To say Miami University, like so many others previously have, is “The Ivy League School of the Midwest” is a gross understatement. Miami University is a superb public school of high scholarly honor. We have a school that boasts the appropriate motto of being First in 2009, with an excellent business school at its backbone and one of the only paper science programs on the planet. Our athletic teams are competitive to the bone, including a hockey team with an undeniably rabid student fan base. Poet Robert Frost called Miami’s campus, “The most beautiful he’d ever seen” and our classic traditions showcase Miami’s rich history and strong camaraderie. However, there is one tradition of our prestigious school that doesn’t add to its glory: the Police Beat.
The Police Beat takes the vilest incidents of the week and smears them all over the paper, where they are hastily read like the flock going to the slaughter. More often than not, it portrays our students as vandals, brawlers and loud-mouthed braggarts when in fact we are so much more. As much as Miami students strive for academic excellence they also strive for gross criminal intemperance. Too often, the Police Beat fails to fully describe the hilarious insolence of the student body. Miami students have evolved beyond most of the typical staples of college humor, such as quoting Anchorman or political protests. Instead, for Miami students to be earnestly amused, they must appeal to something far grander, and in ways some of us may never truly comprehend.
When most look at the Police Beat they see baffling acts of stupidity or disgrace-actually it is so much more. For example, if a junior being arrested for public indecency asks pedestrians around him to, “rise against our tyrants and set (him) free,”-resulting in one count of attempting to incite a riot-simply laugh at his futile insurrection because the Police Beat will fail to fully recreate the hilarity of the event. Would the Police Beat ask you to consider the testicular fortitude it takes to challenge our elite local upholders of justice?
No. The Police Beat may mention the alcohol level in his bloodstream but did they mention the amount of adrenaline in his bloodstream?
If a senior paper science major were detained for drunk driving outside a certain Talawanda Elementary, the Police Beat would surely describe his incredulous dismay for the lives of the middle school students in the vicinity. But would it discuss the kids frantically trying to board the school bus home as he made donuts with his Hyundai Sonata and blared the latest masterpiece by Phil Collins, all while breaking up with his girlfriend on his cell phone?
Did they touch upon the artistic grace he felt when he painted a perfectly symmetrical doughnut, his tires the brush and the blacktop his canvas? Robert Frost would’ve called it “the most beautiful doughnut he’d ever seen.”
The officer making the arrests probably didn’t graduate from Yale with a degree in literature, and may not be talented enough to write the next great American novel. But that officer will also never be able to accurately convey in his report the love our students hold in their hearts for debauchery. So next time you gaze upon Billy Collegedude’s name emblazoned in the paper, I ask you not to judge him. Revere him.