Southern Style is a prestigious and diverse group of student leaders selected to serve as orientation leaders and guides for preview and orientation. They also serve as the hosts and hostesses for university events including commencement, Award’s Day, and Legislative Weekend. They represent The University of Southern Mississippi in many ways. Southern Style has a long process of selecting its’ members who serve for two semesters. You must meet the certain qualifications to be eligible for application and if admitted to membership you must be willing to accept the added responsibilities associated with Southern Style.
To me, as a freshman, on my summer preview, Southern Style made the previewing of the school much more enjoyable with their dances and chants. In finding information about this discourse community I hope to explore the application and tryout process, what current members responsibilities are, and their own personal view on Southern Style. Before even becoming a potential member of Southern Style you must meet specific qualifications. Firstly, you must be in your sophomore year, and have completed the online application on the University’s webpage.
A transfer student may apply their first semester attending Southern Miss. A minimum GPA of 2. 50 is the very least required at The University of Southern Mississippi or an applicant’s respective community college from which an applicant has transferred. Southern Style also requires two letters of recommendations from faculty and staff when a student places an application to become a member. Selected members must also maintain the minimum 2. 50 GPA to continue Southern Style when selected.
Also, you must be a full time Southern Miss student for spring and fall semester of the preceding year. Most selected members have over a 3. 0 GPA making the chances of becoming a Southern Style member much more difficult and much more prestigious if selected to join the respected group. There are four different parts included in the selection process, but once Southern Style members are chosen they have many responsibilities they must follow other than just keeping their GPA strong.
One of these responsibilities is that Southern Style members must serve as hosts and hostesses for Southern Miss functions. They must serve as leaders and active participants during all the preview sessions and G. E. W. W. Another aspect they must do is lead conversations and “ice breakers” at the previews and G. E. W. W groups, learn and teach the Southern Miss traditions and student services information. They also are required to help make the preview packets to be handed out to the upcoming freshman, be a service representative to parents, and serve as a role model for future students.
Before doing this assignment I needed to gather more information on the discourse community, so I sat down with my buddy Lee Johnson for a short interview. Before I could even get my questions started, he said, “Southern Style is most definitely a discourse community, our goal is to make sure that incoming freshman realize that Southern Miss is going to be their new home; and that we are here to help them in any way possible. ” The incoming freshmen are helped out drastically by the small community of Southern Style which, in turn, helps out a much larger community, being the university itself.
So I asked Lee to further explain his reasoning for becoming a member and this is what I got, “I decided I wanted to be a part of this because I got so much from the Southern Style leaders when I was a freshman years ago. I was nervous as hell when I came here… ” He continued by talking about a friend he met his freshman year that showed him the ropes, including where his classes are and tips on studying. The influence he received from this friend convinced him to try out whenever he had the eligibility to. “I never realized how hard it was to be in such a prestige group.
The application and try out process is very rigorous. Well, long story short, I didn’t make it the first time around. ” This shows how extensive and difficult the application and try out process is and how special it is to be part of the organization. Following his answers I changed the subject to find out if there are any special communication methods within the organization, Lee said, “There isn’t necessarily a common way to speak to one another but, of course like every group, there are some inside jokes and nicknames; that’s pretty much it. I asked Lee if there were any difference in an average person and a Southern Style member, he stated,” No, not at all.
Everyone in there is just as ordinary as ever; that’s the thing, there is no above and beyond kind of person, no one that’s better than another like you would think everyone is in such a high honor community. ” Being in Southern Style, their main job is to set the standards in a way on how a new or future Golden Eagle sees their new home. At these summer previews, they chant and have an amazing amount of spirit interacting with the incoming freshman.
Southern Style members know all the cheers that are screamed at the football games. They share this spirit with the future students and helping them feel more at ease with college by getting them excited and having the future student participate along with them. By promoting school spirit and knowing all the things to say in previews and tours so that the parents and students understand everything that goes on at the university. Another quality of Southern Style members is how their presentation techniques to the audience.
The members don’t just introduce themselves with their names, they express themselves or others through songs, raps, or interpretive dances making every moment of it enjoyable. Southern Style enters the room at a summer previews with extreme level of Southern Miss spirit with dancing, chanting, or just anything unique that gets the crowd excited and represents the school as best as they can. They present themselves, along with their style at many events throughout the school year.
The organization has a unique way of standing out with the way they equip themselves such as the way they dress for events promoting the University and themselves. Southern Style has mustard yellow nylon suit jackets they wear as their signature uniform that set them apart from everyone else. When asked about the jackets, Lee stated, “The yellow jacket is one of the things that set Southern Style apart from the rest of the other organizations, and is very recognizable and memorable.
These jackets can be recognized in the biggest crowd and mean a lot to the members knowing they made it in such a prestige group. While in my interview with Lee I asked him what was his favorite aspect about being a part of Southern Style was. He replied with “True relationships are formed because you are with these peers of yours day in and day out learning about the university and other important aspects, and just having a great experience trying to think of ways to make future students who plan on coming here to the University of Southern Miss enjoyable and welcoming.
Being a member helps you learn facts about the school and how much it has achieved throughout its existence. Learning about all of this also helps someone gain an unexplainable amount of respect for their school and the city surrounding it. Southern Style is a community of Southern Miss representatives that follows high standards and represents the University to the highest abilities.
Even though the process of selection consists of many extensive requirements and interviews, the individuals selected are a community known as Southern Style. To be a part of it is a highly respected privilege with all the tradition related to this discourse community and how everyone acts and shows their respect towards the group. Throughout my interview and observation processes I have learned an amazing amount of information about Southern Style and I hope to be able to try and apply for a respected spot in this prestigious community.