Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Mr. & Ms. Ole Miss: What's Next?

Tucker Fox and Savannah Smith. Photo courtesy of @gasummer on Instagram.

Tucker Fox and Savannah Smith were named Ole Miss’s 2017-2018 Mr. and Ms. Ole Miss last week. Smith was awarded the title after the initial election on Tuesday, while Fox was forced into a runoff in which he won 62% of the votes.
“The entire thing was so humbling,” Smith said. “It was really neat to see everyone come together over something that’s way bigger than me or any one person.”
Fox discussed his personal growth over the campaign process. “I initially thought it was going to be super awkward asking people to support me, but it turned out that there were so many people who wanted to help. They truly wanted to be a part of the process. It’s not about any one person; it’s about all of us together and what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
Savannah Smith in front of her campaign sign. Photo courtesy of @lindsaymichellemiller on Instagram.

Fox’s campaign platform was based on the idea of the “Ole Miss Family,” which encourages a sense of togetherness among students since everyone who attends the university automatically becomes a member of a strong community. However, this community is not without its differences.
“There’s no secret that there’s a lot of division on this campus,” Fox said. “This election and these titles that Savannah and I hold now are still important, even though they don’t have a lot of day-to-day responsibilities. They are a way to encourage and unite people without the power or responsibility of something like an executive officer of the student body. We want to encourage and remind everyone that we’re all on the same team, and we all want the same thing, which is for this school to continue to progress and be the best that it can be. A phrase that I love is ‘unity amongst division,’ and I absolutely believe it can exist here at Ole Miss.”
Fox and his supporters in front of his campaign sign. Photo courtesy of @tfox_9 on Instagram.

On a campus with such a diverse population, a sense of unity is extremely important for both Mr. and Ms. Ole Miss. The two elected personalities discussed what the student body can do to improve relationships between students.
“I think it’s so great when different student organizations collaborate with each other,” Smith added. “Something that we both pushed during our campaign was taking ownership in the fact that this is your school – the good and bad parts – and you are a part of what the solution is to the bad parts. Individuals take ownership of that when they are in those group settings, and I think it’s really neat to see them work together.”
Smith said her favorite part of leadership is that she can see things in people that they don’t see in themselves, and she can share that with them, making them feel like they can be a better version of themselves.
“We always have the potential to grow, and the focus of this campaign was to show that
solutions come from when we decide to hang up whatever differences we have and truly try and understand the person sitting next to us,” Smith said. “One thing that I really want to see grow is the culture in the people that are here, and I think that is something that we can definitely achieve.”
The titles of Mr. and Ms. Ole Miss come with the unique opportunity to create a joint service project, which is right up Smith’s alley, according to Fox.
Smith and Fox posing after the results. Photo courtesy of @tfox_9 on Instagram.

“I couldn’t be happier that I get to do this with someone who is simply so good at service,” Fox said. “Savannah has an extensive background in philanthropy from all the work she does with Ole Miss Big Event, and she and I are really excited about the project. It’s something that we’ve started to put a lot of thought into. I’m also excited to continue living our lives as someone who just goes to school on this campus. It hasn’t really hit either of us yet, and it doesn’t change who we are. We are going to continue to be the same people and pour love into everyone on this campus. The people on this campus make our jobs go so far beyond just a service project.”
Smith added, “It’s in the little things. Just making sure everyone feels seen, heard and
appreciated is our goal.”
Mr. and Ms. Ole Miss will reveal their joint philanthropy project at Ole Miss’s Homecoming
football game on Saturday, October 14th, 2017.

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