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Ole Miss Student Elections: Candidate Preview

Candidates for Ole Miss’s 2017 personality elections have been hard at work on their campaigns in order to gain as much support as possible for Tuesday’s election.
Here’s a quick look at the candidates for this year’s Mr. and Ms. Ole Miss and Homecoming Queen:
Cody Letchworth- Mr. Ole Miss

Hometown: Foxworth, Mississippi
Major: Public Policy Leadership and Accounting
Why do you want to be Mr. Ole Miss?
“A lot of times you hear ‘Oh my family’s from here’ or ‘Ole Miss means so much to my family’ but I’m a first-generation university student and my family liked State and liked LSU, so I’m already the black sheep of the family. So, I had to come here all on my own not knowing anybody and had to basically create my own family, and that’s how Ole Miss became so special to me as far as the whole process of the Ole Miss family. It’s a lot more different coming here when you don’t have anyone to go off or you don’t have anyone’s legacy to assist you.”
Why do you think that Mr. Ole Miss not just a title or a popularity contest? What’s the benefit?
“Being Mr. Ole Miss is more than just any title, it’s more about being a representative of the student body across every demographic. It’s about being there to give back to not only the community but also to the people who have invested in you. Part of the process is creating a philanthropy with Ms. Ole Miss and that shows the university that this is much more than just a personality election.”
 
Brady Ruffin- Mr. Ole Miss

Hometown: Clinton, Mississippi
Major: Integrated Marketing Communications
Why do you want to be Mr. Ole Miss?
“I have been incredibly fortunate throughout the past three years here to meet a lot of different people, and, I think that the best think that Ole Miss has to offer is the people here. My platform is basically just one word: Together. With that, I want to promote an environment that focuses on collaboration and unity across campus. I think that when people come together, the sky’s the limit. During my campaign, I’ve been saying ‘Together we are unstoppable. Together we are Ole Miss.’ What I’ve been trying to showcase is other people who believe in this; I’m trying to make it as least self-promoting as possible.”
Why do you think that Mr. Ole Miss not just a title or a popularity contest? What’s the benefit?
“It’s because you are representing the entire student body. A lot of people see it as just a title, but I see it as more of an opportunity to really highlight what other people’s talents and abilities are. It’s an enormous service opportunity that comes with the title, and service is something I’m really passionate about at Ole Miss. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to give back to the community that has given so much to me. I think Mr. and Ms. Ole Miss have the capability to set the tone around campus and be a representation of the student body on campus. I hope this will spark a unity and inclusivity around campus. I’m hoping people will look at us and say, ‘Oh since they like to serve, we want to serve too.’”
 
Tucker Fox- Mr. Ole Miss

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
Major: Banking and Finance and Managerial Finance
Why do you want to be Mr. Ole Miss?
“Our platform is called the Ole Miss Family, and I feel like that’s something that everyone on this campus can really relate to in a way. Whether you’re coming to campus for the first time or you’re a senior, the Ole Miss Family is something that I feel like everyone has experienced in some way, and it’s something that you have to come here to experience. You can feel it in the way that people treat you here- there’s an extremely welcoming and friendly community whether you’re from close by or extremely far away. I feel like it’s extremely easy for people to come here and fit in and become a part of the Ole Miss family, and that’s really the thing that I want to encourage the most throughout this entire process; I want to make it as least about me as possible. We all have different backgrounds and come from different places, but if we can put things in perspective and remember that we are all a part of this amazing place that’s so much bigger than ourselves, then that can be something that can be really encouraging to this campus as a whole.”
Why do you think that Mr. Ole Miss not just a title or a popularity contest? What’s the benefit?
“There’s not really any responsibility in the same way as an ASB election, but the people who run are people who embody what it means to be an Ole Miss student. There’s not really any qualifications, and I didn’t think that I would do anything like this at all until people- my friends and people who I look up to- started saying ‘Hey, we believe in you and feel like you should give this a shot.’ That’s what really led me to run. I feel like Mr. Ole Miss is someone who can represent the entire student body and my time, especially over the past two years, I’ve met people from all over campus and formed friendships and relationships, especially in the past two years, outside of just being in a fraternity or doing other activities. I feel like I can honestly say that I represent the entire student body and its interests. Being able to listen and have a conversation and an open dialogue is extremely important and something that Mr. and Ms. Ole Miss should be able to do.”
 
Chancellor Zaugg- Mr. Ole Miss

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
Major: Marketing and Corporate Relations
Why do you want to be Mr. Ole Miss?
“I want to represent the university that I love and the people that go here who inspired me to do this.”
Why do you think that Mr. Ole Miss not just a title or a popularity contest? What’s the benefit?
“If you’re doing it for the resume, you’re doing it for the wrong reason. I think it’s more of a symbol more than anything. You represent the average everyday student that goes here; no matter what you’re doing, you are representing the university. It’s not necessarily a political platform, but it’s much more than just a personality contest.”
 
Terrence Johnson- Mr. Ole Miss

Hometown: Shuqualak, Mississippi
Major: Journalism
Why do you want to be Mr. Ole Miss?
“I’ve been so invested in the people here since freshman year. I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in several different ways and I know for a fact that the people make the university what it is, and the people make it special. You look back to the happiest moments of your life and they are primarily the best moments because of the people that you share them with. I saw this as another opportunity to serve those people who have invested in me, believed in me, been nice to me, bought me Starbucks, gave me a hug when I was feeling sad. I’m doing it for all of them.”
Why do you think that Mr. Ole Miss not just a title or a popularity contest? What’s the benefit?
“I think coming into this race if anyone ever runs, they need to understand that they are a physical representation of what this university is, and that carries a lot of weight. Our university has so many different aspects and so many different facets and positives; it is itself a human. It has parts that it doesn’t like, parts that it’s working on, and parts that it is proud of. I’m the same way; I have parts that I’m working on and want to do better on, and I have parts that I’m proud of and excited about. Because I know the people, I take that more seriously and want to serve them and represent them to the best of my ability.”
 
Savannah Smith- Ms. Ole Miss

Hometown: Corinth, Mississippi
Major: Public Policy Leadership and Journalism
Why do you want to be Ms. Ole Miss?
“This matters to me because it is such a unique opportunity to make people feel seen, heard, and appreciated. I think that this is a really neat way to make people feel that they are always welcome at the table. The positions of Mr. and Ms. Ole Miss embody a lot of what we want Ole Miss to feel like. It makes people feel the heartbeat that all of us have underneath everything.”
Why do you think that Ms. Ole Miss not just a title or a popularity contest? What’s the benefit?
“My favorite part of leadership is that we have the opportunity to see things in people that they don’t see in themselves, and we can share that with them and make them feel like they can be a better version of themselves. At the very least, we can make them aware that someone else is seeing them, and I think this is a great way to make people feel that they are seen and appreciated for exactly who they are- not for anything that they do but for who they are. There is a service project that Mr. and Ms. Ole Miss do later in the year, but the day in and day out is making people feel seen and appreciated.”
 
Jiwon Lee- Ms. Ole Miss

Hometown: Oxford, Mississippi
Major: Music Performance (Violin and Flute performance major)
Why do you want to be Ms. Ole Miss?
“Growing up in Oxford, Miss, I can easily say I lived at Ole Miss. I was on campus, following my parents around all day long, going to the Music building, the library, and the Grove on game days. Needless to say, Ole Miss is my home. I want Ole Miss to be everyone else’s home as well. I was born in Daejeon, South Korea, and lived there for 10 years of my life. It has always been my lifelong dream to become an Ole Miss student. I want to give back to the community and the Ole Miss family because of what I have been given in my life; I want others to have the same opportunities. I hope that every student at Ole Miss has a special experience and makes lifelong memories of my beloved school, Ole Miss, as I have. I wish that Ole Miss would feel like home to everyone. Representing the university as a drum major of the marching band, as principal flautist of the University Wind Ensemble, and as violinist of the LOU Symphony Orchestra and performing the national anthem at many athletic events including the season opener football game this year have been the greatest blessings in my life.”
 
Alexis Smith- Homecoming Queen

Hometown: Picayune, Mississippi
Major: International Studies and Spanish
Why do you want to be Homecoming queen?
“I absolutely love this campus and its people with all my heart. I feel that the strength of our campus isn’t a celebration of specific organizations or specific areas of student involvement; it’s a celebration of every little part of campus that makes campus what it is. Without one of those parts, I feel that campus is missing something, and that’s what I want to represent. I want to show my love for Ole Miss and all the different people that go here who mean so much to me.”
Why do you think that Homecoming queen not just a title or a popularity contest? What’s the benefit?
“I am a product of Mississippi public schools from kindergarten all the way to college, and in the town that I come from, only thirteen percent of its residents have college degrees. I remember that growing up I would look at Ole Miss and it was always there, but it seemed so out of reach not only for me but for a lot of us. Over the last four years I have poured everything I have into my studies, different campus organizations, and my friends; the fact that I am able to run for Homecoming queen and am going to graduate and I am going to go on to graduate school still blows my mind. It’s more than just walking on the field to me because my hometown is freaking out. I love that they can say ‘Someone from my hometown went to Ole Miss and she is Homecoming queen.’ I want the people from my hometown to be inspired and be able to feel like they can do that because I did.
 
Christina Lawler- Homecoming Queen

Hometown: Denver Colorado
Major: Public Policy Leadership
Why do you want to be Homecoming queen?
“I want to be The University of Mississippi’s Homecoming Queen because I have loved every minute of my time at Ole Miss and I would love to be able to share my love with the whole Oxford community during such a special weekend on campus for all of our students and alumni.”
Why do you think that Homecoming Queen not just a title or a popularity contest? What’s the benefit?
“Homecoming Queen is not just a resume booster or anything of the sort. It’s an opportunity to help celebrate our Ole Miss community during such an exciting time on our campus. Choosing Ole Miss was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and being a part of this would mean so much to me.”
 
Students can vote for Mr. and Ms. Ole Miss, Homecoming Queen, Homecoming Maids, and Campus Favorites on Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 on their myOleMiss accounts under the “Get Involved” tab and then “Vote in Student Elections”. Voting is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Trevor Davis is an intern for HottyToddy. He can be reached at tmdavis5@go.olemiss.edu.

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