What Mr. Ole Miss means to me

Posted on Apr 11 2013 - 8:45pm by Trenton Winford

Last week in my column, I addressed my personal feelings on both the mascot and the title of “Colonel Reb.”

It is very difficult to separate the two. After all, it is the same name, even though the two identities moved apart as time passed.
In that column, I pointed out that I disagreed with the removal of the mascot due to what the mascot meant to me — it was a symbol of every great aspect of the university that I love. I asked that people, essentially, broaden the equation from beyond the variable of racism to include all variables.
In this column, however, I assume that the only variable is “Which title makes the most sense?” This means that I am not considering the variables of race, history or symbolism.
First, Ole Miss is a title that cannot be separated from The University of Mississippi. It stands for the essence of this campus and the everlasting connection of students, alumni and employees.
Second, Ole Miss is recognized outside of our close-knit community. Anyone who follows college sports knows Ole Miss. On the other hand, Colonel Reb is unknown by most outside of this university.
Third, for the female, the term Miss Ole Miss is simple and elegant.
Ultimately, Mr. Ole Miss is a much clearer title than Colonel Reb has ever been. Mr. and Miss Ole Miss just rolls off the tongue. When discussing the position with someone outside of Ole Miss, the title “Colonel Reb” can be confusing. Not so with Mr. Ole Miss.
Some will argue that the title is for those on the inside, so those outside of the student body should not matter.

The ones voting for the position understand what Colonel Reb means, and they are the ones who are important.
It is a valid claim. After all, how many groups care what outsiders think about things that strictly concern insiders?

While valid, though, it misses that many inside the Ole Miss community feel that Mr. Ole Miss is a better title, myself included.
I am eligible to run for the position, being a male at Ole Miss who fits the additional criteria to run. Even I, an ardent lover of Colonel Reb the mascot, would rather run for Mr. Ole Miss over Colonel Reb.
Mr. Ole Miss is simply a better title for this position.
Thus, the question that should be addressed is: Why was this done the way that it was? I honestly do not care about the ASB Constitution and the methods of the judicial system.

I do not know if it was done according to the letter of the law. I do know, however, that the people responsible had a full year to make this decision, yet they chose not to.
Why was it the day before they moved out of power?

I cannot help but believe that this move was extremely calculated. I also cannot help but believe that the move seemingly backfired.
I honestly and wholeheartedly believe that if this issue had been brought to the students as a whole, then the title of Mr. Ole Miss would have been adopted with far less conflict.

As the members of the judicial system should have known, it is almost always better to let the whole decide rather than the few, especially when the few are not considered representatives of the whole.

Trenton Winford is a junior public policy leadership major from Madison.