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The Level of Energy Rises

The energy on campus today was truly amazing. There were students everywhere welcoming us to campus and ready and willing to help with anything we needed. I even had a short conversation with Chancellor Khayat today. What a wonderful man. I have never seen another individual so passionate about what he does each and every day. He truly cares about this University and the students on this campus mean the world to him. Every time you say the words “Ole Miss,” his face lights up with a smile.
Our day today began with a 9:00 AM formal tour of the media filing center, which is the area where the media (majority print media) will file stories. During the course of each day, I will be working with the Ole Miss staff to help the media set up interviews, navigate campus or just to offer tips on the best restaurants in Oxford. Whatever the media need, we are there to take care of them and help position Ole Miss in the best light possible.
Within the media filing center is spin alley. I discovered today that I will be in charge of logistics in this area, which is reserved for use by broadcast media after the debate for conducting interviews with public policy experts. Spin alley allows political experts and representatives from each political party a specific space to make statements to the press that are most often referred to as “spin,” or highly biased propaganda.
We then moved on to the broadcast area, where we discussed specific roles and responsibilities in an effort to be sure all broadcast media is taken care of appropriately. Mary Stanton, Ole Miss’ Broadcast Communications Manager, will be heading up those efforts. While I was introducing myself to print media and being sure they were well taken care of, Mary spent much of her afternoon introducing herself to broadcast media around campus to begin building important relationships early in the week. We also had an opportunity to tour the debate hall (Gertrude C. Ford Center). Things are definitely coming along as the final lighting was being hung in the debate hall and additional furniture was being brought inside. What a beautiful venue for such an historic event.
Our day ended with a low-key dinner at one of Oxford’s most famous restaurants, Ajax. Ajax is located on the square in Oxford and offers some of the best Southern cooking I’ve ever tasted. A plate of homemade chicken ‘n’ dumplings, green beans and sweet potato casserole was the perfect ending of The Cirlot Agency’s second day behind the scenes at Debate ‘08 in Oxford.
Check back tomorrow for Day 3.