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Students, administration discuss race at Miami during Black State of the Union

“What is Love and Honor?” That question guided the conversation during the Black State of the Union address, led by sophomore Jermaine Thomas and senior Jerry Shepherd at 7:11 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7. The significance of the 7:11 p.m. start time was because the historically black fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi was founded in 1911, which is 7:11 in military time. In a statement at the beginning of the forum, President Greg Crawford officially charged professor and coordinator of Black World Studies Rodney Coates with heading up a task force to answer the broader question of how Miami students...

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Sophomore indicted for sexual assault charges

Students were informed via an electronic campus crime alert from the Miami University Police Department that a sexual assault was reported in Heritage Commons on Oct. 12. The initial email, sent out on Oct. 19, indicated that MUPD was still investigating and searching for a college-aged, Asian-American male with brown eyes and brown hair, around 6 feet tall and 180 pounds. Two weeks later, sophomore Nicolas Cristescu stood for one of his first hearings on Thursday, Nov. 2 in the Butler County Area I courthouse in Oxford. Cristescu appeared before the judge wearing an orange Butler County prisoner jumpsuit. Both his hands and feet were shackled. Cristescu was initially charged with one count of rape and sexual battery, five counts of pandering obscene material to a minor, one charge of voyeurism, one charge of marijuana possession and one charge of marijuana paraphernalia. The five charges for pandering obscene material were merged by the state into an amended class one misdemeanor for disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Cristescu plead guilty to the misdemeanor as well as the charges related to marijuana possession and paraphernalia in the courthouse last Thursday. His sentencing for those charges was continued to Thursday, Dec. 14 at 1:00 p.m in the Butler County Area I courthouse. However, the charges for rape, sexual battery and voyeurism were all dismissed by the state in the Butler County Area...

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Miami alumni discuss ‘Race in America’ in Cincinnati Freedom Center

Students, faculty and Miami alumni packed the auditorium of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in downtown Cincinnati, eagerly awaiting a discussion on “Race in America.” The voices of everyone assembled died down as the department of media, journalism and film (MJF)’s senior lecturer and area coordinator, Patricia Newberry, introduced the event’s speakers and former Miami alumni: Wil Haygood ‘76, author of “The Butler: A Witness to History” and Boadway Distinguished Scholar in Residence in MJF and CBS correspondent and author, Jeff Pegues ‘92. The event launched a new series, Spirit of ’64: Miami University and the Enduring Legacy of Freedom Summer. The series will explore the lasting effects of Freedom Summer, when about 800 volunteers converged at the Western College for Women — now Miami’s Western Campus — before traveling south to register black voters. Miami President Greg Crawford welcomed the attendees who filled the 300-seat Harriet Tubman Theater. It’s “not enough,” Crawford said, to have discussions about race at Miami. Those conversations need to move beyond campus limits. Both Haygood and Pegues’ experiences in journalism affected their views on race relations in the United States. In his time writing for both The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, race has been integral in much of Haygood’s reporting, from writing about the South African apartheid to following Barack Obama on the campaign trail. Haygood’s biographies, including his most...

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Burnt out: OFD staff stretched thin

Friday, Oct. 20 — 10:26 p.m. The atmosphere in Oxford’s fire department (OFD) can go from zero to 100 in a minute on any given night. One minute, six firefighters/paramedics and EMTs are gathered inside the firehouse trading jabs, making coffee, smoking cigars and stealing spoonfuls of one another’s ice cream sundaes from Spring Street Treats. The next, someone’s radio sounds and the crackle of the Butler County dispatcher barks out a call. Three of the EMTs and one student volunteer training to be a paramedic board an ambulance. The night has just begun. Trouble on the horizon “Our...

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Family, friends remember Zach Heuple’s ‘great moments’ at Miami

Zach Heuple, or as he was better known around Miami, Harry Potter, was the type of kid who could light up a room. The lopsided scar he drew on his face in Sharpie one Halloween became a running joke that stuck. He was always happy, always smiling and always ready to crack a joke. Zach, 20, was from the town of Vienna in Northern Virginia. He graduated from McLean High School in 2015 and was a junior at Miami, working toward completing a finance major and history minor. He and John Carroll University student Gary Spice, 19, passed away on Sept. 26 from a vehicular accident in Ibiza, Spain following a weekend trip, while enrolled in the MUDEC study abroad program based in Differdange, Luxembourg. Zach was also very close with his younger brother Colton, a senior in high school, and his parents, Mike and Laurie. “Zach’s favorite quote was ‘Great moments are born from great opportunities,’ from the movie Miracle on Ice,” Laurie said. “Miami gave him great moments that he turned into wonderful opportunities.” He was heavily involved in his fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi, where he was the risk manager last semester and frequently played intramural hockey with his fraternity brothers. Zach was a hockey fanatic. “He was always at the skating rink,” sophomore Ariana Smith said. “He loved Miami hockey, and he took me to my...

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