With the excitement of spring and new life in the air, the Associated Student Government (ASG) student senate convened March 11 to recognize and honor the life and service of Miami tribe Chief Floyd E. Leonard.
Leonard passed away Mar. 8 at the age of 82. According to Jen House, secretary for off-campus affairs, Leonard suffered from health complications in past years that likely contributed to his passing.
Leonard served as chief of the Miami tribe for more than two decades and maintained a close relationship with Miami University throughout his time as chief.
Mike Scott, student body president elect, explained that Leonard played an instrumental role in founding the Myaamia Project in 2001, a partnership between Miami University and the Miami tribe to preserve the Miami language and culture.
“The Myaamia recovery project is one of the coolest things this university has done in a while,” Scott said. “(Leonard) was always dedicated to higher education and teaching in general.”
According to the bill’s authors, the resolution will be sent as part of ASG’s condolences to the Miami tribe in Miami, Okla.
Sophomore senator Matt Stephan hopes the resolution will convey the sentiment of the student body to the Miami tribe.
“I feel that student government is a voice of the students and we (Miami students) are mourning the loss of the chief,” Stephan said.
After unanimously passing the resolution, ASG held a moment of silence in honor of Chief Leonard.
Former ASG exec gives senate advice
ASG also heard from alumnus Jeff Berding, Cincinnati city councilman, at the Mar. 11 meeting regarding his time at Miami.
Berding served as the executive vice president for ASG student senate in 1988. He pointed out that they met in the same room in which ASG still meets: 204 Harrison Hall.
“It’s interesting how some things on this campus will always stay the same, but some are very different,” Berding said.
According to Berding, the beautiful campus, tree advertising signs, table tents and friendly students are the same, but said there are new buildings and more brilliant students than when he attended Miami.
During his address, Berding discussed some of the pressing student issues from 1988 when he ran for office.
He said that getting permission for students to bring cars to campus, instituting a bus system and building a student recreational center were at the top of the list.
As Berding pointed out, all of those goals have since been accomplished, proving that ASG’s work eventually pays off to positively impact Miami’s future.
Berding offered two final pieces of advice to ASG: keep all the events you do in perspective and keep a sense of your personal balance through the five important F’s: family, faith, fitness, finances, and friends.
“I assure you with complete confidence,” Berding said, “in twenty years, you will look back and say these four or five years were the best and most fun years of your life.”