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Thursday, March 1, 2012 Volume 1, Issue 7

MEET NEW ASB PRESIDENT

KIM

5

Photo Essay: ROTC: Leaders for Tomorrow

7

First African American woman voted new ASB President

8

JARED BURLESON | The Daily Mississippian

Ole Miss Pack-A-Thon 2012 aids in Feeding the Hunger


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COLUMN

Weekly Top Zen: An American Werewolf in the GOP

BY ANDY PAUL @anandypaul

Rick Santorum is a sick, sick man. Not sick in the head, mind you. Well, OK, he might be sick in the head. He does seem just a tad “dead on the inside” to me. But he’s definitely sick to his stomach. And I don’t think it’s because his sweatervests are too tight. No, it would appear that Santorum is a man who gets queasy easily. Much like that kid in the back of your elementary school who was al-

ways picked last for kickball, Santorum is constantly on the verge of vomiting. Take last week, when Santorum announced the separation of church and state made him “want to throw up.” It’s odd, though, because I usually get sick when I mix things together that I shouldn’t have — like orange juice and milk. Or, you know, church and state. However, less than one day after these comments, Santorum went on record to retract his previous statements. “I’m for separation of church and state,” he said Monday. “The state has no business telling the church what to do.” If you look closely at that quote, you’ll see a wonderful bit of the classic Santorum insanity twist on church/state

relations. Separation is good because we definitely don’t want the state telling church members to pray that “God bless America.” OK, so maybe Santorum was just a bit under the mental weather that day. Except this isn’t an isolated incident. You see, Santorum nearly ruined yet another sweater-vest this past October when he almost threw up because of JFK’s famous 1960 speech defending the separation of church and state. Really, he said he wanted to vomit yet again. It’s tragic, really. Santorum binges on theocracy, then blacks out and does it all over again. He’s caught in a downward spiral, folks. Before we know it, Santorum will be advocating bringing back witch

trials one night, then waking up in a gutter covered in communion wine and cracker crumbs the next morning. This, of course, is the cheeriest of scenarios. There is another theory I have, which I have been holding back from you, one which I feel is my duty to relay as farfetched as it may seem. Just go with me here because it may become a matter of life and death. First, we must review the evidence. Santorum is a mildmannered man with a penchant for absurd political/ theological statements. However, by the next morning, he appears to have no recollection of ever saying such things. Santorum also has a litter of seven children. Finally, he is

prone to bouts of severe nausea when religion comes into question. Yes, I hate to say it readers, but my worst fears appear to be true. Rick Santorum is an evangelical werewolf. It’s a dangerous ploy, but one which the Republican Party seems to be willing to take. They are so desperate for a candidate to defeat Obama that they are willing to extend their hands out to the paws of Santorum. So, until the Republican primaries are finished, be careful of where you walk at night. Avoid alleyways and empty fields. And if you hear a howling in the distance, pray to God it’s just the wind, and not Rick Santorum, who’s also probably praying to God in the moonlight.

speech. It was great to see Christopher Plummer finally win one for his deserving performance in “Beginners.” I wish there could have been a three-way tie between him, Nick Nolte and Max Von Sydow. Nolte was luminous in “Warrior,” one of my favorite films of the year, and Von Sydow was literally the only good thing about “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” The biggest surprise of the night, and frankly something that still has me in awe, was that Jim Rash from “Community” co-wrote “The Descendants” and won an Oscar for it. Dean Pelton is an Academy Award-winning writer. This absolutely blows my mind. “Community” returns March 15, by the way, and you should all watch it so it doesn’t get cancelled.

What was I talking about again? Oh, right, the Oscars. “The Artist” and “Hugo” were the big winners with five wins each. “The Artist” rightfully took home Best Picture, Actor, Director, Costume Design and Original Score. “Hugo” won pretty much every technical award and was all over the first half of the ceremony. So, all in all the show wasn’t half bad — way better than last year’s — but still wasn’t terribly interesting outside of a few moments. I was pleased with most of the winners, and Billy Crystal was a pro as always. It was way better than last year when my predominant thought was “Gosh, I wish John Wayne was still alive so he could come up and punch that stupid grin right off James Franco’s smug, stupid face.”

COLUMN

Awarded... Academically BY JOSH PRESLEY joshpresley551@gmail.com

So the Oscars were Sunday night, and wouldn’t you know it, my pick in last week’s column to win Best Picture was wrong. I changed my mind about what I thought would win pretty much daily, and “The

MALLORY SIMERVILLE lifestyles editor LAUREN SMITH managing editor

CAIN MADDEN editor-in-chief

Descendants” was my pick on that day (and in my heart). In fact, the day after submitting said column, I decided “The Artist” would win. Not that any of this matters since no one read that anyway. Some random thoughts on to the show itself: Billy Crystal was all over the place as host. Some of the jokes were so bad and unfunny you’d swear they were written by Jay Leno while others were bordering on brilliant. His comedy was rather broad, but on occasion he’d come out

KELSEY DOCKERY EMILY ROLAND copy chief design editor

If you would like to submit work or inform us of upcoming events, contact us at thedmfeatures@gmail.com

with a more Gervais-like barb that almost made up for his painful musical number that opened the show. For some reason, the bit where he read the minds of some of the stars in attendance and told what they were thinking had me in stitches, particularly the idea that Morgan Freeman thinks in that same voice he uses to narrate movies. The only other memorable bit of comedy was the sketch where Christopher Guest’s comedy troupe played a focus group for “The Wizard of Oz.” It really made me wish they’d get back together for another movie some time soon. There were no big surprises among the winners except maybe Meryl Streep, in so much as Streep winning an Oscar could possibly be a surprise. She certainly looked shocked and gave a nice


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Test Drive: 2012 Toyota Camry SE

BY MATTHEW BISHOP mtbishop2@gmail.com

For years, the Toyota Camry has been the symbol of complacency. People didn’t buy a Camry for its nifty features, nice interior or attractive design because, well, it didn’t have any of those things. They bought a Camry because of its reliability, quality and affordability and because almost everyone else had one. This combination worked really well for Toyota, as the Camry has been the bestselling car in the United States since 1997, save for one year (2001). The mid-size car market competition is increasing, however, with a lot of it coming from Hyundai. All of a sudden the Camry’s bland styling, monotonous interior and lack of features couldn’t hold up to the Sonata’s curvy lines, attractive interior and long list of standard features. Not to mention that all these were in addition to the Sonata’s cheaper price, and it had one of the industry’s best warranties. Then the Camry’s reputation was damaged with the dreaded unintended acceleration issue that affected more than a million

2009-2010 Camrys. So with the increased competition and a hit to its reliability, it was imperative for Toyota to come out with an allnew Camry for 2012. To the untrained eye, it may not seem that the Camry’s styling has changed much. But a closer look reveals that the Camry has gotten a little more attractive than the previous model, with a more aerodynamic design in the front and rear. Toyota also redesigned the taillights, which look like the Nissan Maxima’s boomerangs with a lot less exaggeration. It’s a step in the right direction but still a far cry from the attention-grabbing design of the Sonata. Gone are the cheap plastics and bland styling of interiors from previous Camrys. The all-new interior is appealing, with its curvy dash and easy-to-read displays. There are, however, many faux materials throughout, and some do a better job of emulating than others. For instance, the “Softex” fake leather on the seats looked and felt of high quality, and in our sporty SE model even had French stitching. But the silver plastic throughout the interior that is supposed to pass as aluminum looked and felt just like it is ­— fake. The GPS unit has more than maps. It has apps you can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and included such things as Pandora. Unlike a lot of other Bluetooth-enabled systems in other

SUSAN HOLT | The Daily Mississippian

cars, the one in the Camry proved easy to use and worked flawlessly. The previous generation’s 3.5-liter V6 and 2.5-liter four-cylinder pretty much come to 2012 unchanged. Our test car was equipped with the 178-hp 2.5-liter, and, like previous Camrys, it was smooth and uneventful. Acceleration is adequate for everyday driving, sprinting to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds. The six-speed automatic transmission also carries through unchanged, but now the sporty SE model comes with plastic, column-mounted shift paddles. They are pretty responsive for a Camry and make it a tad less boring to drive. However, the car still automatically shifts at redline, which can be irritating if you happen to shift just a millisecond later be-

cause then it skips to the next gear, ruining your chances of winning the drag race. The Camry does get slightly better fuel economy for 2012, with 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway for the fourcylinder. This ties it with the 2.4-liter Hyundai Sonata SE on the highway and is two mpg better in the city. The Camry SE comes equipped with a larger stabilizer bar that provides a firmer ride than other Camry models, but it’s still on the cushy side with body-roll being prominent. The electric steering was also more on the comfortable side and provided less feedback than I would have liked. The base price of the 2012 Camry SE is $23,845, but our test car came fully loaded with navi-

gation ($1,050), moonroof ($915), 8-way power-adjustable seats ($440), $1,130 worth of miscellaneous interior goodies (like autodimming rear view mirror with compass, floor mats, cargo net, etc.) and an additional $240 worth of dealer add-ons, which brings the as-tested price to $27,620. While Toyota made big strides in the right direction, the competition is still tough, especially with the two-time Best Buy winner Hyundai Sonata and now with the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion coming later this year. But with the new features and updated exterior and interior, at least buyers might consider buying the Camry for some reason outside of its reliability and quality. The test car was provided courtesy of Oxford Toyota.

Using yoga to better your health and reduce stress BY ANDREW DICKSON addickso@olemiss.edu

We are often obsessed with the next great diet or approach to health and fitness. This piece, however, takes a look at the physical and psychological benefits of a holistic approach to health that has been in existence for more than 3,000 years. Yoga, a practice classified as a “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” by the National Institutes of Health, was championed by Catherine Woodyard, a UM exercise science professor who practices and promotes yoga due to its healing benefits. The exact definition of yoga is difficult to articulate due to its age and the nature of its origins, so today we’re going to focus on “flow yoga,” which is the rhythmic practice of holding different yogic postures while slowing the breath and focusing on the present. “This practice lowers breathing and heart rates, decreases blood pressure and cortisol levels and increases blood flow and nutrients to vital organs,” Woodyard said. “During yoga, the joints are taken through their full range of motion, squeezing and soaking areas of cartilage not often used

and bringing fresh nutrients, oxygen and blood to the area, helping prevent conditions like arthritis and chronic pain.” Yoga does more than increase flexibility and help the body “breathe.” It also helps condition the practitioners psychologically to better respond to stress. “Yoga shifts the balance from the sympathetic nervous system and ‘fight-or-flight’ response to the parasympathetic system and the relaxation response,” Woodyard said. According to Woodyard, the practice helps relieve stress by “inhibiting the areas (in the brain) responsible for fear and aggressiveness, while stimulating the rewarding pleasure centers in the median forebrain and other areas, leading to a state of bliss and pleasure.” Though it is recommended that one begins his or her yogic practice with the help of a more experienced practitioner, the practice will eventually become an incredible autonomic tool for physical and mental conditioning and recovery. Even if you are not currently recovering from a physical or mental ailment, the stress presented in everyday life eventually winds up taking a toll. “Evidence has shown that

stress contributes to the etiology of heart disease, cancer and strokes, as well as other chronic conditions and diseases,” Woodyard said. “Evidence has also shown that yoga produces a physiological sequence of events in the body that reduce the stress response.” In spite of the empirical data that shows the physical and psychological benefits of yoga, detractors of this ancient practice do exist — the loudest currently is perhaps Albert Mohler, a Baptist theologian who argues that yoga is incompatible with Christianity. In Mohler’s own words, “The bare fact is that yoga is a spiritual discipline by which the adherent is trained to use the body as a vehicle for achieving consciousness of the divine. Christians are called to look to Christ for all that we need and to obey Christ through obeying His Word. We are not called to escape the consciousness of this world by achieving an elevated state of consciousness, but to follow Christ in the way of faithfulness.” But Woodyard — a Christian herself — said the ancient practice of yoga can help “connect” one spiritually, regardless of his or her religious tradition. The nature of this connection is solely

dependent upon what the practitioner wishes to be connected to. “Yoga has done so much for my spirituality,” she said. “In that hour when I’m practicing yoga I could be meditating or in prayer — but there is always a spiritual connection.”

Yoga classes are free to students every week upstairs in the Turner Center, and the session last about an hour. Classes begin at 11 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. on Mondays; 12 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. on Wednesdays; and 11 a.m. on Fridays. Mats are provided.

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Weekend Bound in Oxford Town MARCH 1 2 3 THURSDAY

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Blue Mountain @ Proud Larry’s Karaoke @ Frank & Marlee’s Rocket 88 @ The Blind Pig Distracted @ Ole Miss Theatre Duwayne Burnside @ Rooster’s

Day of Dialogue@ Overby Auditorium Myrlie Evers-Williams @ Fulton Chapel Greg Dillard @ The Shak Dueling Pianos @ Frank and Marlee’s Distracted @ Ole Miss Theatre Jay Land and the Devil’s Due @ The Blind Pig

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UM student becomes published video game writer BY ELLIE TURNER eeturne1@olemiss.edu

ALEX EDWARDS | The Daily Mississippian

Sophomore, journalism major , Ryan Rigney poses with his book. Rigney will be in Barnes and Noble on campus, Monday, March 5 from 11 a.m to 12:30 p.m. for a book signing.

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Date: Tuesday, February 28th - Friday, March 2nd Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Location: Catalpa Room in the Student Union Purpose: Encourage admitted high school seniors to attend Ole Miss

Sponsored by the Office of Enrollment Services and the Division of Student Affairs

Every week day, journalism sophomore Ryan Rigney wakes up in the Residential College and goes to class, just like the typical University of Mississippi student. However, Rigney is not just another 20-year-old student. He is the author of “Buttonless,” a book that has been positively reviewed on Amazon. The book will also be sold in the Barnes and Noble on campus and at Square Books of Oxford. “As a video games writer, (Rigney) took advantage of the thing he was really interested in, which was video games, and found a way to make some money doing that,” said Karl Becker, president of KB Productions and a reviewer of Rigney’s book. “Specifically by focusing on something nobody else was doing, which is writing about the stories behind mobile game development – I think that’s maybe the biggest lesson to learn from what Ryan did.” Rigney’s book includes descriptions of 67 smartphone games and how the creators took their ideas and created an app. Some of the games, like Words With Friends,

are widely known while some are less recognized. “There were a bunch of weird games in the book that not a lot of people bought, like Enviro Bear, a game where you are a bear with a really long arm driving a car,” Rigney said. “I thought it was hilarious, and I interviewed the guy and he turned out to be really funny.” Rigney was able to talk to the game makers and learn how games people download and play every day originate. Each chapter covers one game and highlights the statistics and other “fun facts” about the game. This was not Rigney’s first time to write about the iOS game industry. He has contributed to GamePro magazine, Touch Arcade and Cinema Blend. The well-known game Angry Birds was downloaded on Rigney’s iPhone before most of the world heard of it, and he wrote the first published review of the game. “From that point forward, I had kind of dug in and established myself as an expert,” Rigney said. “I mean, no one knows how old I am.” While Rigney could tell you all about the logistics of the games, his book is written for the average

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reader and it humanizes games played by millions. “It’s stories about real people overcoming trials,” he said. “Some of the stories in the book are not success stories. It’s like ‘We thought it would take six months to make a game, and it took two years and now only 1,000 people bought it and we’re broke.’” Rigney said one of the most interesting stories was that of No, Human, a game made by Rolf Fleischmann, a man who quit his job to create it. With no former knowledge about game development, Fleischmann taught himself how to create a game where the user acts as the universe trying to ward off colonization by humans. “It’s kind of reflective of how awesome the app store is – that anybody can just do this,” Rigney said. Another game comes highly recommended by Rigney for college students. “If you have an iPhone, shut up and go buy Nimble Strong: Bartender in Training,” he said. “Because we know you’re in college, and we know you drink.” It is a game that teaches cocktail recipes while incorporating a story context. Measuring liquids, shaking to mix and overcoming other challenges is a program derived from a guy who did a lot of research on New York City bars. “I don’t know a whole lot about gaming, but I know that my one son who is a graphic designer in Seattle is into gaming,” said Kathleen Wickham, who was Rigney’s freshman honors professor and bought the book for her son. “I will use him as an example. Ryan Rigney is an underclassman who is producing work at the graduate level.” “Buttonless” was not an easy feat, according to Rigney. He spent six hours at a time writing at his computer. “This was on top of me having 15 hours of classes,” he said. “I wanted to die. I dropped English 226 because that was just not going to happen in combination with (the book).” While the book itself is a reward for Rigney, he said the process increased his work ethic. See RIGNEY, PAGE 6


ROTC

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Leaders for Tomorrow Photos by: Alex Edwards


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RIGNEY,

continued from page 4

“It was scary at first because I never had to write so much in, well, so much at all, much less so much in so little time,” he said. “Before, one big 1,000-word story and I would be like ‘Oh, no, that is going take me a month,’ and I can do that in half a day now. And it will be a joke.” The process was a love/hate relationship for Rigney. He said he hated spending all of those hours pumping out pages of written words, but talking to some of his childhood heroes made up for it. “Game developers aren’t on the level of movie producers, even though it is a really similar industry,” Rigney said. “They don’t have that fame factor, but for me, they do. I geek out whenever I get to talk to anybody — like the guy who made the game Plants vs. Zombies. I’ve been playing his games since I was a little kid.” As of now, Rigney said he intends to do freelance writing for as many game publications as possible to maintain his expert status. “That’s my strategy for getting jobs going forward,” he said. He covets a writing job for the innovation-driven “Wired” magazine. Rigney said he has been networking to get an article in the publication. Though Rigney cringes at the thought of writing another book, he said it is not a definite no. Fiction writing is something he hopes to pursue one day, but for right now, the 20 year old just wants to be a student. “Now that I have (the book), my life is not any different in any notable way,” Rigney said. “I’m still just a dude. I still live in a dorm. I mean, I am moving into an apartment next year, but I’m not rich off of this at all.”

Rigney will be in Barnes & Noble on campus, Monday, March 5 from 11 a.m to 12:30 p.m. for a book signing.

VolunteerOxford: Tweeting with a bigger meaning BY JONECE DUNIGAN jlduniga@olemiss.edu

During the day, business and language major Evan Morrison seems like a normal graduate student. He gets up at 7 a.m. to walk his puppy. After breakfast, he either rushes to work at his father’s seafood shop or goes to work with Ole Miss First as a graduate assistant. He then attends class from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in an attempt to finish his master’s degree in May. The rest of the afternoon is dedicated to meetings with the Associated Student Body and the Graduate Student Council. Although his schedule is active, people might catch Morrison on his phone every now and then doing his most important job yet: tweeting. These tweets, however, are of a different breed from the average post. He announces events like “Still time to donate to Leap Frog! New or gently used books for 1st and 2nd graders to read!” or “Staff Council is collecting soda tabs to benefit Ronald McDonald’s house!” Morrison promotes volunteer opportunities, which do not receive a lot of publicity, through his Twitter account @VolunteerOxford. He said his mission is to improve the city of Oxford and Lafayette County and to get Ole Miss students more involved. Morrison said he developed a deep passion for volunteering during his undergraduate years at the University of Tennessee. His fraternity and Habitat House raised $50,000 together to build a house for a homeless family of four. “Seeing the children of the family we built the home for tell their mother how excited they were to have their first bedroom was one of my happiest moments in my life,” he

FILE PHOTO | The Daily Mississippian

Senior Robbie Murphey jumps into a pile of leaves during last year’s Big Event. @VolunteerOxford on Twitter is a similar initiative that connects volunteers with opportunities.

said. Morrison witnessed the devastation the tornadoes left behind when he moved to Oxford this past May. Seeing the wreckage sparked a desire to do something and on Aug. 1, 2011, Volunteer Oxford began to embrace the South’s biggest concepts: hospitality and lending a helping hand in times of need. “I thought that if I gained 1,000 followers, that would mean 1,000 students getting volunteer information and helping their community,” he said. Morrison said he believes students should see farther than just the pretty buildings of the university and the fun times on the Square. Students are a big part of the population in Oxford, thus leaving a big footprint in the city. “Simple things such as picking up trash while walking the dog could make a big impact on the community,” Morrison said. “Ole Miss has the most beautiful campus in the states. Why can’t the community be

the same way?” Less than a year old, Volunteer Oxford is now getting optimistic feedback. Every campus organization is connected to the site, and the followers have tripled in the spring semester. “Twitter is a good form of social media because it is similar to text messaging,” said executive director of Leap Frog Teresa Adams. “People are stuck to their computers and phones, so it is a more effective way to get the word out.” Volunteer Oxford has also boosted the number of volunteers helping with Leap Frog. “Last semester, we only had one individual volunteer through Volunteer Oxford,” said assistant director of Leap Frog Kathryn Shirley. “Now, we have a few more people through them. Students come to college looking for something to do, and volunteering is another way to do it.” Leap Frog is not the only organization gaining numbers due to publicity on Volunteer

Oxford. Katherine Russell, a volunteer for Feed The Hunger, received many emails asking about the Pack-A-Thon event last Friday, thanks to Twitter. “This is great because we just started, and we want people to know that this is not a Greek thing,” Russell said. Another initiative for the Volunteer Oxford Twitter site is to allow the city to become more student-run, such as having a student coach an Oxford Little League team. “I think it will be really great,” Russell said. “People do not realize that there is so much other stuff they can do off campus that can help a little community like Oxford.” The future of Volunteer Oxford will not end when Morrison leaves in May. Handing down Volunteer Oxford to someone with a big heart for the community is something really important to him. “It’s easy taking life for granted because in the U.S. we’re afforded so many things,” he said. “But there is a big difference between people that live life thinking there are only ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots,’ instead of thinking there are ‘haves’ and ‘soon-to-haves.’” If any organization in the university, Oxford or Lafayette County area would like to connect to Morrison’s Twitter, please tweet either @ VolunteerOxford or hashtag #VolunteerOxford.


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First African American woman voted new ASB Pres.

JARED BURLESON | The Daily Mississippian

BY ROSS CABELL rsscabell@gmail.com

Kimbrely Dandridge wasn’t trying to make history when she decided to run for Associated Student Body president at the University of Mississippi. “For me to be the first AfricanAmerican woman elected to the presidency of the ASB just shows how far our university has come,” she said. “To me, it is not about being the first but about setting a leading way for the people that follow; I’m really excited.” Dandridge’s deputy chief of staff, sophomore Tim Abram, said he looks forward to the day where race won’t play an issue in an election. “I would say it is a long time coming,” Abram said. “I’m ready for the day to come where this kind of thing doesn’t matter.” Dandridge attending Ole Miss was a big deal for her family. Her mother has a two-year degree from Northwest Community College, and her father never went to college. Dandridge’s mother, Deborah, said she is proud of her daughter, especially considering the lack of education in their family history. “My father, he only had a thirdgrade education, and my mother only had an eighth-grade education,” Deborah said. “For their granddaughter to get the kind of education she would achieve, it is a big accomplishment.” Dandridge said she understands the importance of being a first-generation college student, attributing her drive to take advantage of every opportunity to that. The Como native didn’t always have her sights set on the presidency. Dandridge said her goals were a little different as a freshman. “I just always had in my mind that I would run for Homecoming Queen one day,” she said. “I don’t know what changed from

then until now, but here I am, ASB president now.” Dandridge’s involvement in her sorority, Phi Mu, and presidency of the Black Student Union both played an integral role in her road to the ASB. “I can’t think of anyone that I know that has been in a predominantly white sorority at a predominantly white institute that has been the president of the Black Student Union, and not only that, but at the same time have to overcome so many things and different obstacles of being in both organizations,” she said. “Trying to find the balance between the two has been a struggle.” Dandridge joined the BSU her freshman year and was immediately taken under the wing

of some student leaders. She was told that someone like her could potentially lead some day, and they encouraged her to run for office. Dandridge was then elected secretary of the BSU as a sophomore, which propelled her toward her presidential run the following year. “My theme for everything is to leave something better than I found it, and I can honestly say with the BSU, we are leaving it better than we found it,” she said. Being involved in the BSU was one thing, but joining a sorority that was majority white was a different story. Dandridge said she doesn’t remember signing up for rush her sophomore year, or even why she decided to rush in the dominantly white sororities. “When I first got in Phi Mu, people were talking about me being black and in Phi Mu,” she said. “Some people didn’t want me in there. Me and my sisters you know, we fought through it (and) we stuck together. They didn’t care whether I was black, they didn’t care if I was white, they just cared about me as a sister and I value that so much because they were there for me during that time.” While being black in a dominantly white sorority presented its fair share of challenges, Dandridge said she has no regrets. “I wouldn’t change it,” she said. “It’s been a growing experience, and I have learned so much about myself in there, and I think the girls in there have learned so much about themselves and also about me.” A lot has changed at Ole Miss in the 50 years since James Meredith’s admittance. In 2000, Ole Miss elected its first black ASB president, Nic Lott, who recent-

ly gave a speech in the Student been around different cultures Union, kicking off a series of and had never been exposed, events for Black History Month. but I can honestly say, as an RA, “I tell my friends all the time — I saw so many students grow,” other schools joke about us, ‘Oh, she said. “They really grew by you guys are that racist school,’ the time they left freshman year. ‘Oh, the KKK comes there,’ Maybe that is a conversation we but you know what? I look at all can have — you know, what we of that stuff as learning experi- can do to make the residence ences,” Dandridge said. “I don’t halls more diverse?” think at any other institution you Dandridge said she is conlearn so much, not so much aca- centrating on ways to unify the demics, but about yourself and student body, to make sure all about the world around you. students from different races, “I think Ole cultures or lifestyles Miss puts the can share a place on world in your campus and to celhands, and you I think Ole Miss puts the ebrate what makes see so much of world in your hands, and them different. it — you see you see so much of it — “I think Ole Miss love, you see evhas a ways to go,” you see love, you see ery part of the she said. “I would every part of the world world here at here at Ole Miss; you see love to see a mulOle Miss; you ticultural center the good, the bad, the see the good, on campus; that is ugly. the bad, the something I am goKimbrely Dandridge , ugly.” ing to work on this ASB President Elect Though only year as president.” a toddler when Dandridge has alMeredith was ready sketched plans admitted, Dandridge’s mother for the center, proposing the Laremembered learning in school mar Law Center as a potential about the race riots at Ole Miss location. She said having a muland President John F. Kennedy ticultural center would allow stucalling in the National Guard. dents to celebrate different culShe said there were still prob- tures and would provide an ideal lems on campus when she was in place for international events. college at Northwest. “In the real world it’s not going “It was a struggle for blacks to be black and white; it’s going to attend Ole Miss, even in the to be everybody,” she said. “We ‘80s,” she said. are going to have to learn how Even today, Ole Miss has to work together, and I think my problems with diversity on cam- experiences here have prepared pus. Dandridge said she believes me for the real world.” the university is doing a good job With her ASB presidency just and is making steps in the right beginning and several experidirection, but after working as ences already behind her, Danan RA, she said some issues like dridge said she is just happy to campus housing need improve- be here. ment. “You know, we have our flaws “When I was an RA we had and we are not a perfect univerconflicts, numerous conflicts deal- sity at all, but I am proud to be ing with students who had never an Ole Miss Rebel.”


03.01.12

| T H E D A I LY M I S S I S S I P P I A N | PA G E 8

Ole Miss Pack-A-Thon aids in Feeding the Hunger

MALLORY SIMERVILLE | The Daily Mississippian

Sarah Heleniak holds the package for the food, as other volunteers help to fill and seal the bag.

BY ALEX DEJOY abdejoy@olemiss.edu

Red hair nets, 109,586 meals and 550 volunteers became a sta-

ple in the Oxford community this past weekend. The Oxford Park Commission Activity Center played host to more than 550 people from

the University of Mississippi and Oxford community who came together to aid the Feed the Hunger Pack-A-Thon, which strives to provide nutritious meals to children in Kenya, Africa. For the second year in a row, New Directions International came help the event. Feed the Hunger coordinator Katherine Russell worked alongside Melinda Staples, the event coordinator for New Directions International. “Feed the Hunger is currently caring for children in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Kenya, Jamaica and Haiti,” Staples said. “FTH is more than just feeding children; it is also helping children to receive an education and live a life that is Christcentered.” Planning for the Pack-A-Thon began early in the fall semester. Tshirts were sold, helping fund the event. Each team of volunteers consisted of 17 people. To participate, every person either paid $65 or had a sponsor, some of which included Kappa Kappa Gamma, Chi Omega, Kappa Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Alpha, St. John’s Catholic Church, North Oxford Baptist Church, Oxford and Lafayette High School Younglife. Chancellor Dan Jones, his wife Lydia and Mayor Pat Patterson attended the Pack-A-Thon.

“This event gave the OxfordLafayette and university community a chance to work on a project together,” said Kim Phillips, a volunteer and academic advisor for the Ole Miss Business School. “Many of the packing tables were mixed with students and people from the Oxford community. They all had the chance to get to know each other and work for the same cause.” Before packing began, all the volunteers were required to watch a video about where the food would be taken and what steps needed to be taken so that the food was packed correctly. Each package of food consisted of one scoop of vitamins, one scoop of dried vegetables, one cupful of soy and one cupful of rice. The area where packing took place was FDA-approved, and volunteers took precautions in order to maintain cleanliness. “The environment was really positive, and with the music playing in the background, it made the packing really fun and things moved along quickly,” said Ole Miss junior Katie McDermott. Planning for next year’s PackA-Thon has already begun, and students interested in helping Feed The Hunger can join the newly formed group on OrgSync. “We plan on holding several fundraisers next year to help offset the cost of the meals so people

would be able to come and just volunteer their time,” Phillips said. The food that was packed this past weekend will be sent to Kenya immediately and will stay in storage facilities there until they are ready to be distributed. Last summer a group of Ole Miss students traveled with New Directions International after helping with the first annual PackA-Thon. Leigh Kaiser, Trevor Williams and Russell visited Kenya and experienced firsthand the desperate need the food fills for the children. “Although they existed in poor conditions, they were wealthy in their spirit,” Williams said. “No one I encountered on this trip complained about their lack of. They were all grateful for the little things in life that they possessed. Our trip to Africa wasn’t the end of the journey; after visiting, the work began.” A group of Ole Miss students will once again have the chance to travel to Kenya with New Directions this summer. “After traveling to Kenya last summer and distributing the meals, myself along with Leigh Kaiser and Trevor Williams can’t thank everyone enough,” Russell said. “Volunteers did something that will outlive yourself and will forever remember the 2012 PackA-Thon.”

The Grove Edition  

The DM Grove Edition — 03-01-12

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