Inside the MSC #1

April 5, 2010

Greetings Rebel Nation,

We have been given a tremendous opportunity to be a part of the student led committee which will lead the Ole Miss’ search for a new mascot.  This is our first correspondence of this type with all of you, so we’d like to take a second to explain exactly what we’re doing.  Throughout the process that will lead to your new mascot, we will be keeping a journal of sorts on this website.  This journal will include updates and insight into the mascot selection committee’s work as well as some personal musings on this exciting undertaking.

It is our hope that these updates will allow all of you to keep up with the process as it moves towards a solution.  I also hope it will give you a personal perspective that will humanize this committee, because we are not a bunch of suits behind closed doors.  We are an assorted group of students that care deeply about this issue and want to find a solution that we can all be proud of.

In order to get you caught up, it’s first important to know where we’ve come from.  After the student vote in favor of a new mascot, applications for the student committee were promptly released.  Our applications, along with those of 80 other students, were reviewed and we were chosen to participate in an interview process.  One week ago, those interviews occurred and late Monday night we were informed about our selection to the committee of 17.

The past few days have been hectic, to say the least.  Since our selection to the committee, it feels as though every free moment has been spent in a meeting or eating(but this is secondary….a meal or two have definitely been skipped).  Over the past few days we’ve gotten acquainted with the Ramey Agency(consultants helping with the process) and we’ve begun to create the process that will give us all a mascot.  While no actual mascot discussions have taken place, a central emphasis has been placed on listening.  We’ve been figuring out how to hear as many different voices from as many groups of Rebels as possible.  Though this is a small group of students, the input necessary to make this mascot successful is huge.  The committee is formulating methods to listen to scores of students, faculty, and alumni.  This website is just one such example of those methods.  Please don’t hesitate to submit your own ideas about this process in the “Got Ideas?” area.  Hopefully, when this process is finished, every person with an opinion will feel that they had an opportunity to be heard.

Another issue that has come up in the meetings and will likely be repeatedly addressed is a timeline for the process.  A consensus was quickly reached by the committee that it would be imprudent to set a deadline of any sort for this search.  While efficiency is important, it is much more important that the search is done thoroughly.  As a result, the committee agreed to work as hard as possible to make this a timely process without sacrificing the quality of the work.

The freedom that the committee has been given to choose the direction of this search is awesome.  We can’t thank the University enough for supporting this student-led initiative.  Between Chancellor Jones, Dean Reardon, and Lee Tyner, the well wishes have been numerous and the assistance has been significant.  This is only the beginning of an invigorating new period in our beloved school’s gameday atmosphere.

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