Everybody’s Tent: A Welcoming Tailgate

Posted on Sep 4 2013 - 8:20am by Hawley Martin
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The ASB invites all students to join Everybody’s Tent in the Grove this Saturday as the Rebels kick off their home opener against Southeast Missouri State this Saturday, Sept. 7.

“We really wanted to have a tent where any student can come if they don’t have a place to come to in the Grove,” said ASB president Gregory Alston.

Alston set out to ensure that all students, especially new students to the university feel welcome as part of his election campaign during the spring semester of last year. Alston credits William Fowler, director of Everybody’s Tent and executive assistant to the ASB president, with pitching the initial idea.

“I think that tailgating in the Grove on game days is a big part of the Ole Miss experience. It’s a big part of being included in everything that makes us Ole Miss Rebels, a part of the university,” Fowler said.

The tent will be located close to the Union Plaza on the Walk of Champions. Faculty, staff, alumni and students are all encouraged to interact and form new relationships. ASB members will be under the tent from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, passing out stickers that say, “I am a Rebel” and providing game-day food and nonalcoholic beverages.

“We want to open up this space for all students to enjoy and to try to eliminate some of the barriers,” Fowler said.

Alston hopes this tent will allow students the opportunity to make new connections and friends as part of its social engagement.

“A lot of students on campus may come from other states and may not know too many people here, and this (tent) is a good opportunity to meet a lot more people,” he said.

The ASB hopes to use social media and any other communication platform to promote Everybody’s Tent as much as possible.

Fowler said last year the Southern Studies department sponsored a tent open to everyone that saw success, but may not have taken advantage of the multiple communication outlets available to it. The ASB is hoping to improve upon the Southern Studies department’s previous success with their unprecedented concept of Everybody’s Tent.

“Since that tent is being discontinued this year, we are wanting to continue the idea of it,” Fowler said.

The ASB hopes to have support and representatives from as many different colleges, clubs and organizations on campus as possible present at the tent.

“It has a lot of potential to make a lot of positive influences on campus whether that’s with the students or for the university image as well, the Ole Miss brand and what it is we stand for as a university, and that is an open environment,” Fowler said.

Alston said this will also help students realize the wonderful tradition that is the Grove.

“Tailgating is so big here,” he said. “The Grove is considered to be one of the best tailgating spots in the country, so having this tent in a setting like the Grove is really special, and then having the opportunity to invite all the students to come to this tent is really exciting,”

The schedule for Everybody’s Tent after Saturday’s game will be as follows: Oct. 12, Texas A&M; Oct. 26, Idaho (Homecoming) and Nov. 16, Troy. For more information, please contact William Fowler at [email protected]

Students are invited to connect with Everybody’s Tent and the ASB on Twitter @OleMissASB #Everybodystent and on Facebook /olemissASB.