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Importance of inward thinking

 

As members of the Ole Miss family, we have a special mindset. We have certain standards for who we welcome into our family. 

A stroll through the Grove on a Saturday in the fall will prove that: beautiful women in colorful sundresses, gentlemen in sports coats and old men in sweater vests. Other than those types of people, there isn’t much room for outsiders.

This concept saddens and frightens me, but it is how we have done it in Oxford for as long as anyone can remember.

I think it’s time for a change. To me, this change is so necessary to the good of our university — even more so than Colonel Reb, “From Dixie With Love” or Dixie flags.

The university as a whole needs to start appealing to more than just the prototypical prepster from out of state.

As much as it pains me to compare Ole Miss to Mississippi State in any fashion, I have to do it in this context.

The “School Beneath Us” takes pride in calling itself “The People’s University.” 

They welcome every single Mississippian with open arms, regardless of how they dress, what fraternity they were in or what their last name is. At this given point in time, if I were to give Ole Miss a suitable nickname, it would be “The University of Southern Suburbia.”

How many students do you know from Houston, Dallas, Nashville or Atlanta?

Not that those people are bad, but we need to shift our focus inward to the state of Mississippi before we continue to go outward to other states. We have lost all focus on the state of Mississippi, which bothers me greatly, considering that our name is the University of Mississippi. 

Not only do our admissions department and administration need to wake up and realize this, so does our family.

We have started to take the proper steps. Chancellor Dan Jones understands what I am talking about. I think the admissions department is starting to understand what I’m talking about, too. 

Mississippi State’s trashy billboards along every major highway in Mississippi show them what I’m talking about every single day.

What we need to do as a family is open up and show the same hospitality to outsiders that we show to the insiders. Don’t ignore people in the Grove who are a little different from us. And for goodness’ sake, be proud of your state and embrace the people in it.

We are the flagship university in the state of Mississippi. We just need a little more work on the “Mississippi” part.

I envision a Grove where people of all socioeconomic classes, ethnic backgrounds and ages are in one big tent. 

Also inside the tent is a respectable ratio of Mississippians to out-of-staters. On top of the tent is the word “Flagship.” We know what we need to do — let’s make it happen.

 

Adam Ganucheau is a sophomore journalism major from Hazlehurst. Follow him on Twitter @GanucheauAdam.