Menace to Sobriety, The Panty Dropper, Octapussy and Study A Broad are just a few off campus house names that come to mind as a part of the Miami ‘culture.’

Although they were intended to provide a chuckle to students, visitors, prospective students and parents that wander around Oxford, this derogatory naming ‘culture’ has infiltrated other aspects, including the WiFi connection/networks off campus.

I was recently at a friend’s house off campus, and when I went to change the WiFi connection, I came across networks such as ‘Luv N On Her,’ ‘Yell Penis For Password’ and ‘Track Team Stalkers.’

Have you ever thought about how these derogatory house names and WiFi networks may contribute to a culture that normalizes sexual assault and binge drinking, making this behavior seem acceptable?

Putting these names on houses for ourselves and everyone else in the community to see, makes us a part of a culture that is supportive of this type of behavior. Though it may be a way to easily identify a house or draw unique attention to it, why do the names have to be sexual or offensive in nature?

And, although this may be a result of the deep rooted traditions on campus and may be difficult to change, is this the type of environment we want to be a part of or want to be portraying to the outside community?

For those outside of traditional Western culture, house names may further isolate them from feeling a part of the Miami community if they are unaware of the meaning behind these signs and their significance.

“It’s college” should not be an excuse anymore for inappropriate, degrading and verbal banter. In 2015, we should hold ourselves to a higher human standard.

As Miami students, we should want to promote better standards in our daily lives and allow those that come to visit Miami, to leave with positive thoughts and not a feeling of uneasiness.

I am all for free speech and freedom of expression. Trust me, I am a journalism major. But, are the house names and WiFi networks necessary if it is potentially affecting our community in a negative way? I say no.

Instead of me simply complaining about this issue, you are probably wondering if I have a solution. As a matter of fact, I do. If it involves a Miami University student, why is Miami not involved in the naming of these houses? Being respectful and mindful of others seems to be expressed in the residence halls and is emphasized by President Hodge, along with other student organizations.

These messages need to be carried over to off-campus housing as well. Although we may move off campus, we are still Miami students and should be following the MU Code of Ethics.

Recently, our university adopted the ‘It’s On Us’ initiative, emphasizing the importance of stopping sexual assault and violence within our community.

You may have changed your profile picture on Facebook, but what are you really doing about it?

Each and every one of us should take a small step in creating an environment for those who have been sexually assaulted or for those who have battled with alcohol addiction.

Dare to question the Miami social norm of naming houses that will stand out and be humorous, and think of how it may affect your peers. This is not to offend any individual who currently lives in the aforementioned houses, but to create awareness for the aspects that may be negatively influencing the culture of our community.

As humans, unless a social issue affects us or a family member personally, we do not think of how our seemingly playful words and behavior can be insensitive or offensive.

Tackling and minimizing the culture that normalizes sexual assault and binge drinking will not be easy. But, I am ready for this challenge.

Are you?

Kelsey Maloney

maloneka@miamioh.edu

Comments