One of the most anticipated events on Mississippi College’s campus every year is rush. Even before classes begin, members of the different clubs and tribes can be seen around campus talking to Freshmen about what a wonderful experience rush was for them. However, this fall the freshmen girls will have a choice that their older peers did not—the lavender clad foxes of Chenoa Tribe.
Sophomores Karis Nelson and Abby Holcombe, respectively electrical engineering and communication majors, have been directly involved with the creation of Chenoa from the beginning of the process. When asked about why they wanted to create a new tribe, they responded that the sheer volume of girls wishing to participate in rush warranted one, but most importantly they wanted to create a welcoming environment for a diverse group of girls.
Sandra Grayson, professor in the Communication department and co-sponsor of Chenoa Tribe reiterated the point that Nelson and Holcombe made. When asked why she agreed to be one of the sponsors of the new tribe, she responded, “When the girls asked me to be a sponsor, they said that people who don’t fit in anywhere else will fit in here. We want everybody.” Grayson went on to say, “We want to take someone and love them and help them to become the very best person that that person can be, because God made them unique for a reason.”
Junior English Writing major Shelby Scott Harris further emphasized how important embracing a diverse group of girls is to Chenoa. In fact, she said that the members of Chenoa “aren’t going to mold to Chenoa. Chenoa is going to mold to them.” She went on to say, “Chenoa encourages girls to embrace the differences they have” to create a wonderful, comfortable community.
It seems as though many girls across campus have bought into the ideals of Chenoa as it had the largest preliminary membership of any of the tribes on campus. Grayson did point out that membership dues had not been paid; therefore, a concrete membership number is not available at the time.
Nevertheless, some may be worried that such a large group will not be conducive to a real community of sisters. However, Grayson said that the large membership does not seem to hinder the idea of community. She says that the girls are prepared and planning in meetings to do “small group things so that everybody can get to know everybody else.”
Chenoa has already begun its attempt to form a diverse community this semester, as it held its first sisterhood event, a luau, on Saturday, Aug. 29. Nelson and Holcombe are serving as co-activities chairs in Chenoa, meaning they are in charge of swaps, socials, formal, informal, and sisterhood events. Thus they were in charge of the Luau that took place on Aug. 29. They say that it was “the best thing ever” and “super chill.” The luau has confirmed in their minds that Chenoa is a reality, and their dreams of creating a close community that is identified by their diversity and centered on Christ have come true.