Farmer Week: Building CommUNITY

May 2017

Elizabeth Jenike

Every April, the Farmer School Business Student Advisory Council (BSAC) hosts “Farmer Week.” It’s a way to celebrate and commemorate the end of the school year. This year’s event was a little different. Instead of focusing on the FSB, our students came together to support the idea of “community” and what it means for our university to be involved as part of the greater Oxford community as a whole.

The Business Student Advisory Council organized a week of engaging activities, educational panels and volunteer events that strove to bridge the gap between being a student and being an engaged member of society. The result was a week tailored to bringing not only Miami and Oxford closer as partners, but also bringing together different fields of study within Miami as a whole - to show that we are stronger when we all work toward the same goal

Emily Rowan, the current vice president of BSAC who will take over as president in the fall, said that the week’s activities were geared toward helping students gain perspective on Miami itself and not just the Farmer School. A panel discussion on Tuesday evening with President Crawford, Dean of Students, Mike Curme, Provost, Phyllis Callahan, and Dr. Kelley Kimple, the director of the Office of Diversity Affairs, served to highlight just what the students could do to make sure they were furthering the vision of Miami University as a whole.

“They’re all trying to work on unity of the school,” Emily said of the panelists. The idea of unification is one of the drivers of the Miami Plan, as well. “It helps students gain perspective on their school and that they’re part of Miami - not just the business school,” Emily said. “It makes us more well-rounded people.”

The community outreach didn’t stop with Oxford and FSB. On Thursday, April 27, KPMG sponsored a picnic on the front lawn of the School that integrated part of the company’s corporate philanthropy goals. Students were encouraged to decorate books and bookmarks, which were donated as part of the organization’s Literacy Campaign.

Farmer Week culminated in the first-ever Farmer Day of Service, an all-day event where students from various business organizations got together to give their time and energy to organizations around the Oxford community.

Junior finance major Ryan Myers was the project manager for the Day of Service. As the VP of Service for BSAC, it was his job to coordinate the volunteer sites, get information on who would be donating their time from the business organizations and ferry people to and from the locations. “It was tricky,” he recalled. “There were so many variable factors.”

He was referring to the fancy footwork that was required in order to get everyone on the same page. The volunteer locations - which included the Oxford Senior Citizens Center, the Knolls of Oxford, Silvoor Biological Sanctuary and the Oxford Community Arts Center - would only know two weeks in advance how many volunteers they would need. However, the BSAC needed four weeks’ lead time to figure out how to designate which b-orgs should go where. They settled for three weeks and had ample time to contact the b-orgs and let them know where their members would be stationed on the Day of Service.

“It was a lot of work,” Ryan laughed. “It was like a full-time job during that last month and a half. But it was a great experience. The coolest part was just to see it all in action on the last day - seeing the result of the hard work. Delegating between people in your group, reaching out to people you’ve never talked to before. It was a really cool thing.”

As an inaugural event, Ryan said that it was a success and that he hopes BSAC will continue to do it in the future. Even through of the stress involved with figuring out all the moving parts of this event, Ryan is proud of the picture he was able to paint with all of the volunteers - a picture of community and of unity within Oxford.

Students working in a garden Students cleaning the Oxford Community Arts Center