Former Associated Student Body president Davis Rogers reflected on his year and office and execution of the items on his platform.
Rogers’s platform consisted of Rebel Day, RebAlert and Students For a Safe Ride.
Rogers’s idea for Rebel Day was to have all university students come together for a day of fun and relaxation. Rogers said he wants all students to appreciate the fact that they attend The University of Mississippi.
Rod Bridges, new ASB president, feels that Rogers’s vision for Rebel Day is something that needs to be carried forward, and hopes to continue the new tradition for next year.
RebAlert is an idea that came from Rogers’ personal experiences as a student. His car was towed while he was working at a university-sponsored event and he said he didn’t want this happening to other students.
RebAlert is a system that notifies students via e-mail when he or she is issued a ticket or need to move their car to avoid being fined. Rogers coordinated with Mike Harris, director of parking and transportation, and pitched him the idea.
Currently, students are notified if they are parked in a faculty or reserved spot and need to move their vehicle. However, RebAlert did not go as far as Rogers had hoped due to system complications in regards to the security network not allowing for certain information to transfer.
“The enrollment and retention rates of this university are among the highest nationally,” Rogers said. “As long as this continues, then we will have trouble parking everyone on this campus.”
Also on Rogers’s platform was Students For a Safe Ride. This program is designed to transport any students on campus with free access to and from the Square.
“We are very aware that students can make poor decisions while under the influence, so we want to decrease the risk of that as much as possible and ensure safe transportation for students,” Rogers said.
Around 30 students have been recruited to help with the program so far. They have been working on planning the weekends to run the busses as well as fundraising. It is up to these students to fundraise at least $75,000 per year to continue this program. Their plan right now is to continue to fundraise all through the summer and continue throughout the next school year.
“It’s the fact that I have seen, and we all have seen, how safety, or the lack thereof, within transportation can affect this campus,” Rogers said. “As far as I can tell, it is here to stay.”
Students For a Safe Ride has reached a new contract agreement with Cline Tours and are preparing to work the program next year.
Rogers said he ran for ASB president because he wanted to do all that he could to represent and improve the university and his time in office affected him as well.
“Being ASB president has definitely molded me into a better person and I appreciate that,” Rogers said.
Rogers commented on passing the presidency to recently elected Rod Bridges.
“I’m super excited about Rod and I feel good about passing down the torch,” Rogers said. “I think he is going to be better than me, I really do, and it makes me so happy.”
Bridges said, though many people underestimate the position of ASB President, he feels Rogers fulfilled his duties to the best of his ability and gave the students his all.
“His door was always open and he invested in us as members of his staff ,but also as individuals,” Bridges said.
Bridges said being a member of Rogers’ cabinet taught him a lot and he wants to encourage others just as Rogers did.
“He’s an individual that’s incredibly driven and was what I view to be the epitome of a humble, servant leader,” Bridges said.
ASB senator Michael Howell said that one of the most beneficial impacts of the Rogers administration was the student activities fee.
Rogers worked with members of the Institutes of Higher Learning to implement a mandatory student activities fee of $5 per semester to each student’s tuition. The fee was removed several years ago with the affirmation that it would not return.
Rogers was able to convince the IHL to bring the student activities fee back, which will more than triple the funding of student organizations.
“Students will greatly benefit from this effort, and Davis’s legacy will live on through this successful initiative,” Howell said.
Bridges said student organizations will now be able to apply for and receive an unprecedented amount of funding for their projects and events, expanding the scope of what ASB can do for its students.
Rogers said if he were to use one word to describe Ole Miss, it would be “passion.”
“There are people at this university that are literally passionate about anything and everything you could ever imagine,” Rogers said. “It is so cool to see people with so much passion for the most unique and diverse things. I love it so much.”
As of now, Rogers is unsure where he will attend medical school. So far, he has been accepted into University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and is on the waitlist at Johns Hopkins.
“I’ve been in love with this university for a long time and it’s completely different after these four years,” Rogers said. “I feel a different way about it, a good way.”