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Miami University-Oxford

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Like all higher-level educational institutions, Miami University has both its strengths and weaknesses. If students are searching for a school that offers city life, Miami University is not the best choice. One can easily ask “what college town?” as Oxford, Ohio is small, and thus rather limited in what it offers. An array of cute cafes, a small theater, antique store, hardware store, and a Kroger’s, and a smattering of drugstores and hairstylists makes up the town. While a Wal-Mart is also only a short distance a way, simply put, Oxford has necessities, and little else in form of entertainment. For night life, one would have to drive to Cincinnati or Dayton. Another area of concern involves scheduling for classes. While Miami University does attempt to set each student with an advisor, it is of the student’s own volition to seek help; an advisor likely will not request you meet with them, unless you are a new student. Like other schools its size, Miami University scheduling is not personal; rather, one must be aware of scheduling periods and register online him or herself. For a new student, this process can be stressful, as classes fill quickly and registering is on a first come, first serve basis. Students must be quick to get the classes they wish, but they must also be informed and aware of the basic requirements required of a Miami Education. As Miami University is a liberal arts college, the Miami Plan requires students take subjects outside of their respective majors. This can cause a problem, as the requirements are very specific, and failure to pay close attention to these may mean an extra half year of school. Nonetheless, if students seek help for scheduling, there are also options such as force adding a class, as well as a decent sampling of courses offered during the summer. A few other complaints about Miami University may include pedestrian safety, dorm noise, and accessibility of the information via the school’s website. Lately, concerns have risen concerning pedestrian safety, in lieu of four consecutive incidents around and in the campus in a two-week period. In one instance, a student had to be airlifted to the nearest hospital. Most cases, of course, are less severe, but there clearly is cause for concern. A mixture of careless driving, unaware pedestrians, and congested streets are all concerns that need to be raised at some point. In terms of dorm life, experience can depend largely on where one lives, as each quad of the campus has a different ‘personality’. North quad tends to be noisier, and central less so. However, in all dorms there are time when it is difficult to study and sleep at reasonable hours, despite the implication of quiet hours. Perhaps stricter RA’s are needed to enforce these policies, to ensure that a student can sleep and study in his or her dorm. Lastly, Miami University’s website lacks coherence; that is, one must search for a while to find information. There are broken links and the search engine is not very accurate. If one wants to find information, it is often easier to find faculty on campus and pose questions there. That said, faculty is very quick and helpful in response to email communication. All of this said, Miami University has plenty of things to boast over. The beauty of the campus is clearly a step above and beyond most state schools, and even many small private ones. With classic architecture and mature trees, green spaces and sculptures, Miami University is aseptically appealing. It is an ideal place for studying, picnicking, and playing outside. The buildings themselves are generally in good condition, as the University does its best to make renovations on an annual basis. Constantly the University tries to cater to student’s needs; currently a new student center is being constructed, along with an array of new dining options. Miami University dining seems very underrated; the campus food, though not perhaps the very best, is a good deal above passable. Fresh options are available, as well as typical ‘college food’. The sheer number of locations is above commendable; anywhere you live on campus, you are sure to have at least one if not several options literally outside your dorm. Unique to other campuses, Miami University also has four on campus mini markets, which are particularly useful for very busy students or students living in apart5ments. Building hours and resources available to students are also commendable aspects. King Library, which is open twenty –four hours, is very well stocked with books for research purposes. With study rooms, a Starbucks coffee, computers, group meeting rooms, and a writing help center, the library is very useful and pleasing. Many academic buildings are also open extensive hours, and there is also at least a few dining options available to students regardless of the day. The recreational center is spacious, new, and offers an array of activities. Group and personal classes are available, and a number of club sports as well. The pool is nearly always available for alp swimming, even during meets, as is the upstairs indoor track, basketball court, and weightlifting facilities. Additionally, there is a rock climbing wall, racquetball, table tennis, and many more options. The building is opened from very early in the morning until eleven at night. One cannot talk of Miami University’s strong points without discussing its academic programs. Known for professional professors and dedication to its undergraduate students, Miami University lives up to its name. Unlike many other large schools, Miami does not have TA’s, but professors teaching their respective courses. Office hours are flexible, and students should have no difficulty finding time to personally meet with their professors. Miami University does a good job of promoting undergraduate research and internships, as well as career path resources. One does, however, have to take the intiative to become involved in such opportunities. Something can also be said of the quality of the student body itself, as the acceptance rate is lower than counterpart state schools. The quality of education is undeniable; Miami University has been recognized nationally for many different academic divisions, as well as one of the nation’s top Universities for undergraduate study. Miami boasts a top ten national spot for highest graduation rates. The prospects pots graduation for Miami students are good as well; in terms of salary and job placement, Miami University ranks first among public Ohio schools and 34th nationally. Lastly, the size of Miami University is something to be recognized. Neither small nor excessively large, the University offers the variety and accessibility other large schools offer, with personalized attention to its students. While Miami Plan classes often are lecture halls, inside ones major usually classes comprise of no more than thirty students. There is a large enough student body for diversity, but not so large a student feels he or she is merely a number. Weighing the negatives and positives, Miami University is a solid educational institution that offers students a quality education in a pleasing environment.

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The best thing about Miami, is simply that it is Miami. If you talk to any alumni the only response I've ever heard is "Ohhh.. I LOVED Miami. Are you enjoying it? I wish I could go back." No one has any bad words to ever say about their time at Miami. It's the academics, the gorgeous campus and the college experiences combined that makes you as a student fall in love with Miami. If I could be "in a relationship" on facebook with it, hell, I think I maybe would. Making a pro and con list though, there are a few negatives. One of the big downfalls is for the "within driving distance" students. We're forty minutes out from a highway and from most forms of active life. There's no such thing as a "quick drive" to a mall or Target. As for the school size, in the words of goldilock's it is "juuustt right." The campus is larger than you'd imagine and yet small enough for it to be a comfortable walk to and from everywhere. You go out on a Friday night and always run into someone you know, but as for the ex-boyfriend who followed you from highschool, you can always find ways to avoid him seeing you grinding on someone new at the bar. Our school has 16,000 students in it but you can always find a niche so you're not feeling swallowed up by the size. For the out of staters and even some of the in staters you'll get used to adding on to Miami..."OF OHIO." People get confused easily but we're pretty damn proud to be us, so god forbid we are mistaken for that retirement state of FLA. For being in the middle of no where we really have a fair amount of things to do. Our uptown area covers a lot of what you may think is missing. After a night at the frat, a friend's house, or an apartment people like to head uptown. We have a fair amount of bars for how small our town is and it's always alive and well late at night. People go drinking or dancing or just out to eat and grab a beer. You really have a variety of choices. Once the daylight hits girls can find about four or five stores to treat themselves to a quick shopping spree, we have small town coffee shops or starbucks for the intellectual caffeine addict, there's an art store, a shoe store, a tiny but efficient movie theater, sandwich shops, an uptown park where musicians are brought--there's enough to do that you can go uptown and make an afternoon of enjoying the day. As for Miami's administration, there's a variety of opinions. For the most part they're friendly and efficient. President Hodge has been known to help out on freshman move-in-day, seen in the student section of a hockey game cheering along, or walking by on the street saying "hello" to students. As a journalist, I have had to interview a range of administration and they're always friendly, willing to oblige and helpful. Now, having said all that, it's not to say they're perfect. Miami tends to run on the conservatve side. For example we just passed a smoking ban for the entire campus. Students/faculty/workers are only allowed to smoke on sidewalks off of public streets. Another right they've seemed to have taken away is that it is a requirement at Miami to live in the dorms for your freshman and sophomore year, except if you join a fraternity as a sophomore and live in the house. Lastly, for me personally, we have an alcohol task force that tries to lay down the long arm of the law on any activities associated with alcohol. Unfortunately, it gets tiring trying to pretend that drinking doesn't go on and their strict rules get old. For example, as a journalist I tried to do an article on the drunk munchies and sent out a survey over e-mail regarding it. I instantly recieved emails back from the heads of the department forewarning me to handle this subject carefully and make sure I really wanted to write about it. Despite them not having any idea how I was approachign the subject, it was from the journalism department which encourages "write what you see" and the freedom of word, and I felt I was being slightly censored. Another time Campus Activities Council tried to bring a concert to a bar for the students. At the last second the task force vetoed it because when held at a bar it "encourages drinking." When in reality, even if underage, people are going to find a way to drink if they want too. Students and alumni are proud to say they attend(ed) Miami, but when it comes to sports fans can be lacking. Football has slightly gone downhill in the past few years and fans are willing to fill out some of the bleachers on a nice day, but by halftime they seem to disappear. I guess it's easier to root for a winning team and Miami's hockey was recently ranked #1 in the nation. At a #1 vs. #2 hockey game students camped out in freezing cold weather the night before to get tickets. It was pretty neat to see that kind of dedication and fanhood. Unfortunately that doesn't transfer over to everything and it takes the spirit boards some bribing with prizes to get rally towels and painted faces in the stands. Before I attended Miami, my sister (also a Miami grad) told me to make sure to walk around the campus at least one time every season. And that has probably been some of the best advice I've been given to enjoy Miami as a campus. It's positively beautiful and ideal. You come to visit and don't believe that the guys playing football in the front yard aren't planned, or that the red brick buildings and red brick road of uptown can be as inviting all year round, but Miami does seem to cast a spell on you. Whether there is snow on the ground, fire-colored leaves sprinkling the sidewalks, or students out in bathing suits trying to catch some rays, Miami is always breathtaking. I remember after pulling a late nighter for studying with a friend, we walked the streets between academic buildings and dorms at four in the morning and simply talked. It was really special and even in the twilight Miami glittered. Students generally feel really safe at Miami and though you shouldn't go running off by yourself, it's not as though muggings or rapes happen every other weekend. More alcohol related crimes or accidents, such as drunk fights, or indecent exposure are in the police beats than anything.

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The first time I came to Miami, I fell in love with the campus immediately. It's absolutely beautiful--Robert Frost called it the most beautiful campus in the nation. I tend to agree. I have a lot of my classes on our Western campus, and even though it is pretty much the opposite end of the world from the rest of my life, I love going back there, especially in the fall and spring. It's beautiful--the paths and trees, the flowers and the pond with the swans. People may say that there is too much sameness with all of the brick buildings here, built to match and compliment one another, but I think it adds something really charming to our campus. Probably one of the worst and best things about Miami is that it is really set apart from everything else. I mean, granted, Ohio is not exactly the picture of bustling, big cities, but we can hold our own. But in Oxford, we are about 45 minutes outside of Cincinnati, surrounded on all sides by farmland. It's the middle of nowhere, and sometimes, you feel like you are trapped in what is affectionately called "The Bubble." But it's also really great to be immersed in this college atmosphere, with our Uptown full of restaurants and bars to fit our lifestyle. I do wish Miami had more school spirit. Our sports aren't great overall, and coming from Columbus, where Ohio State is King, there is a noticable lack of school pride. That being said, I was surprised to find the hockey craze that took over this winter. People camped outside our ice center--literally camped, in tents, overnight, sorority girls, no less. Their mission: to get good seats for the game. So maybe we are just selectively spirited. My best, ultimately amazing, coolest experience here was my time on our Luxembourg campus in Europe. Luxembourg is a tiny country in between France and Germany, and although beautiful, is certainly uniquely its own place, to say the least. But in my four and a half months in Europe, I had the absolute best time of my life. I learned so much about myself, about people, about traveling, and I miss it every day. It was incredible. I definitely encourage anyone and everyone to go abroad--you learn so much more than you ever could in a classroom, you make incredible friends, you get to see the world! All the cliches of course, but in this sense, they're absolutely true, and they are memories that will last forever. People are either impressed or put off by the fact that I go to Miami. They have heard the stereotypes, of both academics and students, and so depending on which ones they heard, I get an either/or reaction. But, Miami is my home now, a place where I've really learned so many things--more than just academically, and in spite of its faults, something every university, every place on earth has, it is a really great place to spend 4+ years and I would not have done it anywhere else. Well, maybe somewhere where it was a bit warmer. But other than that...

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The thing about Miami University is that there are so many good qualities. In high school, I was the kid who really didn't get involved with anything, but that changed when I started attending Miami. Even though I'm a commuter (which makes it a tad more difficult to really be involved with everything on campus), there are still ways to get involved. While the campus is large, it fits with the aesthetic of Miami, not just in appearance but in how one feels when they step on campus. Located in the tiny little town of Oxford, OH (which is, without a doubt, a college town), stepping within the borders of campus is like stepping into an entirely different world. The most popular place on campus for people to spend their time is usually the Shriver Center; however the off campus places are more abundant. All of the restaurants in "Uptown" is where most students spend their weekends--from the movies to shows at Brick Street to eating at any of the fantastic restaurants, there is always something to do. One thing that ninety-percent of the people at Miami have in common is their school pride. On any given day at campus, just walking down Spring Street, one can see at least fifty people sporting something with their schools name plastered across it. But it goes beyond the school pride for students attending and applies to the recent alums, alums from years passed, and the family of students currently attending. Honestly, I think my parents own more Miami clothes than I do--and I own my fair share. When one can connect with anyone based on their school pride, it's a beautiful thing. I can wear my Miami shirt anywhere I go, and people will respect that. Miami University has the reputation of being one of the most prestigious schools in Ohio (one could even argue, in the midwest) and that by itself receives interest from others. Dealing with complaints, the one that I've heard most frequently from any students--from freshman to seniors--is the scheduling and registration for classes. The times for people to register aren't displayed easily--one can only see them if they're logged into BlackBoard and under the "BannerWeb" option where, well, one doesn't usually go to that page for fun. On top of this issue, a lot of classes for certain majors, or even just the Miami Plan, are not offered frequently enough or are given such a small cap, that it can be nearly impossible to register for the classes that one needs to graduate. I, myself, have had this issue a few times. However, if those in control of this would be able to work on it, I do believe that this major issue would be solved.

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The first time I visited Miami, I remember being swept away by the Autumn leaves, the red brick, the breeze; everything about Miami was perfect. Once I became a student, that original feeling never left. To be honest, I still see Miami the way I did three years ago. With that being said, nothing is actually perfect. If I could change one thing about Miami that would be the way in which the departments are run. A few, not all, of the departments can be quite a nuisance when you have to interact with them. I've only had two problems over the past three years that warrant this change. The first time I was given the run around was from the Spanish department. I wanted to know if I could take Spanish 202 online to satisfy the College of Arts and Sciences Language requirement. I was transferred several times, sent half a dozen emails, and finally received a simple answer of no. However, I do not blame this entirely on Miami and the Spanish Department. I place most of the blame on myself for not knowing the proper person to call. Aside from that, I never really had a problem with the university as a whole or the student body. On the topic of the student body, freshman year I found myself repeating my high school ways. I joined a lot of organizations, most serviced based. While I enjoyed these organizations and found myself interacting with the student body on a daily basis, I realized that this was just a repetition of high school and I wasn't branching out and trying new things. It slowly dawned on me, actually it took three years, that I failed to understand the importance Greek Life and school spirit have in the overall college experience. Greek Life has become a vital part of the man I am becoming. The brotherhood that I havee joined has created in me a sense of importance, percerverance, as well as given me a support system. Going through my first two years without this can account for over involvement in campus affairs and never getting a chance to enjoy them. School spirit is another thing I found that I was lacking that other students were not. I have never been into sports. Once I arrived at Miami, I found that a considerable number of students were involved in some form in sports. I went to my first hockey game late in my first semester and fell in love. Sophomore year I attended every game. It wasn't the sport that I enjoyed, it was the school spirit I saw. It wasn't just at hockey games that this spirit was demonstrated. Baseball games, swim meets, and football games were all filled with students eager to cheer on their team and even in defeat we praised.

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Miami University is a great college, as long as you make the experience your own. One thing that I think many students fail to grasp about Miami is that it prepares you for the real world, by throwing in to an experience where you are proactive about your education. You are placed in the small college town, with a large amount of student population, and forced to start to your career. Now, not to say that you don't have support from faculty and staff, which Miami heartily provides. Places like the Rinella Learning Center, Academic Advising Office, and the Howe Writing Center are just the a portion of the help Miami provides for struggling students. I've never had a bad experience that wasn't fixed by helpful faculty and staff, even though the Financial Aid office will always give you a hard time no matter what. When I tell people that I attend Miami University, the reaction is always a "Wow". Miami has a reputation of being a top competitive school, with a large amount of successful alumni, a major plus about Miami. One thing that I would change about Miami is expansion of the town, because there are so many opportunities to make Oxford, OH accessible to all students, but it fails to do so. Besides that, you still can have a great time in Oxford, whether it's uptown or going to the Greek houses. As a sophomore, I am so busy that I'm every, and I'm never sitting down. I like that about Miami, because you can always keep yourself busy with something. The most recent controversy was the Westboro Baptist Church protesting our college, but the students positivistly reacted and nothing came of it. When it comes to incidents like this, Miami students take pride of their campus, when it comes to every aspect. This I love, because you live in community among people that acre about the welfare of Miami University and want more for the world. Your learning extends outside the classroom through organizational experiences, volunteering, class projects, and etc... My most memorial experience was joining America Reads, a tutoring program in which students are paid to go to community sites and help young students in reading. I love this program, because I am being paid to help students with their education and it's so fulfilling to do so. My opinion of Miami is that while some students, don't feel welcome or have a place at Miami, it's a great school with many opportunities and a great education.

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Miami University is located in Oxford, Ohio and is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I often wonder how out-of-state students even find out about Miami and what they must think driving to campus for the first time. When you tell someone from the Midwest that you are a student at Miami, you will usually get a look of approval. When you tell someone from another state that you are a student at Miami, you will usually get a look of approval because they think you go to school in Florida. This is a common occurrence that gets cleared up when someone's next question is, "So, how do you like the weather down there?" Despite the lack of metropolis and often frigid temperatures in the winter, Oxford is a great college town that has charm beyond belief and the isolation lends itself to cultivating a close relationship between the Oxford and Miami community — not surprising since the student body comprises almost half of the Oxford's population. There are about 15,000 undergrads and some 1,500 grad students enrolled at Miami which means there are plenty of people to meet, but not so many that you'll get lost in the crowd. It is incredible how familiar a place with so many people can feel after only a semester or two. The compact nature of both campus and the Uptown region help you feel at home in no time. The dominance of college students in such a small town adds to Oxford's appeal, along with the lack of need for a car, but at times can make living in rural southwestern Ohio a little claustrophobic. For this reason it is nice to have a city like Cincinnati only 45 minutes away. Plus two major airports, Dayton and Cincinnati, are only one hour away so getting home is relatively easy no matter where you hail from. But if you can't get away from Oxford there are plenty of activities on campus and in town to keep you occupied. Whether you are into sports, filmmaking, music, politics, service, Greek life or environmentalism Miami has something for you. Getting involved in organizations is a great way to meet people and is great for your resume. The university is constantly bringing speakers, some more interesting than others, and events to campus which are usually free or cheap for students. If you are looking for stuff to do off campus, you can catch a movie Uptown, grab dinner or get a beer at one of the many, many bars.

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Miami University was just recently ranked the second best college in America for teachers. As a student I am not surprised, I have had some amazing professors during my time at Miami. One of the best things about Miami is that it takes a big school and makes it feel small. Though there are roughly 15,000 students I have never felt overwhelmed by the size, at the same time I am always meeting new people, even as a senior. Miami also has a great tradition of academic excellence. If you are interested in business then I would look no further as Miami has one of the best Business schools in the country and a consistent record of placing students with fortune 100 companies after graduation. Little known is Miami's excellence in the sciences, especially for pre-health majors. As a pre-med major I often hear percentages thrown around, at Miami I have consistently heard that the acceptance rate into medical school of anyone attending Miami is around 60%, which for those of you who do not know is extremely high. As well as boasting great majors, Miami brings a liberal arts feel to a non liberal arts school. Miami Plan is often dreaded by freshmen but I can honestly say it is the best thing, academically, I did at Miami. It allowed me to take classes I most likely would not have taken and gave me a taste of my eventual minor, comparative religion. Academically Miami is a great school and by all means fulfills its duties as "The Harvard of the Midwest". A necessary part of college is the time you spent outside of studying and class. I have had some of the best moments of my life at Miami. Oxford most certainly is a college town, considering Miami makes up most of the town, but there are many things that can be done off campus. There is the infamous Uptown, which is a street filled with multiple bars, a lot which are 18+. A cool part about Miami is that you will often see a professor kicking back a beet at skippers or steinkellers after class on a friday and most likely they will invite you to drink with them. If partying is not your cup of tea, Miami also offers a wide variety of sporting, musical, theatre, and various on campus events which are a great time too.

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When you attend Miami University at some point you are bound to get the question: "How do you like Florida?" As a native New Jerseyan, I get this question a lot which proves that this school is definitely one of the country's best kept secrets. I've found that the number of undergraduate students is just right. I like that I can see a friendly face or two just about every time I leave my residence hall, but at the same time am meeting new people on a daily basis. The small town of Oxford, Ohio is not only beautiful but it is full of things to do on and off campus. It is truly a place where you can experience a fun time on any night of your choosing. The bars uptown are 18+, providing places to go and socialize, whether it be with close friends or new acquaintances. If the bars aren't your thing, there are house parties on almost every corner. That's not to say that weekends are all about partying and going out. The Oxford area offers plenty of activities for those who may not identify with Miami's party scene. Our division one athletic programs provide the student body with exciting sporting events that they can attend for free with a Miami ID. Most notably, Miami is known for having a top tier hockey team that consistently delivers an exciting game atmosphere. The campus consists of beautiful brick buildings and gorgeous scenery including the Western campus bridges and the formal gardens. The weather can be polarizing at times, but a true Miami student knows how to dress accordingly and brave the erratic climate. I, personally, have seen numerous college campuses over the course of my lifetime including ivy league schools like Brown and Cornell which are known for their classic beauty. However, upon setting foot on Miami's campus it was obvious to me that those schools paled in comparison to the lovely setting that Oxford provides. It was very clear right away that I belonged here. After finishing my first semester at Miami I can gladly say that I was right.

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I absolutely love Miami University! The best thing about this school is the feel you get just being on campus. I love just walking around outside and actually believing I go to a place like this. The campus itself if beautiful, but there are many other perks! This school is the perfect size, not too small, not too big. Each class is distributed to size suitable for learning and professors want their students to succeed! When I tell people I go to Miami University, people's reaction is first the university in Florida. After I clear that up, they tell me how great of a school it is and how lucky I am to attend it. With the many places on campus it is hard to pick to favorite. I love Dividends, it is a cafe located within the Farmer School of Business. As a Business major, I love coming here and getting a salad or asian food and sitting talking with friends or doing homework. I also love King Library. They have everything you could ever want from books, to magazines, to plays. You can also spend time working on the computers and studying for upcoming tests. They also have the Howe Writing Center on the ground floor - they help correct any mistakes on a paper or any other assignment they have in. My last favorite place is Tuffy's, located within the Shriver Center or our Student Union. This is a great place if you have a large sweet tooth, like me! You can get ice cream, milkshakes, as well as coffee and tea. Aside from the many places on our campus, we have a great college town just up High Street. On the weekends, the streets are very active. There are great shopping stores, restaurants, and dance clubs if you just want to let loose and have some fun! Everyone here is very excited about our school, especially when it comes to sports. Even though we may not have the best sports teams, we all have a lot of Redhawk pride!

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