Mississippi’s year was as unpredictable as its weather.
A lot has happened this year, and I mean… A LOT both on and off the campus.
Starting with on-campus, The University of Mississippi’s total enrollment is up 5.1% or 1,111 students from 2021. Additionally, the retention rate of first-year students hit an all-time high of 89.3%. This semester we’ve welcomed a historically large freshman class.
A campus population increase means that there is NOWHERE to park near your 9:00 am class. Just to add more salt, the commuter parking permits were split this year, and if you weren’t checking your email over the summer, you got stuck with commuter red… if you know, you know. The only available parking spots have been strategically (and inconveniently) placed the furthest away from the most walkable campus in the SEC. All things come to a balance, I suppose.
Some professors and staff have rumbled that building new parking lots and garages yields a neutral return on investment, and it’s not that important. I disagree, the issue is pressing. No student living off-campus seems to be satisfied with the available options. Let this be a proposal to demolish Kinkannon hall and utilize that space for a generic parking garage.
This parking issue becomes insurmountable on game day weekend, especially when you take into account the Rebels being ranked as high as No. 8 in the AP poll with Quinshon Judkins looking like a Heisman candidate, but we know how that ended.
In many ways, Mississippi football fans had a lot to appreciate in 2022. We try not to mention the Sugar Bowl.
Having two bowl-eligible FBS teams is fairly impressive and means there was digestible football on TV every Saturday. there have been much darker times for Mississippi Football, like the 2005 season where the six Division 1 programs in the state finished a combined 27-40.
We did witness undeniable gridiron greatness thanks to Jackson State and Deion Sanders. The Tigers are looking to close out their first undefeated season ever this Saturday against Southern University in the SWAC championship. That game will be played in Jackson where the team experienced a drastic preseason issue: the water crisis. That lasted for about seven weeks, is still lingering and remains a threat to the capital city’s infrastructure. It’s important to note that concerns over water quality have clouded Jackson for years now. How state and local officials overhaul Jackson’s water system is something to pay close attention to in 2023.
Just to add the cherry on top to Mississippi’s year, we have to mention none other than the largest case of public fraud in Mississippi history. In case you missed it, 77 million dollars intended for the TANF fund were mishandled and allegedly used to fund and construct Brett Farve’s vacation-villa-hideaway in Punta Cana. Wait…*Checks notes* that’s my mistake. Surprisingly, they were used for even less responsible endeavors: a volleyball stadium.
It’s a shame. I wouldn’t say Brett Farve was necessarily revered in Mississippi. He was a well-liked guy who drew red flags and character concerns over his multi-decade NFL career, like the 2010 sexual harrasment allegations. None as consequential as these allegations, though. Even if he’s proven innocent in court, his PR team will go through the equivalent of hell to revive his public image.
In contrast to the Coalition for Kincannon Demolition (CKD) introduced earlier, the Students for the Introduction of a Classless Kalendar Ahead of Nonexcusable Difficult-Tests In the Remaining Educational Designation (SICKANDTIRED) is a serious on-campus group dedicated to securing a dead-weak period for students. Established in late 2022, they have worked tirelessly to relieve stress on students late in the semester. Seriously though, a dead week would be nice. Yes, we have a full thanksgiving break. The two can coexist.
All in all, Mississippi is as unpredictable as its moody weather. Let’s hope 2023 has some incredibly high highs, and some tolerable, predictable lows.
Jaylin Jones is a senior real estate major from Lucedale, Miss, and Justice Rose is the opinion editor. He is a sophomore journalism major from Madison, Miss.