Greek Life’s Lack of Diversity means mixed experiences

Miami University’s Greek community has lower portions of minority and international students than the general undergraduate population, creating mixed experiences for minority students in Panhellenic Association (Panhellic) and the Interfraternity Council (IFC). Greek life at Miami is governed by the Tri-Council, consisting of the Panhellenic, IFC and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). Around 72 percent of all undergraduates at the Oxford campus are white, according to Miami’s enrollment statistics. However, white students made up about 89 percent of IFC and Panhellenic as of fall 2017, according to the Office of Institutional Research. Domestic minority students make up 13.4 percent of Miami’s undergraduates, while they only made up 11.4 percent of the Tri-Council. Domestic minority students comprised 10.4 percent of IFC and 10.3 percent of Panhellenic. All 26 students in NPHC, which is much smaller than either IFC or Panhellenic, are African-American or multiracial. International students, who make up almost 15 percent of the total undergraduate population, comprise just 0.5 percent of IFC and 0.4 percent of Panhellenic. Mackenzie Solomon, NPHC president, said the council has plans to cooperate closely on events with IFC and Panhellenic for the fall. Forging a stronger relationship with the other two councils has been a focus for her presidency. “In the past, we kind of just get invited to things that we don’t really feel pertain to us, or we don’t really feel like...

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Differences in budgets reflects culture of college democrats, republicans

College Democrats and College Republicans at Miami have different operating budgets based on disparities in revenue, reflecting different philosophies around how to handle money. Bobby Adler, treasurer for the democrats, said the club tries to keep their costs as low as possible. “We really try to keep things low budget because we don’t really have a need for a lot of money,” Adler said. “What I imagine we would use the money for would be to get marketing materials or advertising but we kind of rely on using work of mouth, having an attractive brand.” The only consistent outside funding the democrats receive is a monthly $5 donation from a lawyer in Hamilton, President Charles Kennick said. The democrats also don’t receive any funding from the College Democrats of Ohio or the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP). Adler said the club has never received any money because the democratic party doesn’t usually allocate funds to any college chapters. “It’s been a grievance among college democrats for a while,” Adler said. Their relationship has with ODP has been strained for a while, but it became more so when they  endorsed Sen. Joe Schiavoni for the Ohio gubernatorial race, not the candidate ODP unofficially endorsed. OPD can’t officially endorse a candidate, so as an extension College Democrats can’t either. However, Kennick said the rule is unfair and stands by their decision to...

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Miami army ROTC receives manned affiliate status, program to expand

Miami University’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) received manned affiliate status in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, March 28, expanding the program and bringing more officers to teach at Miami. Currently, the program has one contractor and a part-time national guardsmen as instructors, brigade commander Lance Oskey said. Starting this summer, the army will dedicate two officers as a part of the partnership, a captain with about ten years of service and a senior non-commissioned officer with about 15 years of service. “That really is significant growth as far as what this program is going to be able to do,” Oskey said. “And the way we’re going to be able to enrich the instruction to the cadets as well as engage the campus, both with the student body as well as the increased [group of officers] here.” Starting with the class of 2022, Miami must graduate at least 10 commissioned officers a year to keep its manned affiliate status, professor of military science Lt. Col. Martin Weaver said. If it succeeds in maintaining its numbers, Miami can eventually become a host school. The manned affiliate status is the first step in that process. Senior military science instructor David Ramsey said four commissioned seniors graduated this year. Weaver is a professor for Mount Saint Joseph University, Thomas Moore College, Northern Kentucky University and Xavier University, the other four schools...

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Speakers discuss American political polarization at Janus Forum

Two journalists and a former senator discussed the polarization of American politics to a full crowd at the Janus Forum on Wednesday, March 7. Founder and editor-at-large Ezra Klein, Axios national political reporter Jonathan Swan and former Republican senator Kelly Ayotte tried to answer the forum’s central question: Are American political parties as we know them over? The Janus Forum brings speakers to Miami University’s campus every semester to engage in debate, answering questions from the Janus Forum committee and the audience. “It’s is to provide a platform for members of the Miami community to engage in discussion and debate about the most important issues in our society and to do so in a constructive and informed way,” Janus Forum coordinator Colin Greig said.   Klein said American political parties are weak while partisanship is strong, meaning individuals, such as President Donald Trump, who don’t reflect the values of the party can come to power, but,voters consistently vote for their party because they hate the other one. Swan countered that comparatively: American political parties are incredibly powerful in the amount of money and influence they wield, he said. Swan also argued that despite news reports, there is little dissent within parties. The American political center is shrinking, and the polarization within the political system makes it hard for politicians and citizens to reach a compromise, Ayotte said. “If...

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Low enrollment threatens 34 minors

Due to low enrollment, 34 of Miami University’s minors and 48 thematic sequences are in danger of elimination. A policy in the Miami University Institutional Policies Handbook mandates that undergraduate thematic sequences and minors that graduate less than 12 students for four consecutive years will be sent a notice of termination in their fifth year. The program can then petition to be granted a sixth year. If it fails to increase its enrollment after that, it will be cut as a program from the General Bulletin — the document that lists all majors, minors and thematic sequences. Dean of the College of Arts and Science Christopher Makaroff said the decision came as a way to streamline the educational process. “It happened in part because of things that have been coming down,” Makaroff said. “The state thinks that higher education costs too much and that we waste money, so they want us to streamline things and make education more efficient and affordable.” Students also complain that the curriculum is too confusing to navigate, Makaroff said. He added that all classes in those programs will still be offered, and students who are currently enrolled in one of the programs will still be able to keep their minor or thematic sequence. The College of Arts and Science recognizes the vital role those classes play in offering a diverse liberal arts education, even...

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