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Global Neighbors brings people together for Thanksgiving Dinner

The smell of gravy and freshly sliced turkey wafted warmly through the Armstrong pavilion last Thursday. People from dozens of different countries sat down to enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving dinner. All around the room, trays of Thanksgiving food had been set out — mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, apple pie and more — though they all failed to catch people’s eyes as well as the giant turkey that was proudly displayed on a table all its own. The event, the seventh annual Global Neighbors Thanksgiving Dinner, had brought roughly 300 people to Armstrong’s ballroom, and the environment was bustling with friendly conversation and delicious food. The dinner was hosted by Miami’s International Student and Scholar Services, with the goal to provide international students with a chance to experience a traditional American Thanksgiving, and to allow them to form deeper connections with the local community. Coming to the event for her third time, Oxford resident Nicki Russell said that she thinks the event is a wonderful chance to bring all sorts of people together. “I love coming out and seeing all the different kinds of people just having a good time together,” she said. People were certainly having a good time. As a live guitarist strummed tunes such as “Old Time Religion” and “Brown Eyed Girl,” people mingled eagerly. At every table, a sheet of name tags was set out...

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A night of celebrating culture with okonomiyaki

Would-be studiers looked on in awe last Friday as the Armstrong Community Kitchen was taken over by a gaggle of motivated Miamians — chopping cabbage, slicing shrimp and whisking batter in a flurry of culinary activity. The cause of this unusual scene was the Miami University Japanese Culture and Language Club’s annual cooking night. In what has become a club tradition, members gathered in the Armstrong Lounge to cook, laugh and celebrate Japanese culture through authentic cuisine. This year the club also partnered with Signal, Miami’s Chinese Culture Club, to bolster attendance and foster a connection between the two clubs. “In past years we’ve made sushi, but not everyone is a fan of that, so this year we decided to cook something different,” said Danielle Rymers, JCLC’s president. She describes the decided-upon dish as a savory Japanese pancake, made with stuffed cabbage, onions and various kinds of meat. Its name: Okonomiyaki. As the cooking process continued, members of the club laughed and joked with one another, with topics ranging from Japanese onomatopoeia and the cultural origins of okonomiyaki, to the comical tragedy of the club only possessing a single knife with which to cook an entire dish.  Members of Signal and JCLC mingled, and within the lighthearted atmosphere of the kitchen, conversations in Chinese, Japanese and English all flowed together freely. In total there were around 15 people packed...

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Late night happenings in Insomnia Cookies

Just off the rainy Oxford streets, warm, inviting and smelling of freshly baked treats, is Insomnia Cookies. The jingle that plays each time the door opens mixes with the mellow tones of soft rock in the background, creating a welcoming environment for its night-owl patrons. For the employees, however, the scene isn’t always as inviting. I stopped in around 1 a.m. last Thursday to see exactly what the late-night workers have to put up with. “You eventually become desensitized to the kinds of people who come in here,” said Kayla, an Insomnia employee. Kayla has worked at Insomnia Cookies...

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Halloween on High Street: Uptown dresses up

With a forecast of light snow and temperatures in the twenties, this past Saturday felt more like winter than fall. But the chilly weather certainly didn’t stop crowds of Miamians from donning their costumes and turning the streets of Oxford into a spooky spectacle. Braced against the chill, a group of Sith lords swoops past Armstrong, clacking their plastic lightsabers together in mock combat. Behind them walks a horde of zombie cheerleaders practicing their choreography. Alyssa Burnett dressed as an ex-wife, complete with blood and gore, and says she shamelessly stole the joke from the movie “Mean Girls.” “For...

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Checking biases at ‘Check Your Blind Spots’

Despite the gloomy weather, the organizers of the “Check Your Blind Spots” tour were out on Maple Street from noon to 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23 to promote awareness of subconscious, prejudicial biases. The event was put on by CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion which partnered with the university to bring their tour to campus. The event consisted of several stations, including a booth that handed out t-shirts, a painting station where artists colored a large banner for the event and a trailer filled with informational videos, quizzes and general tips to raise student awareness. As students approached the event, they were led into the trailer, where they were shown a brief video informing them of their potential biases. Then they were given a quiz to see how much they really knew about bias in everyday life. Organizers said biases toward people can be based upon a number of reasons, including race, ethnicity, gender and religion. Videos at the event explained that these biases can lead to snap judgments, and that being aware of prejudice is the best way to combat it. Last summer, Miami president Gregory Crawford signed CEO Action’s pledge to promote discussions about diversity, inclusion and bias. This made Miami one of only a handful of universities to join in signing the pledge alongside organizations like 21st Century Fox, AT&T and the NBA. Crawford, who...

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