Saturday, February 4, 2023

University Resuming Open Doors Jan. 31

By Edwin B. Smith

University of Mississippi

University of Mississippi administrators, staff and students line the hallways of the Lyceum to welcome visitors during the 2020 Open Doors event. The second Open Doors is set for Jan. 31 to give students a chance to form connections with campus leaders. Photo by Christian Johnson/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

University of Mississippi students are invited to traverse the halls of the historic Lyceum and mingle with leaders from the university’s administrative team as part of the 2023 Open Doors event.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 31.

The inaugural Open Doors took place in 2020 as part of a coordinated effort by the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement to strengthen connections between Ole Miss students and administrators and increase campus engagement. The event was canceled in 2021 and 2022 because of COVID protocols.

“Our goal is to create new connections and strengthen existing relations between students and UM leadership and administration and to ensure that the Lyceum continues to be an open and accessible place to our students,” said Cade Smith, assistant vice chancellor for community engagement.

Pre-registration is encouraged, but on-site registration will be available. Participants will receive maps and follow paths outlined on the carpet to ensure they visit 11 administrative offices spread across all three floors.

The division has prioritized bringing back activities that were canceled by the pandemic, said Arabella Hamm, a first-year integrated marketing and communications major and DCE graduate assistant responsible for event management. In October, the division brought back the Longest Table, an event that brought together people from campus and the surrounding community to have conversations to build a better community.

“Open Doors was another one of those events that was unable to happen due to the pandemic that we really wanted to bring back,” the Memphis native said. “Students, especially undergraduate students, do not usually venture into the Lyceum on a day-to-day basis.

“The event is just a way for students to hopefully become more comfortable in the Lyceum, and more importantly, to meet and converse with the UM senior leadership.”

Activities planned during the meet-and-greet include complimentary snacks from office to office, cornhole matches with the Student Affairs staff and a Wordle with the Provost’s office. Giveaways and other items will also be available within each office.

“My hope is for students to really connect with UM senior leadership,” Hamm said. “Senior leadership is always here to help, and they are eager to meet students and hear their thoughts on making this great university even better.

“I hope students walk away with a better understanding of what the UM senior leadership does and new connections, and also feeling like the Lyceum is an open and accessible place for students.”


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