This issue of The Miami Student marks the beginning of my tenure as one-half of the editorial editing staff. Filling the position of the recently graduated Brian Graney, I feel that this editorial section has been reaching excellent levels of local, national and international coverage on issues ranging from analysis of Oxford City Council elections to columns on heads-of-state and varying transnational concerns. However, there is always more to strive for in order to make this editorial section, and The Miami Student as a whole, the best publication that it can be.
This evolution does not just rest on the shoulders of the staff, but functions as a reciprocal and interconnected relationship between the editors and you: the audiences here at Miami University and the alumni who still stay connected to its activities and read these pages. Every audience demographic that we have-from Oxford residents to parents who read their son’s or daughter’s articles to new students who pick up a copy of The Student for the first time-all deserve for us on the staff to make the best paper that we can, and the entire Miami family should be part of that process. Some members of this family are critical of the work we do and what we produce. This paper can only function on the feedback from its readers. Comments in the form of e-mails and letters, short or lengthy, positive or negative, are a crucial element in the process of streamlining and fortifying these pages, and it depends on an active audience.
As cliché as it seems, it is so easy to be a passive audience, and even easier to negatively critique on the fly. Engaged feedback and support is paramount-if you care about the issues that we cover (e.g., international elections, humanitarian interventions, etc.) then you need to challenge us to keep current and informative on the most pressing events that surround us at home and throughout the world. This is the importance of the Miami voice and perspective-these are our peers who write the weekly columns and letters to the editor surrounding numerous issues. These are people who live with you, have class with you, eat meals with you and play the critical function of informing our well-connected little community through the lens of life at Miami.
It is all too easy to pick up The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or The Financial Times and forget or ignore the ability of a local paper to make an enormous impact. Why should our newspaper be any different in terms of information and education? Many university newspapers seem to think that they should stick to local news. “Who are we,” the sentiment must echo, “to comment on events thousands of miles away that are only tangentially related to our student body?” After all, it is easy to let others carry the charge of teaching and informing.
I refuse to believe that The Miami Student should be that narrowly focused. There is no reason, with the talent that this university produces and from which we draw, for us to ignore our opinions on crucially important matters. These pages can do more than just inform-they can engage. Over the coming weeks, the Tuesday edition of the Op-Ed page will feature increased writer presence and current events coverage presented with a slightly new style of discussion. It is my hope that utilizing this ability to expand opinion coverage of current events will be well received and we can continue the strong tradition that this paper embodies.
We do not live in a Miami bubble. We live as students do in every other college and university in this country, interconnected and constantly bombarded with information. It seems as though there are constantly elements within this university that seek to use the fantasy notion of a completely insular Miami society as a reason to criticize the average student, blaming them for inaction. Recently, it seems as though student groups feed upon their own perceptions of an unwavering idea of student complacency and respond in what they assume is a unique way to counter the stereotypes of an “ignorant” J. Crew U. What they seem blind to is what really occurs at Miami. Things like the Diwali celebration, Silk Road exhibitions, numerous public lectures and notable speakers, nationally prominent sports teams, university special collections and volumes upon volumes of other activities and lessons infuse Mother Miami-all these things inherently act to counter the possibility of a persistent bubble.
This is a university devoted to its undergraduates; a university that produces enormously successful individuals in a plethora of different fields. A sheltered and insular institution could never achieve the type of alumni success that we enjoy and brag about.
You have a paper that reports on any issue it can uncover, and you have writers that may not be based in Washington, New York, Paris or Moscow but who are educated in the same classrooms with the same teachers as everyone else in the university and are able to intelligently write on the exact same topics. We do not shy at the opportunity to inform and it is a privilege to have writers from a variety of backgrounds who are able to write numerous columns and articles on a wide range of topics and specialties, illustrating what we know and what should be shared and discussed. The information is here, the people are here, the discussion and the action are all here. This is how we pop the bubble.