Bid day unfairly trumps Martin Lurther King Jr Day

On a number of different occasions throughout my short time here at Miami University, I have heard President David Hodge and various other members of the university administration talk about the importance of diversity. As a black man, it made me so happy to know that Miami was striving to no longer live up to the stereotypes that people often associate with the school’s name, and actually strive to be inclusive of all people. This weekend I was looking forward to seeing exactly what the university planned to honor the man with a dream, Martin Luther King Jr. I was so thrilled to soon hear about all the wonderful events that I knew would occur on Miami’s campus and/or within the city of Oxford.

Surprised is the word to explain my reactions when I realized that it was Friday afternoon and I had heard or seen no advertisements about events occurring to recognize such an outstanding leader as King. With the support group of African-American friends on campus, I was told about the march that would take place Monday morning, but I never saw a poster, e-mail or any other form of advertisement. This is hard for me to accept due to the promises for a stronger stance on diversity and inclusion that the university administration once talked of at the beginning of the academic school year. Not only was this a perfect opportunity for the university administration to show its commitment to these promises, but it is also an amazing learning opportunity for such a culturally blind campus.

To my dismay there was a huge event occurring on this day of recognition to one of the most outstanding servants in this countries existence. For a man who served all people and fought for justice for all people, the Panhellenic Association decided to have bid day on this day. For those who are unsure as to what bid day is, it’s the day when the 900+ women going through sorority recruitment finds out who what chapter they will become part of. Bid Day! So instead of committing to the values of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Leadership that highlight service and diversity, the women of the Panhellenic Association decided that instead of honoring King by doing service for others, they would use this day to their benefit and offer bids.

More than 90 percent of the students at Miami University are white. This is no surprise to many. Jan. 21, 2008 is a day that the United States of America recognized the amazing works of Martin Luther King Jr. This is no surprise to many either. What should be an embarrassing surprise to all of us is that on this day, there will be lots of crying and cheering on this campus. Only the crying and cheering will not be honoring Martin Luther King Jr., but it will be due to whether or not the 900+ women were accepted to the sorority of their choice.


All aspects of Powell’s career should be viewed

I am writing to express concern that Laura Houser’s Nov. 30 “Colin Powell to speak at Miami” article makes no mention of the actions that make Colin Powell notorious around the globe. How can it have escaped her attention that there is a very strong case currently being made-internationally-to have him tried as a war criminal, along with Henry Kissinger, Donald Rumsfeld, et al. From Powell’s role in covering up the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, to his involvement with the Iran-Contra Scandal under President Ronald Regan, to his infamous speech at the United Nations which even he recognized was a blemish on his record, Powell has acted to promote illegal actions. In the latter case, he played a key role in moving “establishment” opinion to support the illegal invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis and Americans. This came despite reports as early as Febuary 2002 (largely from the German intelligence agency close to the issue) that indicated that key portions of the “intelligence” presented by Powell were sourced to a “likely fabricator.” If the Farmer School of Business-which does not speak for the whole of the campus-wishes to promote events such as these, then they have their own enormous funds to do so. Why is it that The Miami Student as an “independent” (and one would hope “non-corrupt”) source of media, cannot offer a critical eye on the cultural history presented to students at this institution?


University must support student organizations

Over the past 18 months I have devoted my time to a student organization formed with the goal of connecting the creative and business aspects of music into one venture. MIOX Records-Miami University’s student run record label-is a shining example of an idea that can be transformed into reality through both the passion and hard work of students. As a student organization “created for the students, by the students,” we welcome and are grateful for the expertise and support of the faculty and administration. Words of encouragement go a long way and I praise the many faculty members who have given their time to both guide and encourage the work and organization of student projects.

However, it is my belief that the university has fallen short in providing the active support necessary for groups such as MIOX Records. MIOX Records provides an innovative, educational approach by centralizing and enhancing the campus music scene, providing new perspectives for those students interested in the music/entertainment field and breaking boundaries, creating innovation and establishing something that students can feel proud and passionate about because it was created by them.

This letter is a call to students, faculty and the administration to offer your support for creating an atmosphere that “actively” promotes innovation throughout Miami’s entertainment scene. I hope that everyone who wants to take an active part in Miami University will help to encourage the administration to better focus its resources on actively supporting student run organizations that provide valuable opportunities for education, creativity, innovation and development of leadership skills that will last a lifetime.

Dan AlbertPresident of MIOX