The most important part of the University of Mississippi campus is the thousands of students that populate it, and a group of students from the Sally McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College is working to transition a smaller publication into a campus-wide conversation starter.
Populi Magazine, formerly Koi Talk for the honors college, is supported by SMBHC but is meant to connect the corners of the Ole Miss campus and bring about intelligent, worthwhile discussions on issues.
“The goal of Populi Magazine is to engage students in meaningful conversations about a variety of topics,” editor Lizzy Wicks said. “Each semester, we seek to have open-ended questions for our topics, allowing students to ponder and explore different facets of the main issue presented. In order to bring the conversation full circle, we also hold bi-weekly chats where we meet at a coffee shop or somewhere on the Ole Miss campus to continue the discussion face-to-face. These chats are opened to the public and add a personal aspect of exchange to Populi Magazine. They allow our readers and writers to interact with one another and think deeper about the topic presented in the current issue.”
Wicks, along with fellow editors Eleanor Anthony, Jesse Webb, Thomas Moorman, Alex Horne and Christopher McKee, have planned five biweekly issues this semester, the first of which was released last week focused on the relationship between art and the artist’s intention.
“Our first question is about art and intention and how the artist wants a piece of art to say something, and that’s intention, but is that all that art is?” Webb said. “What about other people’s vision of it?”
Anthony said the second issue would focus on how we look at student-athletes and whether the standards we hold them to are fair or not, spoken or undefined, moving into a third issue on why fiction is important to understanding our culture past and present.
The fourth issue hits home, focusing on the difference between when we are the University of Mississippi and when we are Ole Miss.
“We as a school are branded differently as both the university and Ole Miss, and I think collectively, we identify with one or the other based on what we’re doing,” Anthony said. “It’s been a controversial topic for us recently, so we want to see what students think. A lot of administrators, professors, alumni have entered that conversation, but not really the students.”
The final issue of the semester will discuss tolerance and intolerance within democracy and debate to what extent we should value the two.
Regardless of the topic, the six editors are focused on giving a voice to Ole Miss students and joining the campus together in a discussion worth discussing. To contribute to Populi, email the editors.
Amelia Camurati is editor of HottyToddy.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.