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Author: James Steinbauer

MU first-year who died had prior arrest

Past violation highlights flaws with university alcohol policy   A little more than two months before she died after a night of heavy drinking, first-year Miami University student Erica Buschick was arrested Uptown for underage alcohol consumption. Shortly after 1 a.m. on Nov. 12, 2016, Miami University Police officers saw Buschick stumbling and falling near the corner of Campus Avenue and High Street. According to the police report, the officers stopped their cruiser and approached Buschick. She had bloodshot, glassy eyes and was slurring her words. When the officers asked her age, Buschick told them that she was 21 years old. When they asked her birth date, she responded: August 6, 1998. Her Illinois driver’s license confirmed that she was 18 years old. The officers took Buschick to MUPD for booking and she submitted to a breathalyzer test. Her blood alcohol content was .327 — four times the legal limit in Ohio and what researchers consider “life-threatening.” “That’s very high,” said Cpt. Ben Spilman, spokesperson for the Miami University Police Department. “Unfortunately, we see high blood alcohol contents like this more often than we’d like to.” According to a filing in the Butler County Area 1 court, Buschick was to appear in court at 10 a.m. on Dec. 1, 2016 to face the charges. But a motion of continuance, signed by Buschick, rescheduled the case to Feb. 2, 2017....

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After shots fired outside Cellar, bar implements students-only policy

One Miami University student was injured when several gunshots were fired from a moving vehicle after an altercation spilled out of Cellar Bar into the early morning air on Saturday, Feb. 11. Ashley Smith, a senior zoology and IMS major, suffered a shrapnel wound on her finger, resulting in a fracture and minor surgery. She was out with five of her friends when a fight broke out in the bar. Cellar’s staff evacuated the establishment, forcing patrons up the main staircase and out to high street, said Smith. A woman involved in the altercation crossed the street with at...

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Humans of Oxford: Keara Sonntag: Riding the storm

It’s 8 a.m. on a cold Friday morning and first-year Keara Sonntag is already at the equestrian center. She saddles her horse and heads out for an early morning lesson. Even though she would much rather be sleeping, Keara puts her all into the lesson. She loves riding, and she knows it will help her fight the disability. Keara has Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease (CMT). It breaks down the covers of the nerves in the extremities, interfering with the nerve’s ability to transmit signals to and from the brain. In Keara’s case, the CMT causes fatigue and impaired muscle growth...

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At MU, a third assault in two weeks

In the past two weeks, three female Miami University students reported that they were sexually assaulted. One student reported to MUPD that she had been sexually assaulted by a male student whom she knew in the early morning hours on Sunday, Feb. 5 in her room in McBride Hall. Early on Friday, Feb. 10, a female student reported to the Oxford Police that she had woken up in a bed in an unknown residence without any memory of arriving there. She told police she had been Uptown earlier that night and had left with an unknown male. According to an incident report from the Oxford Police, the female student had reported from the hospital that she had been sexually assaulted by three males at a local apartment. The incident report said that OPD officers searched the apartment, and suspects in the case have been identified. Last Wednesday, Feb. 15, McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital staff notified the university at 3:50 a.m. that a female student had reported to them that she had been sexually assaulted somewhere on Miami’s campus. The incident likely occurred on Sunday, Feb. 12, the hospital staff said. MUPD and OPD are currently investigating these reports. Students were notified of the reported assaults through Campus Crime Alerts — an SMS or email designed to alert students, faculty and staff of dangerous situations on or around campus. Although these...

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Miami’s drinking problem: Blame the culture

“Love and Honor.” Miami University drills this slogan into the students from the very beginning. These three words can be found on the admissions packets sent to prospective students in the mail, in the welcome video at freshman orientation, on the over-priced merchandise in the bookstore and in the chorus of the university’s fight song. And even after all of this, every student who has been on campus for more than one week knows that the real motto this community lives by is: “Work hard. Play hard.” During the day, the university is a picturesque campus swarming with motivated students shuffling from class to class with full backpacks and open minds. But when the sun goes down, the books get shelved and the pre-gaming starts. Miami is consistently listed as one of the nation’s top party schools on reputable ranking sites. In 2016, The Princeton Review ranked Miami as the 19th biggest party school in the United States. In 2017, Niche placed Miami at No. 1 in Ohio and No. 1 nationwide. The university’s Alcohol Task Force, established by former President David Hodge in 2014, discovered that 42 percent of freshmen students admitted to drinking to the point of “blacking out,” which is significantly higher than the national average. The Task Force found that the “most notable” Miami ritual centered around alcohol consumption. It consisted of a “weekly migration...

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