Rita Howell Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2008

Plea to Chancellor Khayat: Free Taylor Ivy

Many of you have told me that you are enjoying the chronicles of Taylor Ivy’s eventful freshman year at Ole Miss. Taylor’s column appears every Friday on our Panola People page.

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Taylor worked as our intern last year and we are delighted she can still write her column each week.

A few weeks ago she wrote about “her corner” in the J.D. Williams library on the Ole Miss campus. She described how comfortable she was studying there for hours in self-imposed isolation in her private nook.

Last week I received a disturbing news bulletin from her mom Janie.

“They took away her corner.”


“It’s true,” her mom said.

Seems students who, like Taylor, are recipients of the Luckyday Scholarships are required to spend set hours in the library each week.

Now, this was not a problem for Taylor. I believe she would have taken up permanent residence there if they’d provided her with a cot and a place to plug in her hair flattening iron. There’s already a coffee shop there, she wrote.

Unfortunately, some of those Luckyday scholars must have been skipping out early from their library hours. Or maybe they weren’t going at all.

Sadly, the Luckyday library monitor has commanded that all those Luckyday students must sit together around a common table for their study hours. Something about keeping up with them, making them accountable.

Taylor’s mom tells me that those golden hours of productive, even enjoyable study time have evaporated as our girl is forced to sit rigidly in one spot in the middle of the room with a bunch of other students, some of whom apparently are not as committed as she to their books.

So I offer this plea to Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat: “Free Taylor Ivy. Free her from the ball and chain that binds her to the cold, hard table and chair to which she has been restricted at study time. It is totally unfair that some apparently lackadaisical Luckydaysies have brought upon this innocent, studious young woman such hardship. Free her and let her roam back to her cozy corner, able once again to relish the hours spent alone studying there amid the blending scents of old books and fresh coffee.