iPhone 7 Story (Update)


This Christmas, many people will be checking their stocking stuffers for iPhone 7’s. In September, Apple hosted their annual Keynote event where they released the specs for this holiday’s most sought after present.

Following the Keynote, many users seemed skeptical over the iPhone’s update. The new iPhone ditched the traditional headphone jack, but added an additional camera. Apple also added two new finishes to the iPhone 7’s design.

Though the big unveiling of the 2 camera system doesn’t fill the void of the missing headphone jack for many of it’s users, it’s not stopping the phone from appearing on Christmas wishlists.

According to Fortune magazine, Apple Tech analyst Gene Munster revealed that the iPhone continues to grow in popularity, despite cutbacks to the phone’s traditional specifications.

A survey of 1,000 users conducted by Munster’s sales team revealed that the iPhone 7 is more popular than the iPhone 6.

Though many predictions saw the sales demand declining for the IPhone, it’s safe to say that many Apple lovers will still be lining up to Apple stores this holiday season.

Drew Bouffard is a senior at the University of Mississippi. Bouffard says he was ecstatic when he received his iPhone 7 as an early Christmas gift over the Thanksgiving holiday.

While Bouffard enjoys the new additions on his iPhone, he misses the iPhone’s traditional headphone jack. His biggest complaint is the fact that he can’t charge his iPhone while listening to music.

“I actually had an iPhone 5, but the iPhone 7 is a lot different,” Bouffard said. “The thumb identification was not on my iPhone 5, and there’s a missing auxiliary cord, so I just have to use the lightning headphone that they give you with the phone.”

Many technicians believe that Apple’s decision to leave the headphone jack behind was an inevitable move.

Craig Byrd is a former computer technician at the University of Mississippi. Byrd is also a former Apple technician, who knows all about their products.

Byrd says that leaving the headphone jack behind is a smart decision, because newer technology is better than dated technology.

He says the real reason Apple is ridding the iPhone of the headphone jack is because of space.

“We look at these phones and we expect them to be lighter,” Byrd said. “So, in order to make it thinner, that port has to go away.”

When the new iPhone’s are unveiled, users always expect something new and refreshing. Though many Apple lovers always seem skeptical at first, they seem to buy in around the holiday season.


Ole Miss athletics hosts 14th annual Kids Day

Ole Miss athletics hosted their 14th annual Kids Day this morning for the women’s basketball game against Kent State University. As the women’s basketball team prepared to impress the younger audience, the kids were warming up to them as well.

The university hosted roughly 7,000 students from different schools around the state, making it the most successful Kids Day to date. Many schools traveled over an hour to attend the event.

Jason list is the Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing. He says it’s important to engage younger students in a college environment.

“Anytime you get young kids on a college campus I think it is a good thing,” List said. “Couple that with a new, beautiful basketball arena, a fun team to watch and an in-game event staff that really knows hot to put on a good show, it’s an all-around success.”

List hopes the experience gives the kids a positive memory of the Ole Miss campus. He also hopes it inspires them to come back when they’re making a college decision in the future.

Though many of the kids from the surrounding area were Ole Miss fans, many of them were visiting the campus for the first time.

Alicia Wilson is a teacher from Aberdeen High School in Monroe County. She brought 20 of her students to give them their first opportunity to visit Ole Miss.

“They’re quite excited to be here,” Wilson said. “Some of them have never even had the opportunity to visit a college campus, less known attend a college game.”

Many Ole Miss students were also in attendance for the women’s basketball game. Having Kids Day also gives Ole Miss students the ability to interact and share their college experiences with younger, impressionable students.

Aaron Wilson is a senior student at Ole Miss and he attended Aberdeen High School. He’s also the son of Alicia Wilson. He says that he would have loved the opportunity to visit Ole Miss as a high school student. He says the learning experience gives the kids something to look forward to as they further their education beyond high school.

“It’s a great experience for the young kids,” Wilson said. “A lot of kids just haven’t been exposed to leaving their city, or really just being on a college campus.”

Ole Miss athletics hopes that Kids Day is the first campus visit or many for the students who were able to attend.

Oxford High school’s approach to bridging the achievement gap

Mr. Sabatier Helps students with calculations in his physics class.

Teachers of Oxford High School are taking a hands on approach in closing the achievement gap between high performance and low performing students.

The hands on approach in Oxford High School’s physics classes are helping bridge the learning gap for Oxford High School students.

Funding from the Oxford School District Foundation, which pays for innovative teaching ideas, made the new approach a reality.

Duncan Gray is the Assistant Principal at Oxford High School. He says it’s critical that schools begin think differently about how they approach education.

“If it’s hand on, if it’s innovative, and if they can see the relevance of what they’re doing to the world outside, they are going to become engaged,” Gray said. “It requires teachers to change their model, to change their approach.”


Students test their calculations in Mr. Sabatier’s physics class.

According to Gray, the new physical engagement with the learning environment also strengthens the relationship between teachers and students.

Charley Sabatier is a Physics teacher at Oxford High School. He makes opportunities for students not to just learn physics, but to do it as well.

“The grant has supported us and allowed us to do physical quantitative measurements with new equipment,” Sabatier said. “The kids really like learning how to use the technology and how to use it to help their understanding of the topics we’re studying.”

Though teachers have altered lesson plans to new teach styles, many students have altered their traditional comprehension skills.

Evelyn Smith is a student at Oxford High School, and she says it’s a positive change from just pencil and paper.

“I’m traditionally a note taker and color coded type of person, but I’ve  actually really enjoyed how much hands on time we get and how involved we are,” Smith said. “It’s not just us reading about it, we’re the ones who are actually doing the work.”

Here’s my story:


The future of University of Mississippi parking

The spring semester is coming to a close at the University of Mississippi, and as students relieve their parking spaces for the summer, Mike Harris, director of parking and administration, is already anticipating their return.

Photo By Taylor Shelley. Director Mike Harris in his Lester Hall office.

Harris, who is ending his third year in the position, said his future strategy stretches past the 2020 school year. He previously served as the parking director for Mississippi State University for 14 years.

During the fall of 2014, the semester of Harris’s arrival, enrollment at the University of Mississippi surpassed a record-breaking 23,000 students. The 2014 incoming freshman class grew 6.5 percent from the previous freshman class. It was the biggest freshman class ever recorded for any Mississippi university.

“When I toured through campus for the first time, the first thing I noticed was that the there were more residential beds than parking spaces,” he said. “It was a problem and an opportunity.”

The year prior to his arrival, tensions reached a boiling point between students and faculty because of stricter parking restrictions, in hopes of “pedestrianizing” the Ole Miss campus. The implemented operations also included more restrictive policies for on-campus parking during Saturday football game days.

Photo By Taylor Shelley. A  freshman full residential parking lot in the Ole Miss campus.

“There simply weren’t enough areas of parking for commuters and campus residences, and that could be catastrophic for the future development of Ole Miss,” Harris said. “We needed a solution that minimized unorganized traffic while anticipating the future growth of the university. It wasn’t as simple as relocating parking assignments.”

Though Harris commends the effort to enforce a policy to minimize unorganized on-campus traffic, he admits the quick solution perpetuated the problem. He also believes there was an overall lack of communication between parking violators, enforcement and the administration itself.

“When I arrived, parking and administration worked separately from the University Police Department,” he said.

Harris said the most prominent parking violators were those of “commuter” parking assignments, since the majority of UM students live off campus.

Photo By Taylor Shelley. A empty commuter parking lot in the Ole Miss campus.

Anticipating the influx of future freshman classes and the growing demand for on-campus residences, Harris said the parking solution resided in a “master plan” that could illustrate the university’s future growth. “If we’re planning just a year ahead, we’re already behind,” he said.

Harris said his strategic parking solution is a direct extension of UM’s Master Plan. In 2009, the university’s Department of Facilities Planning joined Sasaki Associates, an international interdisciplinary design firm that provides sustainable strategies for landscape architecture and planning solutions. In collaboration, the 2020 plan was created.

Photo By. UM 2020.

According to the Department of Facilities Planning website, a master objective of the 2020 plan is to create a “pedestrian-focused campus.”

Harris said the plan is a vision to maintain the rooted culture of the Oxford campus, while anticipating the compromise of its natural landscapes that will “inevitably” come with growth. He said the university’s objective to create open space is why the previous parking administration began to “decentralize” parking assignments.

Photo By Taylor Shelley. A full residential parking lot in the Ole Miss campus.

Though Harris said the previous administration implemented changes for the 2020 plan, he believes action wasn’t far enough ahead of the problem. His current plan of action for the 2020 vision relies on the previous administration’s initial idea of “decentralization.”

The decentralized parking system reduces parking spaces along the interior of the campus to encourage students and faculty to use the university’s biking routes and transit systems – Rebel Pedals, Oxford University Transit shuttles and the Park-N-Ride services.

Photo By Taylor Shelley. A bike repair shop located in the Ole Miss campus.
Photo By Taylor Shelley. Ole Miss parking director Mike Harris introduces the “Transit Bus Loop” map.

Harris believes the plan will release the strain of campus traffic, allowing better access to academic areas. The first development of Harris’s plan is called the “Internal Bus Loop” that will be introduced the fall semester of 2017. “If everything goes according to plan, no one will ever have to wait any longer than five to seven minutes,” he said.

Harris said the newly implemented transit system will include new OUT buses and transit hubs. “We’re making a commitment to adjust the systems to the time of service for each lot,” he said.

Photo By Taylor Shelley. A student waiting area for the OUT Bus system located on the UM campus.

Although Harris and his administration have created a solution for campus traffic, he said none of it will work successfully unless the administration properly communicates the new regulations to existing students, faculty and incoming freshman.

“My first obligation as director was to create the proper orientation presentations for incoming freshman families,” he said.

Harris said parking is a vital, often overlooked adaptation, for incoming freshman. During the first freshman orientations of his tenure as parking director, Harris orchestrated parking session meetings for incoming parents and students.

Photo By Taylor Shelley. Ole Miss Parking Director Mike Harris’s “Transit Bus Loop” map.

He said he needed a way to show freshman families that it was possible to reach most academic facilities and frequented destinations on foot. He believes that, since most UM students attend from rural areas, they aren’t as familiar with the importance of parking restrictions and violations.

“Most students graduate to move to cities who rely on daily traffic enforcement,” he said. “Ole Miss is an education and learning institution, but not everything you learn is in the classroom.”

David Babb, a senior finance major, transferred to UM from the University of Illinois in 2013 after his freshman year. He lived in Minor Hall, an on-campus residential hall, during his sophomore year. The Chicago native said his car stayed parked the majority of his on campus residency.

Photo By Taylor Shelley. A residential parking lot in the Ole Miss campus.

“I wasn’t familiar with the layout of Oxford, so I wasn’t in a hurry to go roam around on my own,” he said. “I drove my car the most going back and forth from school.”

Since Babb didn’t have any mutual Ole Miss attendees from his hometown to carpool with to Oxford, he felt having a vehicle was a personal necessity.

But Harris said there are too many parking spaces occupied through an average day of class at UM. He said each individual parking spot should generate “turnover” throughout a single day. He said on-campus parking spots should turnover at least three times a day.

Photo By Taylor Shelley. A empty residential parking lot on the Ole Miss campus.

“It ultimately affects the cost of distribution fees when we calculate the turnover from each semester,” he said.

Harris said the lack of turnover misconstrues the distribution average for parking tags that raises the cost and value. “We ultimately decided to temporarily reduce the number of commuter spaces while limiting the number of distribution,” he said.

Christian Osso, a sophomore integrated communications marketing student, said he missed his opportunity to purchase a commuter permit this year. He said he wishes he would have been more aware of the parking changes taking place. “It was way easier getting a residential parking permit than commuter,” he said.

Since he wasn’t able to purchase a commuter permit as his primary option, he decided to apply for the “Park-N-Ride” shuttle service provided as a secondary option. Osso parked his car at the Jackson Avenue parking center across the street from campus. He enjoys avoiding the drive-time campus traffic cluster that occurs when students get out of class.

Though many traditional commuters perceive UM’s various transit options as current inconveniences, Harris said the decentralization will help return more spaces back to campus as the university continues to grow.

Taylor Shelley
The Oxford Eagle



Entertainment column: ‘Views’ is Drake’s inevitable bow from hip-hop

By Jack Plunket/Invasion/AP

With “Views,” we’re introduced to a 29-year-old Drake, who is cleverly conscious of his dominance over the current hierarchy of hip-hop.

The album artwork carefully illustrates an older Drake, who drinks wine in silky pajamas before he strolls through Toronto in his fur coat and Rolls Royce.

Last summer, Drake found himself against the ropes of interrogation after Philadelphia rapper, Meek Mill, raised suspicions about the validity of Drake’s rap verses for the first time in his career. The Philly rapper Tweeted that he was aware of reference tracks related to Drake’s 2015 surprise release, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.”

Drake’s calculated, overnight responses brought us two viral “diss” tracks, “Charged Up” and the Grammy-nominated “Back to Back” that premiered live on his “OVO Sound Radio” broadcast on Apple Music’s “Beats 1 Radio” show.

Through Twitter memes and unruly Meek Mill slander, fans of hip-hop culture appeared to be unbothered by the proof and accusations that Drake possibly enlisted help to write his raps. Through this exchange, Drake emerged as the current most influential rap artist.

Drake, who sculpted his soundscape around themes of suburban nostalgia and lost relationships, is starting to distance himself from his fan base. “Views finds Drake surgically creating a space that separates his lyrical and artistic abilities. It seems as if the common theme of self-doubt is becoming unbelievable for Drake.

His common style of brokenhearted inspiration becomes hard to accept as Drake laments over materials that aren’t as familiar as they used to be. He opens his album as the star of the show on “Keep the Family Close,” lamenting about an old friend as he realizes, with age, your family becomes most important. The cinematic intro lets Drake meditate carefully as musical tension rises and drops the listener into the album.

Though Drake can still successfully leave an opening impression, which anticipates the following message, it feels like his issues are rhetorical. The hollow notes on “Views” occur when Drake attempts to relate his dominant position to the unrelatable.

The sudden disconnect relies on Drake’s age. In his late 20s, the rapper finds himself farther away as a voice of youth. His experiences no longer fit the teenage mold that has kept many school-age listeners close.

It feels as if Drake is taking his time going through his current trials, and they don’t appear to have him clearing his throat in drunken contemplation like his lonely 2011 release “Marvin’s Room.”

 The unresolved tribulations that previously interrupted Drake’s love life don’t seem to wound him as much as the person he’s in love with. On his song “Redemption,” Drake admits his success makes him the ultimate caretaker of every relationship he’s involved with. “Who’s gonna save me when I need saving? Since ‘Take Care’ I’ve been caretaking.”

On “Views,” Drake is too comfortable speaking of the void that traditionally created his distinct confessional tone known throughout his previous releases.

Taylor Shelley
The Oxford Eagle

Part 3: Aftermath: UM students volunteer in Haiti six years after devastating earthquake

Meals packed during the Packathon were delivered to Haiti during spring break. (Source: Kayla Hari)

In 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, killing more than 160,000 people and displacing nearly 1.5 million. Now, more than six years later, Mississippi church groups and organizations are still conducting relief work in Haiti. In a four-part series, we take a look at the work volunteers from the University of Mississippi’s campus organization Feed the Hunger have been doing to alleviate poverty in the country.

Taylor Shelley
The Oxford EAGLE

This semester, the University of Mississippi’s chapter of Feed the Hunger boasted a record breaking 170,160 packed meals during their sixth annual Packathon event.

The Packathon is a common food-packing event hosted by the Feed the Hunger organization, in which teams of volunteers form assembly lines to pack nutritious meals shipped to starving children in Kenya, Asia, Haiti and local areas. Packathon provides a cost-effective way for people from all backgrounds to work together to impact the lives of needy children around the world.

The University of Mississippi’s sixth annual Packathon hosted more than 700 volunteers to pack for two-hour shifts at Oxford Middle School. Cayla Hari, a UM sophomore psychology major, is the current Feed the Hunger chair and coordinator of the Packathon event.

Hari is a part of a Feed the Hunger committee of 10 UM students, all girls, who are now nearing one million packed meals, overall, since their tenure on campus. “We’re hoping to reach that goal by next year,” Hari said.

Freshman year, Hari volunteered as a packer and later sought a leadership position after her experience. “I wouldn’t want to change my experience for anything,” she said. I think coordinating the Packathon has strengthened my leadership and organization skills while also helping others. Packing also strengthened my passion for eradicating hunger in the U.S. and overseas.”

During spring break this year, 11 UM students involved with Feed the Hunger delivered packed meals to Haiti for a week. Generally, Feed the Hunger mission trips consist of volunteers and employees who travel to different countries for direct, hands-on care for starving children.

Though she’s still waiting on the right opportunity to serve on a mission trip, Hari has seen the impact through the stories and faces of her friends who traveled there. “It’s important to talk with those who go on the mission trips, because they see how the work we’re doing affects children,” she said. “I do hope to attend a trip sometime during undergrad, whether it be to Haiti, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or Jamaica.”

Hari believes the “enlightening” experience often leads students to peruse further ventures in non-profit charity work beyond Feed the Hunger. “Planning the pack event this year was such an honor and learning experience, I want others to share the same opportunity,” she said. “For the rest of my years at Ole Miss, I hope to maintain a leadership role with Feed the Hunger. After graduation, I want to be able to host Pathathons wherever I end up.”

My Guys serves breakfast in Oxford

Derrick Seals walks out of My Guys Biscuits & Bar-B-Que onto the empty patio with a cup full of sweet tea as contemplates whether or not he’ll cover his co-worker’s shift tonight. While lunch traffic continues to circulate through the restaurant’s drive-thru on University Avenue, Seals sports several pieces of royal blue, My Guys’ official colors.

Derrick Seals stands behind My Guys’ new way of viewing their menus at the drive-thru.
Derrick Seals enjoys a free sweet tea.

“I used to wear one of the the cool blue Ember’s hats, but I let a new guy wear it on his first day, and haven’t seen it since,” Seals said, gripping the brim of his Dodgers’ hat bill.

Derrick seals, a University of Mississippi senior journalism major, began his employment at My Guys (formerly known as Ember’s) last April, after a friend prompted him to fill out an application.

The restaurant has become popular for cooking and serving fresh flavorful smoked meats. When customers step foot into My Guys’ doors, they are immediately greeted with the aroma of meats cooking on the smoker.

A view of the drive-in and cashier’s desk.

Similar to a hibachi grill, customers can watch their food prepared as the staff creates flavors from scratch. My Guys is also known for serving breakfast food all day.

“It’s the only place I’m aware of here in Oxford where you can get your breakfast meats, sauces and beans thrown in the smoker for extra flavor,” said Arlington Shirley, a second year employee of My Guys. “We have new location now on Jackson Avenue, but our menus are so unique, you may be able to get things smoked here that you can’t there.”

Every morning, the My Guys staff creates their secret rub, which eventually meets the surface of all their seasoned meats and biscuits. “I’m not saying we have the absolute best rub in town, but I haven’t tasted anything like it, and I’m from Memphis,” Seals said. “We know about barbecue.”

Taylor Shelley

A meeting with the John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence

The John and Renee Grisham residence is just one mile west on Highway 6 in Oxford. The residence, funded by the University of Mississippi’s English Department, was built to house the University Of Mississippi’s John and Renee Grisham Writer in Residence.

Approaching the residence.
Approaching the residence.

Since 1993, the program has hosted an emerging writer who lives in the residence while they teach undergraduate creative writing courses at the University of Mississippi. The selected writer or professor lives within walking distance from campus and teaches one class each semester during the program.

This year, the chosen author is Jackson native Kiese Laymon. Laymon is the author of How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and Long Division. He is also a professor of English and African studies at Vassar College, a liberal arts school located in New York state.

His most recent work, Long Division, was named one of the best books of 2013 by The Chicago Tribune. His collection of essays in How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America has also been acclaimed by the Best of Net award, Best American Series, and others.

Laymon attended Millsaps College in Jackson and Jackson State, before graduating from Oberlin College in Ohio, where he studied English, sociology and racial studies. He later earned a MFA from Indiana University. Laymon’s works focus on Southern writing, feminism, hip-hop and themes regarding black life.

Kiese Laymon at the Grisham Residence

“I’m currently working on finishing two books, so having all this space to myself to think freely is really giving me the opportunity to grow as a writer,” Laymon said. “I’ve never had this much space all to myself.”


Laymon arrived in a red Ford Explorer to open the gates of the private property, then walked down a narrow gravel pathway surrounded by seemingly endless greenery and open land.

The winding gravel road continued a couple of feet before it changed to a smooth driveway, and he reached a grotto of flowers before a modest yellow house emerged from the trees. He pulled into the empty four-car space driveway.

The Grisham residence released a glow, as the bright Mississippi sun reflected off its peachy, yellow color. Laymon walked onto the front deck of the house. He apologized that he couldn’t allow anyone into the residence, but the living room was visible through one of the glass doors.


This is Laymon’s second time in Oxford. The first was his Long Divison book tour in 2013. Prior to that, Laymon’s family discouraged him from visiting Oxford because of their knowledge of town’s historic racial tensions.

“Oxford is so close, yet, so different from where I’m from,” he said, leaning back in his chair on the back patio. “My family was so worried about the reaction, from the historical perspective. To them, Oxford isn’t a family-oriented place.”

Laymon remained in the Grisham residence after his first semester, during Christmas break, and he invited his family to live with him for the holiday season. Initially reluctant, his mother, cousins and aunt spent Christmas in the residence.


“I just wanted them to see that I was living safely here in Oxford,” he said. “I get why they worry, because I’m an only child.  My grandmother would not budge though. She’s 76, but she still thinks of Oxford as the ‘Middle of the Confederacy.'”

Though his grandmother was glad Laymon was temporarily closer to home, she worried about him living in a place with a recent history of racial tension.

“She just wanted me to be careful in a place that is constantly patting themselves on the back for change,” he said. “Change doesn’t seem genuine when you have to constantly parade it around for praise. It’s a concern of intention.”

Taylor Shelley
The Oxford EAGLE