Stephen Hostelley,

We all love Miami University and the town of Oxford. However, our campus is somewhat out of tune with the many problems facing the community members of Oxford. Timed with the kick-off of the annual Oxford United Way campaign, the Student United Way of Miami University asks the Miami students to give second thought to the community that we live in and how we can enrich the lives of community members in need along with ourselves.

A few days ago, I overheard someone say that Oxford is like nowhere else in the state of Ohio. At first, I scoffed at this comment thinking to myself that there are plenty of small towns across the state of Ohio just like Oxford. But the more I thought about it, I couldn’t help but find myself agreeing with this statement. Oxford is a truly special place where intelligent and hard-working students come together to become better individuals while also creating memories and fostering friendships that will last a lifetime. Because of these experiences, we develop a special affinity with the “mile square” of Oxford.

But as we proceed with our classes, extracurricular activities and social life, it is sometimes very easy to forget that Oxford reaches far beyond Miami University and the bars of Uptown. It is easy to forget that we live in a community that is made up of much more than college students. It is easy to forget that there is a community that still has its own problems that need to be attended to. Over the course of any given year, the Oxford United Way raises nearly $250,000 to go directly back to the Oxford community. Great programs such as the Community Choice Pantry, the Family Resource Center, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters are made possible due to this enormous effort. As the annual United Way campaign begins, it is important to recognize how much the Oxford community means to us and to think how we can give back to a community that has provided so much to us.