re all aware that with the pressures on print media in many communities, in many college communities, the student press serves a very major function in terms of providing information not just to the university community, but to the whole community, and for that reason you want [student press] to be as professional and probing as possible,” Bertin said. For that reason, LoMonte said, a free student press is crucial to a university community. “Just like the campus would not think of operating without a library or without wireless internet service, you should not think of operating a campus without an independent, student-run news organization,” LoMonte said. “That just isn’t a healthy community.” Because student media organizations are often dependent on the university they cover for financial support, the report argues, administrations sometimes cut that funding in retaliation for undesirable editorial content. CMA president Kelley Lash described a kind of “soft censorship,” in which university administrators block student journalists’ access to information, or expect student media to only publish flattering information. ‘Every college campus has somebody [whose] job is to communicate the positive things the university’s doing. They’re the PR people. They’re supposed to spin it,” Lash said. “But if that’s the only information students get, then they’re not getting the full picture.” Hank Reichman, AAUP’s first vice president and the chair of its Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, said the issue is related to student journalists’ First Amendment rights. “Students who learn journalism under a regime that tells them, ‘You can’t ask these questions, you can’t print those stories,’ if they become journalists further, they’re going to take those lessons right to the mass media and we won’t be having a media that asks important questions,” Reichman said. “How can you teach freedom in an atmosphere that isn’t free?” You can’t, according to LoMonte. “The way that many colleges want their student media to run would be comparable to the way that media operates in a communist dictatorship as an outlet for only messages that the government approves and that reflects favorably on the current government in power,” LoMonte said. “We would recognize that as being un-American if we saw it happening in China or in Russia, but we’re tolerating it today on way too many college campuses.” For Ohio Newspaper Association executive director Dennis Hetzel, the issue of student media is compounded on a national scale. “With what’s just happened in our presidential election, the credibility of the media, the trust in the media has probably never been a bigger concern in American history,” Hetzel said. “We’ve got to train really bright, bright, excellent journalists to go out into the world and do the kind of stuff that needs to be done, and we’re not going to do that if we don’t have great student publications, great studentrun broadcast and digital outlets.” Miami University AAUP advocacy chapter co-president Keith Tuma shares Hetzel’s opinion, but feels that in Oxford, students and faculty need not worry about free press issues. “My sense is that at Miami, the administration has been remarkably hands-off, and has believed and acted on the belief that freedom of the press is significant and matters in the student publications,” Tuma said. “You can understand why the university always wants to be represented as favorably as possible, because it’s in the business of recruiting students and retaining students and all that. But I think the administration here has been aware that there’s a principle at stake that’s more important than any kind of needs for recruitment or retention.”
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016
Help undo the plight of professors, use office hours The following piece, written by the editorial editors, reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.
ast issue, we looked at the trending Professor Watchlist recently published by Turning Point USA. The Watchlist is a student-led list of complaints against “liberal” professors and lists the names of the professors that conservative students feel “discriminate against” conservative ideas and values. While most of the professors on the list didn’t actually do anything wrong (i.e., some revealed the existence of white privilege and climate change to a few students -- apparently surprised), some professors’ biases were actually getting in the way of learning. But out of the list of over 200 professors, not one Miami professor was included. As finals loom menacingly over Miami students in the upcoming weeks, it’s easy to have an attitude against professors here, especially those in our larger lectures, for giving us so much work with seemingly little time to dedicate to us one-onone. Finals is like taking all of the stress that we have felt throughout the semester and concentrat-
Get to know these masters of their crafts and learn firsthand what it feels like to spend the semester’s end free of the pangs of mental pain and dread.
ing it into one highly caffeinated, poorly managed final week. It’s terrible. Around this time, it’s easy to forget that the kind of education we get here at Miami is, in fact, exceptional. It’s part of the United States’ list of eight Public Ivies, a list that was made back in 1985 and has remained consistent over time. While we know that college rankings can be generally arbitrary, the “Public Ivy” ranking is directly related to high-achieving students and faculty, consistent excellence, overall aesthetic and honorable
traditions. For some students, the idea that Miami has an overwhelming commitment to undergraduate teaching feels kind of like a little pat on the back for the school and doesn’t really mean anything for the students. In reality, Miami has one of the greatest commitments and focuses on undergraduate writing skills, with almost every course on campus requiring some kind of writing-based grade and with the somewhat-new requirement that students take a writing class in order to graduate. The West-
How to prevent running, hiding or fighting: Come together
ern program is one of the most unique of its kind and allows students to create their own majors. And the business school here is one of the best in the country. From the standpoint of potential first-years, those superlatives shine bright. They entice high schoolers and convince them of our university’s top-tier academia. Great. Accolades and appearances have their place. They serve their function in recruitment and that’s grand. But what should concern current students is the abundance of professors who care
The Miami Student cannot validate ‘Watchlist’ POLITICS
MICHAEL STEMMLER GUEST COLUMNIST
I thought it was just going to be two hours of watching Netflix at Panera. Yet, as my sister and I pulled into the parking garage, we realized this was not going to be an ordinary, relaxed day. Her phone buzzed and two words stuck out from the text: “Active Shooter.” She looked at me and quickly reassured me that the scene was a few blocks away so we “should” be safe. We hustled to the Panera, where we ordered our breakfast and picked out a spot where I had a good view of the entrance. “Watch everyone who comes through that door. If you need to, hide in the bathroom,” she said as she gathered her stuff to go to her mandatory lecture (they were taking attendance or else we would have been out of there). I sat there and waited, listening to the nervous chatter of workers and especially to the girl who was sitting at a table across from me. She was starting to panic. Curled up into a ball on her seat, she quickly picked up her phone and called someone, seeking comfort through the other voice on the line. As they asked for details she kept explaining that she didn’t know anything, and only that the text message sent out said there was a n active shooter. “Run, hide, fight? Like, what does that even mean?” she frantically asked. It seems like she didn’t pay attention during orientation. Those three words were actually the last-minute directions the OSU police department gave their students. First you try to run, if you can’t run then you hide and lastly, if you can’t hide, you fight. They are
the three steps everyone should take in the case of an active shooter situation. She didn’t know those words or their meaning, making her panic even more. I didn’t hear the rest of her conversation, as my sister and her friend came back into Panera. They both posted up at my table and her friend busted out her laptop, trying to find out the latest information. Their conversation was terrifying. From what they heard there were multiple shooters scattered across Watts Hall and Lane Avenue Park-
While I was far from harm’s way, it was still a shock because I realized it could just as easily happen here at Miami.
ing Garage. All the news coverage focused on the S.W.A.T. team called in, but the main story told from student to student was that a car ran into a crowd after a fire alarm went off and two men, one with a gun and the other with a machete, jumped out and started their attack. Luckily, in the aftermath, we know this was not the case, but at the time, it was deafening news. We quickly hurried to my sister’s car, and as she paid her parking ticket, I looked out the window at workers casually hanging up holiday lights, completely unaware of what was going on. We hit the road. As she was driving us back to Miami, I replied to the multitude of her text messages pouring in from friends and family who all wanted to make sure she was okay. We kept the radio on, listening for
the latest updates, but the shock still hung in the air. Although it is the most used phrase at times like this, it exemplified the entire situation: “You never expect it to happen until it happens to you.” While I was far from harm’s way, it still was a shock because I realized it could just as easily happen here at Miami. We [in the Class of 2020]all watched active shooter training videos before coming to campus, but those are meant for when it is too late and the act is already in process. But we can stop this from ever happening before it comes to that. The real way to prevent this from ever happening here is the acceptance of others. Often these incidents are caused by individuals who feel like they are outcasts in their community. No matter our difference, each and every one of us needs to challenge our own inner prejudices and take the necessary steps to let others know they are welcomed in this Miami community. Especially in wake of last week’s alt-right fliers and the anti-LGBTQ/Islamophobic demonstration across from the Armstrong Student Center earlier this year, we now have to come together as a diverse community more than ever. Instead of just laughing off the fliers and joking around with the demonstrators, it’s our duty to reach out to those who were affected by the cruel ideas held by a few individuals. Even if you don’t think it’s your place to say something, it is the majority neglecting the ideals of this cruel minority which can truly resonate with those targeted individuals. As a result, we can truly exemplify the ideals of “Love and Honor” across our entire campus.
about our futures more than we could imagine. Have you ever gone to your professor’s office hours? Many of the Miami faculty are excellent when it comes to sitting down with their students and clearing things up a little bit. And that help is not limited to the final three weeks of a given semester, nor should it be. The semi-annual delivery of finals has arrived, and a good chunk of the student population is scrambling to make up for the semester they spent ignoring the concept of “office hours.” It may not be too late this semester to salvage that, but swathes of students will all be thinking the same thing, making for an officehours bottleneck. But there’s always next semester! We urge the student body to meet with their professors next semester within the first three weeks. Spend some time picking their Ph.D. and/or M.A. brains. Get to know these masters of their crafts and learn firsthand what it feels like to spend the semester’s free of the pangs of mental pain and dread.
TO THE EDITOR: College classrooms are often places of discomfort. They are places where ideas are meant to be interrogated. Places where our understandings of ourselves and our world are challenged. As a young woman from a small town in Scioto County, my entire freshman year of college was one of intellectual upheaval and revelation — largely due to the professors teaching my history, journalism, political science and other classes. The work of a liberal arts institution is to create these sorts of intellectual environments. I was pleased to see The Miami Student address the socalled “Professor Watchlist” created by Turning Point USA in an editorial Nov. 29 and then not so pleased as I read the piece. While calling out the fact that a number of professors on the watchlist are “professors of color or of creeds other than Christianity,” at the same time The Student suggests that the work of the Watchlist is somehow “valid.” The editorial states, “There are a handful of professors that belong on it.” It then lists the actions of three professors in particular, suggesting they are “the types of professors that should be checked.” If the actions of professors need to be “checked,” then it is by the institutions where they teach, not by a conservative organization such as Turning Point USA. Or, I would argue, any other partisan political group. Particularly troubling is that The Miami Student editorial notes that several professors on the list “aren’t actually liberal at all.” The implication here that, perhaps, a watchlist of liberal radicals might actually be something they could support. Such lists, no matter who they target, should never be considered “valid.” They foment fear, suspicion and distrust — which is exactly what happened during the Cold War era The Student editorial references toward the end of its piece. Senator Joseph McCarthy is now infamous for his crusade against Communism, which had a chill-
ing effect on political discourse in the United States. The term “McCarthyism” was named for the senator and one of its definitions is “the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.” If The Miami Student, or anyone else, is truly supportive of free speech then it can in no way find the creation of any watchlist “valid” because such lists are often McCarthyist in their intent and can help produce a chilling effect on speech. One of my journalistic heroes, Edward R. Murrow, famously took on Joseph McCarthy on the CBS news program “See It Now.” At the end of a long piece on the senator and his anti-Communist agenda, Murrow said, “We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.” He went on to note that McCarthy did not create the political environment that produced the fear of Communism. “He merely exploited it,” Murrow said. We cannot allow any organization to exploit fear in pursuit of its political agenda, especially if we claim to value free speech. If we decide things such as the socalled “Professor Watchlist” are in any way valid, then we give in to fear and we help perpetuate a culture of mistrust and divisiveness that is chilling in many public spaces, but particularly in the university settings designed to challenge our thinking. For, then, to quote Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (which Murrow also did in the close of his piece on McCarthy), “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”
ROSEMARY PENNINGTON ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF MEDIA, JOURNALISM & FILM PENNINRM@MIAMIOH.EDU
visit us online at miamistudent.net A.J. NEWBERRY NEWBERAJ@MIAMIOH.EDU
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016
THE AGE OF THE LAPTOP
An overwhelming majority of students in the Shade Family Room study, read, browse and listen to audio on their laptops.
KYLE HAYDEN, A.J. NEWBERRY THE MIAMI STUDENT
Reliance on information technology is stunting meaningful liberal education EDUCATION
KYLE HAYDEN A.J. NEWBERRY
About three months ago you could spot firstyears pretty easily. Whether they had on a tie-dye shirt, messy haircut or they were simply making a lot of noise, it was charming to see so much personality on our perfectly manicured campus. But what happened when the dust settled, when these students were wrested into groups and classrooms and given a list of courses they “must” take? Miami University has an art school (in fact we have two): the College of Arts and Science and the College of Creative Arts. The two include majors such as theater, professional writing, sociology and media & culture, majors that teach production practices for the various media we consume. In graphic design, the majors even get a special studio where they also have class. In spite of popular opinion that STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math) are far more valuable for the digital economy, the humanities are holding strong at Miami. Enter Apple. When you see people walking around campus they either have a six-inch supercomputer in their hand or headphones connected to the one hidden in their pocket. Students in all majors work on MacBook Pros and search Google for answers rather than read books. This year, the university library access services department released a report indicating for the 201516 fiscal year, 119,622 “items” were checked out. Among the items checked out, 39,000 were of electronic materials (tablets, chargers laptops, etc.). Only 29,000 books were checked out for the whole of the fiscal year. That calculates to less than two books for every student. The problem with these electronics, a problem that all students now have, is a limited worldview. A worldview that is predetermined and pre-packaged, then sold to them as original and exciting. Former President Hodge’s Year of Creativity and Innovation passed over us with little in the way of creativity. That’s because creativity is measured today by one’s ability to “add value” to a company. The measurement of success and worth is now determined exclusively in the market and not in the life of the mind. The biggest anxiety about a liberal arts degree is the fear that one’s skill will not provide a steady means of living. Miami’s own institutional data reveals a decline of fine arts majors and an increase in Interactive Media Studies (IMS) majors. The former takes time and a lot of hard work and the latter is multifaceted, and serves the STEM world. Both have freedoms, but the newer major — the one that boasts “$2 million Worth of Cutting-Edge Equipment” — actually has less. Compare for a second IMS to a major like photography. Now, you might say Oxford isn’t the most exciting place, certainly not as diverse as the San Francisco or the Internet, but photography students learn early that images and stories are everywhere. Art and photography at base are disciplines that urge students to go outside and observe the goings-on and interpret them with the lens, with the canvas. IMS, which offers infinite creativity in a virtual sense, does not encourage students to work entirely experimental. The camera operates under the behaviors of its
holder, the computer demands you play by its rules. This fall, Peg Faimon, the former dean of the College of Creative Arts (CCA) took a job as the inaugural dean of Indiana University’s School of Art and Design. In her tenure at Miami, Faimon developed innovative ways to combine the arts with emerging technology, while still running a one-person design firm and writing books such as “The Business of Design.” One could say she was a careerist. But perhaps the biggest event of Faimon’s career was the acceptance of a $14.7 million gift to CCA from Mike Armstrong in 2008. This donation went to the Interactive Media Studies program (IMS), and if you haven’t done your homework on Armstrong’s career, this is where it gets scary. Armstrong is the retired chairman of Comcast Corporation and former chairman and CEO of AT&T. Though Proctor and Gamble created the program a decade ago, the new money comes as an obvious business investment, which begs the question: can Fine Arts make a good return? The gift also endowed an Armstrong Chair in the business school to complement the Armstrong Chair of Network Technology and Management. Glenn
We live with the illusion that technologies make us free and provide opportunities for us, but they are cheap substitutes for common sense and wisdom.
Platt, the director of IMS is actually a marketing professor at FSB with a Ph.D in Economics. In a 2015 TEDx talk titled “Higher Education is not in the business you think it is,” Platt shares his ideas about information by comparing academic curriculum to the blueprints of Tesla cars and supply chain network-apps like Uber. Platt invents a fantasyland arbitrarily called “mesh education” wherein professors’ main role is to integrate disciplines (with computer networks, of course), likening the administration of an academic institution to the moderation of users in the virtual game “Minecraft.” His idea is absurd save for the part where a room full of people communicating should be indistinct from a business or classroom, but fails to mention how Miami is working toward that goal. It’s not the business we think it is, but it’s still a business. We are a school of production, learning a specialized craft primarily through interaction with an isolated device. Sure, we’re promoted to innovate, but only within the confines of certain systems. Canvas, the submission module Miami uses for file uploads and group discussions, centers around a serial form of communication, where thoughts are formed with the comfort and detachment of internet comments. Unlike face-to-face conversation, Canvas interaction is more cryptic and calculated, removing things like embarrassment and awe: emotions that can make for engaging learning experiences. In Oxford there is no art store, no legitimate book store and no movie theater. The most common
pastime is to go Uptown and swallow alcoholic pisswater and energy-drink infused liquordeath until you feel nothing. We ask our peers: if this is the greatest place on Earth, why do you have to go out and numb yourselves three nights a week or more? Our peers say there is nothing else to do in Oxford, yet we are surrounded by people who are constantly “busy.” Students express a desire to “relax” from the stresses of school acellerated by the reach of digital technologies. We have to relax from our day with constant “social media breaks.” College life has been digitized and standardized; after all, who has time to slow down and enjoy anything? We’ve emptied out the real world, made it as worthless and quick as possible: “Subs so fast you’ll FREAK” and “Rapid Fired” pizza (who has time to cook anyway, I have class in the middle of lunch hour!) All the while investing our time and energy into a digital facsimile of all the features and texture we just schemed so dilligently to destruct. Inside the computer, the “cyberspace” world is limiting. It is a narrow frame through which mythical, virtual narratives are created, destroyed and passed around without reference to reality. Today, Apple takes away the headphone port, and everyone obliges by purchasing wireless headphones or an expensive adapter. They think they are free and emboldened by this new and fast form of information processing and retrieval. We aim to show the inverse is opposite. But real sources of wisdom do not come from amassing amounts of information. We live with the illusion that technologies make us free and provide opportunities for us, but they are cheap substitutes for common sense and wisdom. Mimicking the logical processes of information technologies is not any way to run a classroom and it is certainly not freedom. We have to make that clear if we want to have a sincere and reasonable place for learning. We can refuse. But today, our institution implicitly derides anything refusing to latch onto this narrative of technological progress and innovation. As students, our goal used to be to learn new things; think about complex issues; develop meaning and purpose in our lives. But lately we have seen an institutionally mandated shift toward specific things: careers, resumé fondling, developing a “professional persona” and a “brand” as the end in itself. You’ve seen the banners: 1,300 CEOs got their start here! “Best return on investment!” College, most understand, is about job training. Our value is measurable only in the marketplace, or so the story goes. Today, the common areas are subdued. At the tables and walkways in our student center, whitecoated wires from earbuds and headphones are draped from the heads of students. Everyone is looking down. The elements of our refusal lie in reclaiming learning as a fun and hopeful activity for creating a future worth caring about. Intention and clarity of thought cannot be purchased. You will not find them in a screen, in a comment section or in lines of code. The next time you download a rubric for an assignment, consider ignoring it. Propose to your instructor an alternate assignment, something more heuristic, more tactile. If your laptop dies, wing it. You may discover that you are still able to have an independent thought.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016
Weathers twins power MU to overtime MEN’S BASKETBALL
EMILY SIMANSKIS THE MIAMI STUDENT
Wednesday night, Miami University’s men’s basketball team dug deep to overcome a second half 15-point deficit to eventually beat Grambling State University 78-76 in overtime. Freshmen twin brothers Michael and Marcus Weathers scored 44 of the team’s 78 points. Marcus had a double-double with 18 total points and 12 rebounds while Michael had 26 points. Both saw almost 40 minutes of play. Grambling State’s junior forward Averyl Ugba also had a double-double with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Miami improves to 4-3 overall and 4-2 at home. GSU is now 3-5 with all of its games played on the road. The 7 p.m. tipoff was won by the Tigers, though the early minutes of play saw no dominance from either side. The ‘Hawks and Tigers exchanged baskets to keep the game close until seven minutes into the half. An MU scoring drought was caused by scrambling for ball possession and too many turnovers, and it didn’t take GSU long to capitalize. “I felt like our faults came from early turnovers,” Marcus Weathers said. “They were very athletic, so they were speeding us up and getting us out of our comfort zone. We didn’t take our time running our offense which was one of our faults. Also, matching up on the defensive end was another one. With either a bucket or a miss we didn’t know who we had, so we had to fix those things during halftime.” Three minutes later, GSU began to steadily increase their lead with numerous three-pointers and few missed shots. In comparison, Miami’s regular misses and lacking defense could only attempt to counter the Tigers’ momentum. The first half ended with the RedHawks down 38-26 with 13 turnovers. “We absolutely stunk it up in the first half. I’ll give credit to Grambling, I thought Shawn did a ter-
SWIM & DIVE
THE MIAMI STUDENT
BRIANNA NIXON THE MIAMI STUDENT
Freshman guard Michael Weathers makes a move against two Delaware defenders. Weathers has led Miami scorers in six of seven games so far this season, averaging 23 points per contest while shooting exactly 50 percent from the field. rific job with their game plan,” head coach John Cooper said of GSU’s coach. “They were more aggressive, they got all the 50-50 balls, they took balls from us, they did everything they wanted to do. We were just not very good and, at times, it can be quite frustrating because we have some pups going through this and they just have no clue, at times, what’s going on and how to settle down and figure things out.” The second half began with a change in the RedHawks’ mentality, but not an immediate change in momentum. A gradual shift oc-
curred with the help of Marcus Weather’s rebound control and Miami managed to cut GSU’s lead to four within the first four minutes of play. GSU answered, continuing to extend its lead until it reached 15 with nine minutes left in the game. The RedHawks would finally hit their stride and settle down to go on an 18-3 run. The Weathers brothers and junior guard Abdoulaye Harouna sunk free throws and layups to chip away at GSU’s lead. Redshirt senior guard Jake Bischoff played a cru-
Finally healthy, RedHawk hockey travels to Cornell HOCKEY
BEN BLANCHARD SPORTS EDITOR
Two weeks removed from consecutive ties at then No. 1 and current No. 2 Denver, the Miami University hockey team returns to action this weekend with a nonconference road series at Cornell University. The RedHawks (3-6-4 overall, 0-4-2 conference) were without junior captain Louie Belpedio (lower-body injury) for their last three series, but expect their starting defenseman back in the line-up this weekend. “I’m excited, it’s been a long month,” Belpedio said. “Sitting out was tough, but it opened my eyes to notice a lot of the little things that go on out there that I normally don’t see from my perspective on the ice or bench.” Without Belpedio, who never missed a game in his first two seasons, MU struggled, losing five straight before picking up two draws at DU. During the skid, the ‘Hawks were outscored 27-12. “We’ve been pretty decimated with injuries and sickness,” head coach Enrico Blasi said. “But if you’re not going through adversity, you’re probably not growing as a
Swim and dive hosts Miami Invite
person or team.” Entering Denver, Miami was 0-4 in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play, so snapping the losing spell was critical to avoiding digging too deep of a hole early in the season. “We took a really big step at Denver, ending the losing streak and tying that team is not an easy thing to do,” Belpedio said. “We just need to pick up where we left off.” Freshman goaltender Ryan Larkin was critical to keeping both games close, as he made 87 saves while only allowing three goals on the weekend. “Our defense did a really good job keeping the shots to the outside, and we blocked a lot of those shots as well,” Larkin said. “We needed to focus on everyday stuff like practice and the process rather than the weekend and games, and that has helped us turn things around and get our confidence back.” Cornell (5-3-1, 4-2-1 ECAC), coming off a 3-2 Tuesday win at Colgate, has won four games in a row. This streak includes a thirdstraight Frozen Apple tournament title, which included a championship win over New Hampshire in Madison Square Garden last Sat-
No. 19 Oregon drops ‘Hawks 3-1 in first round BEN BLANCHARD SPORTS EDITOR
In its ninth all-time NCAA Tournament appearance Thursday night, the Miami University volleyball team fell 3-1 (22-25, 1725, 25-22, 25-19) in the first round to No. 19 University of Oregon. After dropping the first two sets, MU battled back and managed to stay alive with a 25-22 set three win. In set four, the Ducks managed to hold off the RedHawks’ desperate comeback attempts, clinching the set and match with a decisive 25-19 victory. Oregon’s hitting percentage of .336 proved to be the difference in the match, as MU hit .178 and were blocked five times by senior middle blocker Kacey Nady. Junior outside hitter Olivia Rusek led Miami with 13 kills while sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Vander Weide provided the Ducks with 18 kills. The RedHawks received an at-large bid to the tournament after falling 3-0 to Northern Illinois University in the MidAmerican Conference Tournament Championship game.
Thanks to a 20-game win streak and an undefeated 10-0 home record, Miami clinched the MAC regular season title with a 15-1 record in conference play. The win streak, the longest in Miami history, spanned from Sep. 3 to Nov. 5. The ‘Hawks dropped only five sets during their tear, winning 15 of the matches in 3-0 sweeps. Miami finishes the campaign 24-6 overall, while Oregon improves to 21-9 overall and will face the winner of the University of Michigan and American University. MU looks to return strong next season, as the squad graduates only three members of the 16-women team. Seniors Paige Hill, Maris Below and Krista Brakauskas led Miami to one of its best seasons ever, as well as three straight winning seasons. Brakauskas recorded a teamhigh 21 assists against Oregon. Hill had MU’s best hitting percentage this season, .363, and was named First-Team All-MAC. Below recorded the second-most kills (263) and points (307) of any ‘Hawk this year.
SWIMMING »PAGE 4
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MIAMI FALLS IN NCAA TOURNEY
HOCKEY »PAGE 4
Blanket & Mug Basket
cial five minutes and made two free throws to aid the comeback. The Tigers’ vocal bench quieted as the final minutes ticked down, but the RedHawk fans’ volume only increased. Miami drew a charge in the defensive end and the clocked ticked to :22 with the RedHawks still down two. What started out as a messy play thankfully resulted in Michael Weathers bodying his way through traffic to score a layup and tie the game.
Starting Thursday, the Miami University swim and dive program will host the 23rd annual Miami Invitational, getting back to work after a loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 12 in Columbus. MU will face off against Bowling Green, Denison, Emory, Indiana, UW-Milwaukee, Missouri-St.Louis, Urbana and Washington University in St. Louis this weekend. The Miami women have posted a record of 5-2 on the season while the men have gone 2-2. Both teams fell to the Buckeyes in mid-November, the women falling 182-115 and the men losing 211-84. The ‘Hawks look to recover from this loss with a big performance in their own pool. The invitational will feature a variety of divisions and teams, including highly ranked Division I and III programs. For the men, Denison ranks number one in Division III after winning the national championship last year. Right behind Denison in the Division III rankings is Emory, who is off to a 2-0 start in dual meets so far this season. Likely the stiffest competition for the RedHawks, however, are the Indiana Hoosiers who are currently ranked second in the nation in Division I and are red hot, starting 8-0 this season with wins over four top-25 teams. For the women, Emory and Denison rank again in the top one and two spots in Division III. This will give MU women stiff competition, not to mention the Indiana women, who are the ranked 13th in Division I. Both the men and women will have their work cut out for them this weekend as they face these swimming powerhouses. One Lady RedHawk who has really stepped up this season is redshirt junior Pei Lin, who earned MAC Diver of the Week in her meet against Ohio State. Lin has yet to lose an event this season and looks to continue this success through the weekend. The preparation will be different this week than normal one-day meets for Lin. “It is actually easier preparation for me, in the one-day dual meets I have the 3-meter and 1-meter in the same day, but now they will be on separate days,” Lin said. Senior Hutch Blackstone also had a very successful meet against OSU, finishing in the top three in three of his events. He placed third with his team in the 200 medley relay, placed second in the 100 breaststroke and third again in the 200 breaststroke. Blackstone is looking forward to the tough competition that is coming his way this weekend as he prepares for his events. “I am actually really excited, it’s cool to have other teams come in that are better than you and give you the opportunity to not necessarily race someone, but go after someone,” Blackstone said. “I have a personal drive for when someone is out in front of me I like to go get them.” The Miami Invitational will be the last meet for the ‘Hawks in the next month, so building momentum for the rest of the season will definitely be important this weekend. This three-day invitational will start each day at 10 a.m. with the prelims and finish off at 6 p.m. with
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