The Eyes of MSMS

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The Eyes of MSMS

The Vision

The Eyes of MSMS

The Vision

Bill calling for MSMS move to MSU yields mixed feelings

Raleigh Taylor
A small selection of MSMS students answering a schoolwide poll were divided over legislation calling for the school to move to Mississippi State.

Students are divided about and reported a mix of emotions over Senate Bill 2715, a pending piece of legislation calling for MSMS to move to Mississippi State University.

District 43 Sen. Dennis DeBar Jr., R-Leakesville, authored and presented a bill to the Miss. Senate Education and Appropriations committees on Feb. 19 tasking the Mississippi Department of Education to make relocation plans for MSMS as soon as the 2026-2027 school year. DeBar is chair of the Miss. Senate Education Committee. 

In a survey sent last week to the 200-plus student body, 41 responses varied between support, opposition and indifference to the bill. Approximately 13 students supported the move, while 12 said they were against the action. Eleven students said they didn’t have an opinion about the legislation, and the remaining five people could not choose a definite response. 

The most common topics in responses focused on safety, research and improvements in both curriculum and facilities.

Senior Colt Sorey said he is against the move.

“Mississippi State is such a larger campus than MUW that it would be hard to regulate where people are at all times — especially since it is not fenced in. It would be significantly easier for students to sneak off campus and get age-restricted and illicit substances,” Sorey said. 

Junior Sarah Irvin said she believes the move would be a great opportunity for MSMS. 

“The academic resources that students would have access to if Senate Bill 2715 was passed would be amazing for a high schooler, especially in Mississippi,” Irvin said. “As far as any distractions that may face students on a college campus, I believe we all applied to MSMS with a passion to succeed that cannot be diverted.”

Other students said they see both the pros and cons of a potential move. Senior Annadele Beckman said the situation is too complicated to support one side. 

I think the situation is really complicated because, on one hand, I think it’ll be really good for the school. We’d have so many more opportunities to learn and with better equipment. I think it’ll also really attract more applicants,” Beckman said. “However, I’m worried that the Legislature will think that we are a bad return on investment because so many of us go out of state for college. Mississippi is really desperate to keep its young people in state. I think before, we were kind of flying under the radar so to speak, but now that we have a lot of attention on us, the government will just go ahead and shut us down.

Others, including senior Maxim Chamberlin, said they do not have opinions because this bill will not directly affect them or their education. 

“I don’t care whether the move happens or not, but I think it’s dumb how we’re all going about doing it,” Chamberlin said. 

Faculty and staff at MSMS met Feb. 27 to discuss the bill’s effects. After the meeting, biology teacher Joseph Barnard emerged with a statement: “We are committed to helping the school move forward.”

For the bill to be approved, both chambers must pass it and the governor must sign it into law. 

DeBar and MUW President Nora Miller did not reply to requests for comments.

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About the Contributor
Raleigh Taylor
Raleigh Taylor, Podcast Editor
Raleigh Taylor is a senior from Shubuta. They enjoy journalism because they can write about things that are important to them. Outside of journalism, they mainly focus on engineering. Their other hobbies include collecting rocks, learning songs on their guitar and reading historical fiction. Ray wants to become an environmental engineer.

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    Colt SoreyMar 5, 2024 at 6:56 pm

    Since this article has been posted, the bill has passed both committees that it was originally referred to, the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee. It was also amended to where the bill now says that MSMS will stay on the campus of MUW, but placed under the control of MSU. WTVA posted an article earlier today with the link to the official bill in the link.