Allow Members of Glee Club to Attend Winter Tour and Miss RA Training sign now

09 December 2004

The office of Residence Life (ORL) at Miami University is responsible for all the Resident Assistants (RAs) at Miami.

Each year ORL requires that RAs return early from their much needed winter break between semesters for additional training. This academic year [2004-2005] RAs are required to return to campus by 5:00 pm on Thursday, January 6th. Training starts that evening and continues through Saturday evening [January 8th].

It is the policy of ORL to hear exemption requests for RAs which need to miss Winter Training for certain circumstances, although no where are these circumstances clearly laid out for the RAs to see. The committee which hears the exemption requests is the Training Exemption Committee composed of the Assistant Director of Recruitment Training & Development as well as the five Coordinators of the Office of Residence Life. This committee operates without written guidelines establishing any uniformity in how they determine which RAs to exempt and which not to exempt.

Recently the Committee heard requests from many RAs. One such RA was Ryan Shrout, an RA in Scott Hall. He applied for exemption to attend the Winter Tour with the Miami University Mens Glee Club. This tour is taken annually and is not only a huge recruiting tool for the Glee Club but also for Miami University. Each year the tour is both academic and fun. In the past we have toured the D-day museum in New Orleans as well as the Space Center in Alabama, and this upcoming tour we will get the chance to sing in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. as well having time to do quite a bit of sight seeing in the nations capital. Also, the Winter Tour makes up nearly half of the Glee Clubs performances in one academic year and thus is noticeably important for the members to attend, although not required. This trip is both sanctioned by the university and funded in part by the university.

The Winter Tour of the Miami University Mens Glee Club is nearly a 90 year tradition of the 97 year old Glee Club. The Glee Club itself has many historical performances including the performance which opened Hall Auditorium, the first performance of both the Fight Song and Alma Mater, and this past March a performance at Harvard at the 2004 National Seminar of the Intercollegiate Men's Choruses. This organization is well known on campus and is cherished by all those who are in it and have been in it.

Last year, Ryan Shrout as well as other RAs that were in Glee Club were exempt from Winter Training to go on this very trip. This year however Ryan Shrout was denied exemption for this amazing trip endorsed by the university.

The Training Exemption Committee however did not deny all requests. Certain requests were granted for different reasons including a trip to research internships, among other things.

We, the undersigned, feel that Ryan Shrout as well as any other RA should be exempt from Winter Training to attend the Winter Tour with the Miami University Mens Glee Club. This should be done with the understanding that the RA(s) will somehow make up for the missed training. We believe that the policy to let other RAs be exempt for professional and academic reasons, but to deny the RAs in Glee Club that chance, is both unfair and inconsistent. Furthermore, actions should be taken to resolve this discrepancy in future years such as publishing guidelines which lay out a policy of exemption to reduce future confusion.

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Lauri ChaneyBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
Office of Residence Life

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