Debt Relief Memo from Secretary Weimer

Dear President & Treasurers,

 My name is Caroline Weimer and am ASG’s Secretary of Finance for the 17-18 school year. I am excited to not only work with each and every one of you this year, but also see what you all will accomplish. Last year, I had the opportunity to sit on the Funding & Audit committee as a Student Senator and can truly say that I was beyond impressed at all that Miami University students achieve.

Unfortunately, ASG is no longer in the position to continue our Debt Relief Program. Additionally, if ASG finds your organization at fault for your debt, a 20% sanction will be placed on your organization. Given our current financial situation, student organizations will most likely face a 20% cutback after each hearing if the program is not cut. Without the debt relief program, student organizations are looking at a 15% cutback instead. Please see July’s newsletter for an explanation on how to handle any debt that your organization may have.

If you have any questions, please reach out to asgfunding@miamioh.edu and we will try to help in any way possible. In the meantime, my committee and I are doing everything in our power to decrease these numbers, and vow to ensure that cutbacks will decrease next year.

Sincerely,

Caroline Weimer

 

President Callaghan's Speech to the Board of Trustees

Hello, everyone. It is an honor to be speaking with you today. First, l want to take this opportunity as a student to thank you all for your incredible service and dedication to this university. Your efforts are what help make Miami the prestigious institution that it is and it’s not lost on me that many of the great efforts from Associated Student Government are not possible without your support.

To give everyone a brief synopsis of myself, I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and am a diehard Ravens fan so I’m sorry to all you Bengals fans. I moved to Columbus, Ohio with my mother in the middle of 8th grade and graduated from Upper Arlington High School. Miami was not on my radar until I was a Junior in high school and honestly, very few of my family members heard of Miami except my cousins who played hockey. Although Miami was not the school l thought I would go to, from the moment I stepped on campus, I have been challenged in my ideology, supported in my aspirations and pushed to develop and grow as a person and I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.

I came to Miami knowing that I wanted to major in Political Science, but after taking a journalism course with an inspiring professor, I decided to add a second major. I think this example speaks to the level of teaching we have on this campus. During my time at Miami, I have been involved in various groups such as the Delta Gamma Sorority, writing for the Miami Student and even joining the Bee Club which my Vice President, Luke Elfreich, founded. This has been an incredible 3 years and I feel extremely fortunate for all the opportunities that I have had. Which is exactly why I ran for Student Body President. I want to ensure that every student has resources and support they need to thrive during their time here.

However, we all know college isn’t necessarily easy and students face many obstacles that hinder their success. I’m going to speak with about one in particular with you all today.

Throughout the campaign season, students would ask what I recognized as the biggest issue on campus. At first, Luke and I would say alcohol, but after taking a moment to step back and analyze the problem, we realized that alcoholism and abuse are part of a bigger picture. That picture is mental health. Whether it is binge drinking, sexual or drug abuse, these different roads all lead down the same path...the mental health of our students.

Mental health is something that is rarely talked about and even less likely shared when someone is going through it. Mental health is not something that you can see in others, which makes the problem that much harder to treat. It takes a lot of courage to seek help. It took me a month after first noticing symptoms.

What I can say from my own personal experience is that the most difficult aspect of dealing with mental health is that it sneaks up on you. There aren’t any warning signs and you don’t get a heads up to deal with it. And it is not a consistent feeling. It is a roller coaster; some days you feel great and others feel worse. When I first noticed some signs of depression, I thought that I was just being dramatic and having a bad day. But over time, the bad days began to overtake the good and quickly I was digging a deeper and deeper hole that I couldn’t get out of.

I was fortunate to get help from a counselor at Miami and how was extremely supportive during the entire process. But not every student is that lucky and I recognize that.

I have spoken with countless people about their experience with Student Counseling Services and although each person’s story is different, there are still a lot of similarities. Many of the problems boil down to one thing: wait time. On average a student will wait 18 days to see a counselor after their initial consultation. Last year, Student Counseling Services saw 8,768 students, which is 11.1% of the school. When you look at the student to staff ratio, which was 1,700 students to one staff during the 2015 and 2016 school year, I’m surprised it’s not longer.

When you go to the hospital, they don’t examine you and tell you to come back in two weeks. So why does it work like that here?

To address the issue of wait times, expanding the building and hiring more staff seems like the most obvious solution. I have spoken extensively with Kip Alessio of Student Counseling services and we have discussed the idea of adding part-time counselors during specific times during the year when it’s most busy. But he admits that even if we added more staff, there is nowhere to put them. I am in strong support of expanding or relocating. I also want to look at other options because that takes time and a lot of money. One compelling solution I have found is offering online counseling services through Therapists Assisted Online (TAO). The University of Florida launched this program and found it to be largely successful. Clients have 10 to 30-minute weekly video chats or phone calls and have tools that they can access on a computer or smartphone anywhere. Kip and I discussed the idea and he believes that it could be an option, but not something we want to jump into right away as there is little data on the effectiveness of it.

Associated Student Government has made great strides to address student’s concerns. We hosted the Mental Health Forum in the fall which was largely successful in raising awareness on the issue and Student Senate passed a resolution in supporting the expansion or relocation of Student Counseling Services. We will be continuing the Mental Health Forum but expanding it to include more students. A student senator is also interested in registering the event with the Guinness Book of World Records to break the record for the largest mental health lecture which currently stands at 538 people. We also plan to hold a second event in the spring. With everyone’s support, I believe we can achieve this. There is still much work to do.

Mental health has become a very personal mission of mine to work on. This is not a problem that can be solved overnight, but if we don’t start now, when? Our campaign message was “Let’s Start Now” because we wanted to start seeing changes and improvements in issues that affect student’s daily lives. The mental health of our student is my top priority. Students will not be happy, healthy, or successful even at a great school like Miami with these barriers. Love and Honor means to love this community and honor the tradition. In order to fulfill our duty and live by that mission, we must all make mental health a top priority.

Love and Honor.

Worrell - Olvera Campaign Violation

UPDATE: The Level 1 violation imposed on the Worrell-Olvera ticket has been reversed by Student Court. Read the Court's decision here.


At 1:57 p.m. on Monday, March 12, the Associated Student Government Elections Committee became aware of a violation committed by the Worrell-Olvera campaign. The Committee received evidence of the campaign's inappropriate social media use in reference to one or more candidates. According to Section III. H. i. 1. c. of the 2017-2018 Student Body President and Vice President Elections Packet, Level 1 violations include "using public electronic media in an inappropriate manner." The Elections Committee voted by a 5-4 margin to issue the Worrell-Olvera campaign a Level 1 Violation effective 2:32 p.m. of the date in question. Consistent with the Elections Packet, the campaign's allotted spending budget will be reduced by $50; the campaign will be prohibited from campaigning for 24 hours. The Worrell-Olvera campaign may resume campaigning at 2:32 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14.

McCarthy - Creber Campaign Violation

At 12:49 p.m. on Monday, March 13, the Associated Student Government Elections Committee became aware of a violation committed by the McCarthy-Creber campaign. The Committee received evidence of campaign materials being posted and otherwise disseminated in King Library. According to Section V. B. of the 2017-2018 Student Body President and Vice President Elections Packet, "no campaign materials are to be posted in any of the University Libraries."  The Elections Committee voted unanimously to issue the McCarthy-Creber campaign a Level 1 Violation effective 1:03 p.m. of the date in question. Consistent with the Elections Packet, the campaign's allotted spending budget will be reduced by $50; the campaign will be prohibited from campaigning for 24 hours.  The McCarthy-Creber campaign may resume campaigning at 1:03 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14.

Outstanding Professor Nominations

Miami ranks second in undergraduate teaching among universities. Students in every major can attest to the professors at this university and their dedication to student success. 

Every GRADUATING SENIOR (December 2016, May 2017, or August 2017) has the opportunity to nominate an exceptional professor that he or she has had in the classroom or has worked with in an academic capacity. The Outstanding Professor Award provides students with the opportunity to recognize a faculty member who had an exceptional impact on their Miami experience. This award is designed to honor the hard work, dedication, and commitment displayed by these exemplary professors.

If you wish to nominate a professor, please write a letter with the pertinent information and email it with the subject line Outstanding Professor Award Nomination to Trent White (whitett@miamioh.edu) by 8:00pm on April 9th.

Nomination Form

Declaration of It Gets Better Week

On Monday, February 20th 2017, members of ASG, the City of Oxford and President Crawford came together to declare February 20 - 25 It Gets Better week in Oxford, Ohio. The declaration is as follows:

Whereas in accordance with Miami University, all students live by the Code of Love and Honor, valuing the rights and beliefs of all students in our community.

Whereas, Associated Student Government is dedicated to serving the undergraduate student body and acting upon student needs and concerns.

Whereas, Associated Student Government strives to ensure pure representation of the student population, committing ourselves to enhancing each student’s Miami Experience.

Whereas, it is our goal to fully support and endorse any efforts to build our community and provide any educational outreach that sparks conversations regarding any issues our community faces.

Whereas, the mission of It Gets Better is to communicate to the LGBTQ+ youth throughout the world that it gets better, in all communities, including ours.

And whereas, we want to welcome the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles into our community to help make Miami University the most inclusive place it can be.

On behalf of the student body of Miami University, I, Maggie Reilly, declare February 20-25, 2017, It Gets Better Week.

 

Student Body President Elections Petition Now Available

Are you up to the challenge of representing 16,387 Miami University students? Student Body President and Vice President Elections Petitions for the 2017-2018 academic year are now available!

To run, previous experience in ASG is not required. Petitions, complete with signatures from 150 Miami undergraduate students, are due at a mandatory candidates meeting on February 24 at 5:00 p.m., Armstrong Student Center room 2012.

Additional information is available at the above link. Pay close attention to the dates, events, requirements, and procedures outlined in the packet.with any questions, email Jack Fetick at fetickje@miamioh.edu.

 

 

A Statement on the Passing of Erica Buschick

Associated Student Government expresses its profound sorrow over the death of freshman Erica Buschick early Friday morning. Our hearts go out to Erica's friends and family as they cope with this terrible tragedy. ASG is moved endlessly by the strength and compassion our students, staff, and faculty show in the face of such a tragedy. Just as a Erica forever remains a member of our community, we forever commit ourselves to loving and honoring Erica's life and legacy.

A Statement on the Passing of Erin Rodriguez

Associated Student Government is shocked and saddened by the passing of Erin Rodriguez, a vibrant and inspiring contributor to our Miami University community. With relentless courage and compassion, Erin profoundly impacted the lives of those around her and exemplified the values we should all strive for as Miamians. Although that impact will forever remain, Erin will be deeply missed. We offer our sincerest condolences to her family and friends, and we resolve to be "Erin Strong" as the community begins this difficult healing process.