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The Biggest Stories of 2015 at Ohio University

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From rallies to elections to resignations, Ohio University had a big year. Here are the biggest events of 2015.

Editor’s Note: TNP does minimal reporting in the months of May, June, July and December, so those months are excluded.

JANUARY

Raise Hell, Not Tuition Rally — Student Union members rallied students against raising tuition before the official Board of Trustees vote on the Guaranteed Tuition Plan, a move that got then-Student Senate President Megan Marzec and two others charged with persistent disorderly conduct.

Board of Trustees January Meeting — Despite student protests that led to three arrests, the Board of Trustees voted to approve the new Guaranteed Tuition Plan that would set one tuition rate for each class of students throughout their four years at OU but would raise the cost of tuition by 5.1 percent for incoming freshman.

Budget Planning Backlash — Carl E. Smith, president of the Graduate Student Senate, released a letter in which he accused the university administration of intentionally scheduling budget planning meetings at times when student leaders couldn’t come.

FEBRUARY

University settles free speech lawsuit — Isaac Smith, a student working with Students Defending Students, reached a settlement with the university in a case that made national headlines.

Student Senate Theft Problem — Social Security numbers and other personal data were stolen from the Student Senate office, and police reports were filed.

Lecturer is met with protesters — Brooklyn College professor KC Johnson came to speak about how false accusations of sexual assault have affected the college judicial process. He was met with protesters from the campus group F*ckRapeCulture, which said Johnson was a “rape apologist.”

MARCH

Board of Trustees March Meeting — Scholarships and construction were at the forefront of the board’s March meeting. The meeting was relatively uneventful, but that didn’t stop Student Union from putting on a satirical performance mocking the Board.

University begins tobacco cessation efforts — The university prepared for a tobacco ban beginning in August by offering students free cessation classes.

Bat Rally takes over — In response to a proposed $1.2 million new home for President McDavis and his wife following a bat infestation in their former house, Student Union arranged a protest that made national headlines.

APRIL

OUWA hosts the first-ever Empowering Women of Ohio Week — The Ohio University Women’s Association looked to boost women around campus and across the state with a week of feminist programming.

SOS sweeps Senate — The SOS, or “Serving Our Students,” ticket, led by executive candidates Gabby Bacha, Jared Ohnsman and Hannah Clouser, swept the election, winning 30 out of 34 available seats.

First General Assembly — Student activists from many groups met on the last day of classes to discuss the most important issues and to vote on how the supposed “extra” $1.2 million that was originally slated for the new presidential house should be spent.

AUGUST

New preferred pronoun policy debuts — Ohio University implemented a new policy that gives students a chance to select preferred names and pronouns for university records.

Student Senate First Meeting — The 2015-2016 Student Senate began its year by reversing many of the actions its predecessors implemented the previous year.

Opening of new dorms met with protests — Student Union members hoping to draw attention to RA unionization efforts interrupted the opening ceremony of the new residence halls on South Green.

SEPTEMBER

Grad Student Protest — Before the first home football game of the year, protesters rallied to bring light to low stipends for graduate students.

Interfaith Peace Walk — Students and community members of all religious affiliations met to encourage unity between faiths.

General Assembly — Student Union held its first public meeting of the academic year to set its priorities going forward.

OCTOBER

ResponsibleOhio visits campus — ResponsibleOhio, the group spearheading the effort to legalize marijuana in the state, stopped at OU on its Green Rush Bus Tour and was met by local protesters.

F*ckRapeCulture Homecoming Rally — In the third annual march, activist group F*ckRapeCulture took to the streets to bring awareness to sexual assault.

OU SAP loses confidential resource — Delaney Anderson, the coordinator for the Survivor Advocacy Program on campus, resigned from her position, creating a gap in confidential services for victims of sexual assault. This prompted intense backlash from the OU community.

NOVEMBER

Rally for Campus Democracy — OU students met as part of the Million Student March to bring awareness to various campus issues, such as the steep price of higher education, racism and fossil fuel divestment.

Title IX Coordinator resigns — In another blow to services on campus, Title IX Coordinator Inya Baiye resigned.

Students speak out against racism — The OU NAACP chapter held a rally to support University of Missouri students, which spurred anti-black comments on the anonymous social media app Yik Yak. Black Lives Matter displays in a residence hall and on the graffiti wall were also defaced in the following weeks.

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