Comments on: Miami students riot because university remains open during power outage. (No, seriously!) History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 21 Sep 2014 07:01:11 +0000 hourly 1 By: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 16:27:38 +0000…

[...]Miami students riot because university remains open during power outage. (No, seriously!) : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present[...]…

By: Historiann Fri, 08 May 2009 19:11:07 +0000 Dear Miami Graduate–congratulations on your graduation, and thanks for your comment. You’ve convinced me that students had a right to be put out–I especially appreciate your comments about the lack of communication you had from the administration, as well as your comments on the practical limits of communicating with people who don’t have access to computers, TV, radio, or phones.

I still think it was acceptable to hold classes, although were I a faculty member, I would have accepted papers and other assignments late (after the power had returned.)

Thanks again for your informative comment

By: Miami Graduate Fri, 08 May 2009 18:15:41 +0000 Okay, I know this post is very old, but I stumbled across it through Google somehow, and after reading all of the previous posts, I felt I had to contribute to the discussion.

I graduate tomorrow from Miami, and I love this university and have greatly enjoyed my four years here. Unfortunately, when the new President was appointed to run our school, I and many of my friends noticed policies that were put in place that were uncommunicative and completely non-transparent. As a paying member of the student body, I feel that it is no more than I deserve to be kept abreast on the school’s spending, enrollment, and other policies.

The week without power was a perfect example of how the administration has bungled being open and communicative with students. I lived off campus for two years, and I vividly remember those few powerless days with little fondness. Speaking from personal experience, it was extremely frustrating trying to get any information from the school about what was going on or what they were doing to try and help the students. Going on campus to try and get on a library computer- which were shut down at 8 PM and opened at 8-9 AM- was like fighting through a pack of rabid wolverines. Every outlet- and I am NOT EXAGGERATING- in the buildings with power was being utilized to charge cell phones/laptops. Many of the services that the University told news outlets were available WERE NOT actually open at the time of release- such as the rec showers and the dining halls.

Why does this matter? Well, again, in my opinion, if the school had merely made the effort to set up stations off campus, or institute some way of communicating with off campus students, the ‘riots’ would never have happened. I had no cell phone, no email, and live alone- how exactly am I supposed to know what’s going on? The school lines were invariably busy, and the offices to try to talk to someone in person were either closed or jam-packed with people. The University relied on the text-messaging system when MOST students had no juice in their phones, and sent out email alerts when the Internet was down across town and MOST students couldn’t access a computer. I am emphasizing the ‘most’ because that’s thousands of students- not just one or two with a little petty problem.

If the school had made a better effort to communicate with the students off campus, the administration would have had a feather in their cap and all the student body rooting for them. I think, all too often, that school administrations forget that they are responsible to one thing over all others: THEIR STUDENTS.

I understand, Historiann, that when one moves off-campus and away from the security of the dorms, it would be ludicrous to assume that the school should cancel anything for your own personal issues. However, this was not an isolated incident: MANY thousands of students were out of power.

I was not in attendance at the so-called riot- which, so far as I know, was a bunch of people sitting around in candlelight- because I think it was very silly and an act of frippery. But I hope I was able to convey at least a little bit of the consternation and frustration felt by the students off campus that week- especially for the first few days.

By: Rioter98 Tue, 03 Mar 2009 19:42:05 +0000 I took a break from working today and for fun decided to Google “Oxford Ohio Riots 1998″ and was linked to this page. Funny how there are almost no news articles on the web about the riots of ‘98. I was at the riots uptown in ‘98 and your attempts to dismiss our actions those three nights as “Beer Riots” is a misnomer at best. Your framing of the night as a “Beer Riot” is more likely an attempt to dilute the real issues of those nights and the conditions which led up to the students actions.

To set the record straight allow me to recap the events of the first night of riots. It was the end of spring semester when there were three nights of riots in down town Oxford. While the University tried to portray the riots as just a drunken frenzy they over look the root causes. So as you all know the bars all close uptown at 2:00. After closing many people were hanging out visiting with friends. The crowd grew and some people were standing over the curb in the street. The Oxford cops in their usual fashion started passing out J-walking tickets. Well someone pushed the cop, the cop pushed back. Well there were 300 students and maybe 5 cops. The cop was quickly over powered and fled. At this point the students supported by many locals took the street. The book buy back trailer was overturned and a few bottles were thrown. We had the street for about an hour while the cops brought in reinforcements. Sheriffs and other cops streamed into Oxford while the crowd chanted “fuck you pigs”. The cops came in their riot gear lined up and approached the crowd. There was some street fighting I personally disarmed a sheriff after he hit me repeatedly with his night stick. The cops (especially this one chick cop) were spraying mace into the crowd. There was some human tug of war as the police tried to pull people from the crowd. The cops did manage to disburse the crowd.

The next day the police tried to have a show of force all day. Cops in riot gear walked about town admit jeers and rude comments by the students. That night when the bars closed the students took the street again. This time the police came on even stronger. Tear gas was shot and another street fight against the police ensued.

The third night when the bars closed students took the street again. This time the cops did not come to fight. They set up a road block and diverted traffic. The students stood in the street and there was no violence. (Other than two dudes dressed as cops with toy batons who were hitting everyone).

After the riots throughout that summer there was still a lot of tension in town. We would insult the police on the street and heckle when they were making arrests.

The lesson here is that the students are the real power in town. Don’t forget that kids, if there are enough of you stand up to those cops.

I’m now an attorney and the behavior of the Oxford police has forever tarnished my opinion of law enforcement. The OPD tried a zero tolerance policy and that was the root cause of the riots of ‘98. It is not that the students were “privileged” it is that the cops over reacted to petty offences and treated the student body as a natural resources to be exploited for financial gain.

By: Historiann Thu, 02 Oct 2008 19:37:21 +0000 Hi Miami Student–thanks for stopping by to comment. Yes, kudos to those energetic voter registration people, who seem to be everywhere this year and are quick to seize an opportunity.

By: Miami Student Thu, 02 Oct 2008 18:38:34 +0000 I was there that night………I found it to be not only ridiculous but also a perpetuation of the already ugly stereotpye of Miami Students being superficial stuck up and spoiled……As someone who has actually protested for something positive it actually broke my heart to see all those students who will protest school and most likely not go out to the polls and vote…………..on the flipside….the people registering to vote took advantage of the large crowd.kudos for them!

By: Erica Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:04:13 +0000 @SchoolingYou — I remember being a student just fine — and even as a fun-loving 18-22er, I understood there were consequences to deal with if I didn’t finish classwork or didn’t attend class or didn’t get a reasonable amount of sleep. There are many sensible ways to deal with power outages. Get a wake-up call from a friend or family member if your alarm clock is dead. Eat crackers if the food court is closed. Plan ahead so you’re not surprised when classes continue instead of letting you drink beer and play frisbee.

College is an education in how the world works as much as it is an education in your chosen major. And in life after 18-22, you can’t just collapse in abject misery when you don’t have power. (Well, you can, but it’s unimpressive and counterproductive.)

By: Historiann Wed, 24 Sep 2008 13:35:24 +0000 Jeremy–thanks for sharing. Sometimes courtesy stands out!

By: Jeremy Young Wed, 24 Sep 2008 03:35:44 +0000 One morning during my senior year in college, I walked to the library and almost slipped several times on ice-covered metal plates that ran across the walkway. We’d been expecting the college to cancel classes because of the weather, and knowing one student in a wheelchair who might easily be injured if his chair slipped on the ice, I was a bit miffed. I happened to run into a residence hall coordinator on the way home, and he told me I should e-mail the Dean of Finance, who was in charge of these things, if I really wanted to complain.

So I did. I sent him a very polite e-mail stating my opinion that the college should have delayed classes by two hours (standard practice if the paths were icy), and thanking him for having made good decisions on this issue in past.

A few minutes later, the phone rang. It was the Dean of Finance, calling to thank me for being so polite in my e-mail! Apparently he’d gotten a lot of less-polite contacts from other students.

I still don’t know what to make of this exchange, but I thought I’d share.

By: nicolec Sat, 20 Sep 2008 21:12:58 +0000 SchoolingYou- A few thoughts- firstly, I’m in my twenties and just graduated- I remember well what it is like to be a student. I still wouldn’t have dreamed of telling a professor to “deal with” the fact that I’m young and want the opportunity to have an “impromptu frisbee game or beer fight” simply because the power is out at my house. I simply would have skipped class if I felt that upset/stressed/entitled and dealt with the consequences. Secondly- I didn’t say the students didn’t have a right to be annoyed or even upset- the situation sucks- that doesn’t merit canceling school for the entire university.