Multimedia StoryTelling

By the students of MCJ300 at The University of Southern Mississippi

Southern Miss Family Comes Together

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In the wake of the disastrous tornado that ripped through the campus of the university of Southern Mississippi, students assembled in full force to show their love for their school.

Sunday, February 10 will be a day that the students of Southern Miss will never forget. A terrible, unexpected twister manhandled its way throughout the city of Hattiesburg and the campus of Southern Miss, destroying several historic buildings and leaving behind a scar that, at the time, seemed permanent.

The most notable landmark destroyed was the Ogletree Alumni House. The house had just celebrated its centennial birthday, as it was built in 1912. It served as one of the oldest buildings on campus. 100 years of tradition was demolished in a span of about two hours.

The three music buildings on campus received the remaining majority of destruction, as the Marsh Fine Arts building, the Mannoni Performing Arts Center, and the Jazz station were all severely damaged. Jean-Paul Brion, a Jazz Studies major at USM, was left in disbelief at the sight of the jazz station being torn apart. “For us music majors, that was our home. That’s where we spend all of our time. We don’t have anywhere else to go. I don’t know what we’re going to do now.”

The school had arrived upon one of its darkest hours in history. However, the USM student body had something to say about that. They were not going to let one storm destroy their home.

The day following the tragic incident, USM student Ned Nelson decided to take action. Through the power of the Internet and social networking, Nelson rapidly organized a campus-wide clean up by creating a group on Facebook. What started out as one man’s attempt to give back to his school quickly escalated into a Facebook movement of a gathering of classmates to mend the broken wounds to what they call home. The event on Facebook attracted over a thousand USM students ready to do anything they can to get their school back up and running.

On Wednesday, February 13, just three days after the tornado, the students gathered in the parking lot of the Theatre and Dance building on the USM campus. It was organized by a sign-in table, at which every student signed in with their student ID, and was split into teams to go to different parts of campus. Once signed in, a student was given a color-coordinated wristband, a pair of gloves, and a plastic trash bag.

The final tally of students that signed in was 940. The students collectively gathered 1,450 bags full of debris left by the storm, making an impact of over 62,000 dollars for their university. “This school has given so much to me in my four years here, and I’ll do anything I can to repay the favor. I will be forever proud to call this campus my home,” said senior Sports Management major Craig Crews.

This just goes to show us that even in the wake of a disaster, the Southern Miss family comes together to show its love for its school. “Southern Miss is a family that draws from all walks of life. No matter what fraternity or sorority you’re in, no matter what you believe is right or wrong, there is one thing that brings us all together, and that’s the love we have for this school and this community. I’ve never been prouder to be a Southern Miss student,” said Nelson.

The students at Southern Miss are humbled and proud to have helped their university, and have all been made better through it all.


Written by tnrwtsn

February 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Posted in multimedia, Video

Tagged with , , ,

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