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Letter to the Editor | Fulfilling the legacy of Thomas A. Dutton

We are writing today to sustain the legacy, intellectual contribution and community impact of the work of professor Thomas A. Dutton. We understand that you have already pledged to “carry the work forward” that Tom has developed over the past decades. Now we ask that you specifically commit to establishing institutional structural support to continue the spirit of his contribution to the university and beyond. This letter is written and signed to encourage Miami University to explicitly search for an architecture faculty member with the academic background, expertise, and experience to fulfill the role of Director of the Center for Community Engagement in Over-the Rhine (CCE) and honor the endowment the family is establishing to sustain his legacy. As you likely know, Tom worked in Over-the-Rhine for 30 years, cultivating an inclusive pedagogy rooted in engagement with community and built upon the foundation of fostering critical capacities within students to enable them to be agents of change for a more equitable society. This pedagogy is embodied in Miami University’s Mission Statement, which “empowers students, faculty and staff to become engaged citizens who use their knowledge and skills with integrity and compassion to improve the future of our global society.” By rooting his teaching and praxis within a local community using place-based practices, students and community members came to see their shared humanity, and the global forces that shape their...

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Professors are using software to monitor students during exams – and it needs to stop

Joey Hart, opinion editor The other day, I witnessed one of my friends doing something foreign to me. She was taking an online exam for a class, but instead of simply logging on and completing the assessment, she had to allow an internet program access to her webcam, hold up her student ID to the camera and completing the assignment under the eye of anti-cheating surveillance software. I don’t wear a tinfoil hat on my head, and generally I trust that our school has reasonable people making policy decisions. And that trust stands with this development as well; the operators of this particular program likely intend only to help professors limit cheating. However, there comes a point in which the positives of the general trend of increased surveillance are not worth the privacy that we are rapidly giving up for it. We have a technological climate where it’s normal for people to look up your profile on Facebook and instantly know where you’re from and where your work. Snapchat friends can see where you are at any time through the app’s map feature, which came out this year. Other apps, such as Find My Friends, exist for the sole purpose of tracking your contacts. What’s important to remember is that these developments aren’t the result of a man in a dark room sitting on a big swivel chair and stroking...

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Public forum needed to address fire department funding

The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board. In her article last week, assistant editor Ceili Doyle detailed the challenges that the Oxford Fire Department is facing as they are answering the needs of the community with limited resources. From Aug. 1 through Oct. 1, OFD saw 426 EMS calls, compared to 355 over the same time period last year. Over one third of these calls were in response to people aged 18 to 24. But with a budget that nearly matches the department’s overall annual income of about $2 million (mostly coming from the city), OFD and Oxford will be in trouble if calls begin to grow even more. These facts demonstrate that there is something that must be done before the services that are necessary for aiding those during a time of emergency hit a breaking point. And because this is an issue that demonstrably affects students and the university, we must consider the question of generating more funding for emergency services from the university. With this question in mind, we are calling for a public forum on the issue of OFD funding to be held, open to officials, Oxford residents and Miami students and parents. With OFD spending so many of their resources on helping students, it is imperative that the student body give some input as to how the cost of these resources...

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ASG condom decision: Inconceivable to do anything else

The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board. ASG is engaging in some safe government — and we at The Student could not be prouder. Will Ziegert, ASG’s secretary for on-campus affairs, announced during Senate last week that there are condoms being sold by the university: “Go check them out!” The particular prophylactic now offered in both residence hall vending machines and in Emporium is a three-pack of Trojan ENZ condoms — with premium lubricant, for you contraceptive connoisseurs. The sale of contraceptives by the university is a big step for Miami and a significant achievement for...

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Oxford City Council debate, why students need to care

The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.  For the first time since The Miami Student newspaper’s inception, we will be hosting an Oxford City Council debate. All nine candidates will attend and answer questions from College Democrats, College Republicans, Associated Student Government (ASG), President Greg Crawford and us, The Miami Student. City council, and Oxford’s local politics in general, are generally detached from the student body. However, the city and the university are inextricably linked, and as at least temporary citizens of this town, we have a vested interest in paying attention to its government. With...

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