By Nick England
Venturing to Ole Miss is no easy task, but like any road less traveled, it was well worth it.
To get to Oxford, all one has to do is fly directly from DFW to Memphis and drive a relatively short distance. However, seeing as flights into Memphis are nearly three times the cost of that into Jackson, it’s almost a no brainer. Why? Because I like saving BYX money. However, flying into Jackson means one must hop on a flight on the luxurious American Eagle. Complete with three seats per row, one flight attendant and enough leg room for a Keebler elf. It’s a great way to sit back and feel cozy nestled in your seat. That is if your idea of cozy is the tiny box in Zero Dark Thirty.
Once I arrived in Jackson, (two hours late from a delayed flight) I rented my car and set out for the two and a half hour drive to Oxford. While this drive is an exquisite one, there are absolutely no towns along the way. Except for Duck Hill and Coffeeville. And yes, Coffeeville smells like coffee.
I made it to campus just in time for the end of chapter meeting. However, it was just enough time to answer a few questions before we closed out. After chapter we went to Coop DeVille for dinner which boasts being, “The Cadillac of Chicken Wings”. The chicken wings aren’t bad, but “Cadillac” is a bit generous. I could perhaps agree that they are the Buick of chicken wings with a dash of Kia Sorento. But the venue makes up for what’s lost in food quality. The restaurant is known primarily for it’s delivery services which means the “seating area” is a fine establishment. Inside Coop DeVille one will find two picnic tables, curiously sticky concrete floors and an inoperable double-sided fire place in case you weren’t able to get cozy enough on your flight. Fun was had and we all filled our bellies with delicious free-range, hand battered chicken delicacies. And by free-range I mean chickens that grew up in the slums and by hand battered I mean frozen. I’m actually not entirely sure what I mean by delicacy.
The next day I had meetings with each of my officers and a few members. They went very well as the Ole Miss chapter has been making some great strides this semester. They just started classes but in the weeks leading up they initiated their pledges and began formalizing recruitment. One of the best innovations the Ole Miss chapter has made is establishing a recruitment council. The recruitment council is responsible for coming up with opportunities for publicity about BYX, interactions with potential pledges and preparing for Rush Week. The recruitment council is a great way to formalize many of the tasks chapters must prepare for when it comes to the continual mentality of recruitment.
This officer corps is making some great strides with social events and cell groups. They have their first official joint event with a sorority as they will be planning StarBYX with Pi Phi. They are also formalizing a cell group panel to help shepherd cell group leaders.
After my meetings with the officers, we went to dinner at the Ajax Diner on the square in Oxford. I ordered the chicken and dumplings with mac and cheese and sweet potato casserole. Why? Because carbs are yummy. Following dinner, a few of the officers and I walked over to Rowan Oak, William Faulkner’s storied home. William Faulkner lived in Oxford and his home is now a landmark/great place to tell ghost stories. After visiting his home, we walked back to the square to hang out a little longer in downtown Oxford. Later that night I left to drive to Jackson for my flight the next morning. Overall, my trip went great and I’m excited for everything the Ole Miss chapter has going this semester.