Miami and Oxford go virtual and wait for summer

By Paige Scott

Miami University classes are not the only thing that has gone virtual. As new students prepare to attend the university in the fall, the summer 2020 orientation has been moved online via Canvas, Miami’s online learning platform.

The orientation Canvas site will launch in the first part of May; all new students must register for orientation in order to be able to participate in orientation on the Canvas site.

Orientation is required for all new Miami students because it serves as the vehicle for new student advising and course registration and it is designed to help students and families have a smooth and positive transition into college.

Although students will not be meet with faculty face-to-face, they will still be able to build important connections with student leaders, faculty and staff through the Canvas site. The incoming students will still be able to connect with the Miami community and learn about their academic schedules and university resources they may find useful. Through the site, they will be able to arrange virtual meetings with orientation leaders and academic advisors at times that are most convenient for them.

Miami’s website provides directions for new students so that they are able to successfully register for orientation:

Off-campus student apartments in Oxford also are using their social media sites to offer information virtually to prospective tenants. The Miami Preserve, 271 Reagan Place, is using Instagram to encourage students to stay at home while checking out floor plans of apartments leasing for the fall semester on the complex’s website. Students can call to set up a virtual tour of the complex via FaceTime.

The Annex apartment complex, 1562 Magnolia Dr., is using social media to promote its “Virtual Front Desk.” Prospective tenants can set up a video conference via Zoom. They also have the entire floor plans and amenities posted on their Instagram.

The staff of Enjoy Oxford, the city’s non-profit visitors bureau, is working remotely to comply with Ohio’s stay-at-home directives, but nevertheless plans to assist the city with marketing and promoting the Oxford Small Business Stimulus Program, said executive director Kim Daggy. The stimulus program involves the Oxford Community Improvement Corporation purchasing gift cards for local businesses and reselling them to the public.

“Enjoy Oxford will assist in the marketing and promotion of this program once the local Gift Cards are purchased by the Oxford Community Improvement Corporation and are ready to be resold to the public,” Daggy said.

Enjoy Oxford also is planning the promotional work for a full range of summer activities that, as of now, still are scheduled to happen.

The Uptown Concert Series that takes place on Thursday evenings in the summer, for instance, is still scheduled to occur.

“We are awaiting further direction on public gatherings before releasing the schedule,” Daggy said. “The series concludes with the Community Picnic which will bring residents and students together to kick off the fall semester at Miami.”

Additionally, Enjoy Oxford is partnering with Oxford Parks and Recreation for a campaign titled “Unwind the Grind,”  on the assumption that recreational activities will be reopening this summer.

“The goal of this is to encourage people to come to Oxford and spend several days experiencing all our town has to offer, from the hiking areas and new Aquatic Center to our walkable places to eat and shop,” Daggy said. “Travel after COVID-19 is trending for drivable locations, leisure activities and natural areas, and with our rural location I feel we are well suited for a family destination.”

Enjoy Oxford is also collaborating with the city on some ideas, such as a weekend chalking event to get families uptown. Additionally, The Red Brick Reunion Porsche Car Show is still scheduled for early August. “We plan to turn this into a multi-day event by showcasing some Porsches during the Uptown Music Concert, organizing social activities on Friday and the full show on Saturday Aug. 8,” Daggy said.

Enjoy Oxford hosts the Community Calendar on its website and has been updating events in three to six-week increments. “As far as virtual content, our social platforms are our primary way to share and engage with our residents,” Daggy said.