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Homecoming court creates positive vibes for future

 

It has been a long, tough road of campaigning for this year’s homecoming court seats. 

After plastering students with stickers of support, constant handouts of flyers and rallies of support on every corner of campus, the winners will take their stand in front of thousands of screaming fans on Nov 12.

For some students, this moment is the end of the homecoming court’s journey.

To other students, like sophomore journalism major Kells Johnson, this year’s homecoming court has a strong, positive force behind the glitz and glam of campaigning.

“Some of us know that homecoming queen and Miss Ole Miss have an effect on the student body,” Johnson said. “(The) Ole miss campus can be affected positively due to these positions.”

Johnson disagrees with students who see homecoming as a title-seeking position, saying, “Why would you do something just to do it? You have to do something with that title.”

The University of Mississippi makes sure that candidates will help change its environment.

“What I think is important about this election is that they are adding a component to community service,” Miss Ole Miss Alex Street said.

Her passion for Mississippi education led her to become both a volunteer and site manager for two years with Leap Frog, a non-profit, after-school tutoring and enrichment program.

“People want to see Oxford as this perfect little place, but Oxford has its own share of problems also,” Street said. “As a site manager, I have seen the real need that these kids have for college kids to come to them and be a mentor to them.”

Street shares such a strong relationship with Leap Frog, that she plans to endorse the program as Charity of the Year, a privilege given to Miss Ole Miss.

The strong love for charities in other homecoming members led students like Johnson to allow their voices to be heard during the voting process.

“I felt like it was important to vote,” Johnson said. “I know that they can have an effect on the student body. They have good ambitions to do great things with their positions.”

Another factor adding to the positive vibe is the campaign strategies used this year. Simple changes of tactics like shaking hands and asking how people were doing that day shows why. Street believes presence plays a big part in campaigning, and she made the decision to not bombard people.

“I’ve wanted to make this personal,” she said. “This is an opportunity to meet people on campus and to make friends. You can make connections with people that you would not meet otherwise.”

Her campaign trail also added a little twist when people started to ask about bringing their dogs. 

“I think it is important to make campaigns fun,” Street laughs. “People love puppies, and that’s a great conversation starter.”

Candidates also added Sudoku, crosswords and other addictive puzzles to add more flair and fun to their flyers.

Johnson experienced a strong connection with the campaign teams and commented that the process was “a lot more friendly and lively. One got me to stop and dance with them. There was a lot more communication this year.”

Individuals of the homecoming court are also very familiar with the needs of Ole Miss due to the strong ties they have not only as students but also with family members.

While Street attributes her passion for education to her three years of experience as a student, the colors red and blue show a strong presence in her family tree due to her mother, aunt and grandfather all being instructors at the university. Her father was a student and so is her sister.

The strong presence of community service, communication within the student body and knowledge of the necessities of Ole Miss through the eyes of students and teachers are what make this year’s homecoming court give off its positive vibe. In the future, students could see more charities that aid the less fortunate and more needs for students met. All of these missions add to the powerful, positive force of the homecoming court.