Students came back for the spring semester as renovations for a new Student Union underway. To compensate for the closed food court, the university responded with the POD Market Truck and the popular Chick-fil-A food truck. Located on business row, the trucks became a hot spot for students hoping to grab a quick bite between classes or getting a late-night study snack.
On Jan. 21, hundreds marched on the Square, alongside millions of others around the country, in response to comments made by President Donald J. Trump. Both students and Oxford community members marched in solidarity for those who may feel unsafe in today’s political climate. The Women’s March drew hundreds more people than the 150 originally expected.
President Trump released an executive order limiting travel into the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim countries, sparking outrage and protests in the Circle. Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter released several statements on the ban, explaining “one of our top priorities is a safe and welcoming environment for all our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.” He outlined specific points in which they planned to help the 26 students and 11 faculty members affected by the executive order.
Ole Miss hosted its fifth annual RebelTHON at the Turner Center to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. The 12-hour marathon surpassed the initial goal of $150,000, raising $172,169.22 through dancing, games and entertainment.
On Feb. 22, the yearlong NCAA investigation into the Ole Miss football program finally came to an end. The university self-imposed a one-year bowl ban for the 2017 season after 21 sanctions were brought forth by the NCAA. “I feel terrible for our players and staff who have to handle the consequences of a very few,” Freeze said. “Unfortunately, these penalties are necessary for our program to be responsible and to move forward.”
Ole Miss men’s basketball made an exciting and deep run into the NIT Tournament. After the regular season ended with an impressive 75-70 win over Final Four-bound South Carolina, the Rebels were bounced early in the SEC Tournament. Rather than sulking on missing out on the NCAA Tournament, the Rebels beat the fourth-seeded Monmouth Hawks 91-83 before taking down the Syracuse Orange 85-80 in a huge win at the Carrier Dome. An NIT Final Four bid came up just short at home in the Pavilion against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, ending what was an exciting season showing promise for the future.
Dion Kevin was elected the 2017 ASB president, winning with 58.04 percent of the vote, while Elam Miller won the vice presidential race, earning 58.08 percent of the vote. Both elections went to a runoff, and the ASB saw nearly 4,000 students cast votes. Both Kevin and Miller ran on platforms hoping to unite students to ensure everyone on campus has a voice.
C Spire brought technology to campus in its inaugural C Spire Technology Experience conference, held in the Pavilion on April 27. Big names in technology, like Michelle McKenna-Doyle, the NFL’s chief information officer; Brian Uzzi, of Northwestern University and Randi Zuckerberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media, Facebook Live and former chief marketing officer of Facebook, presented. The festival aimed to connect technology and music by including performances by Passion Pit, The Lonely Biscuits and The Weeks after the lectures.
Four Ole Miss Rebels were selected in this year’s NFL draft. Senior star tight end Evan Engram lead the way, going No. 23 overall to the New York Giants. Other Rebels drafted included nose tackle D.J. Jones going 198th overall to the San Francisco 49ers and cornerback Derrick Jones going 204th overall to the New York Jets. The final Rebel drafted and perhaps the most notable late-round selection by any team was the Denver Broncos selecting “Mr. Irrelevant” Chad Kelly 253rd overall. The last pick in the draft, Kelly fell to injuries and off-field concerns mid-season.
On May 2, the ASB voted to recommend an indefinite suspension on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on History and Contextualization. The committee worked to contextualize the names of several buildings and sites on campus throughout the year. Many ASB senators cited a lack of student representation on the committee as a reason for the suspension.