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Ole Miss Student Leaders Condemn Election Protest

By Sandra Knispel | Published 13 Nov 2012 09:31am | comments
Ole Miss student leaders released a joint statement sharply condemning the election protest that involved racial epithets. Foto of UM's Candelight vigil to protest the events by Nathan Latil, UM Communications

After last week’s post-election protest on the Ole Miss campus, student leaders released a joint statement yesterday condemning sharply the actions of those involved. MPB’s Sandra Knispel has more.

The open letter, sent to faculty, students and alumni of the university is a joint statement by the College Democrats, College Republicans, the ASB president, the Interfraternity Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Black Student Union. They write that playing Dixie, shouting “The South will Rise Again,” and screaming racial slurs at their fellow students is “absolutely unacceptable” and “flies in the face of the University Creed.”

The letter continues, “We’ve made progress as a community and as a university since James Meredith bravely integrated our institution, but election night reminded us we still have a long way to go.”

Mincing no words they warned that  “students who believe what happened on our campus is somehow acceptable, and to those who partook in hateful speech: you are not welcome. We do not want you here. Our campus is not a safe haven for hate.”

Sandra Knispel, MPB News Oxford.

 

Here's the full text of the stsudents' statement:

An open letter to students, faculty, and alumni of The University of Mississippi:

As student leaders of The University of Mississippi, we want to respond to the incidents that occurred on our campus last Tuesday night.  The hateful, small-minded actions committed by some students are unacceptable and embarrassing; they have tarnished the reputation of the university we love so dearly.

This year was special as we celebrated the University’s fiftieth year of integration – we’ve made substantial strides in race-relations since 1962. However, after the re-election of President Barack Obama, a small group of students took to campus streets playing “Dixie,” shouting, “The South will rise again,” and screaming racial slurs at their fellow students. This behavior is absolutely unacceptable on The University of Mississippi’s campus, and it flies in the face of the University Creed. Every single student on our campus pledges to uphold the values of the Creed at Orientation – including respect for the dignity of each person, and treating others with fairness and civility. And, it is every student’s responsibility to hold each another accountable for living a life that embraces the tenents of the Creed.

We’ve made progress as a community and as a university since James Meredith bravely integrated our institution, but election night reminded us we still have a long way to go. The University of Mississippi is not a perfect place – we must not be complacent. We cannot settle for the status quo or think we’ve come far enough. That type of mentality is the reason inequality, injustice, and prejudice still exist – and to move forward, we need to have meaningful dialogue with one another, face-to-face, not by tweets or text or Facebook. To move forward as a student body and university, we need to discuss our differences and strive to genuinely understand one another’s backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs. Long gone should be the days of self-segregation, of exclusion, of hateful words, and of ostracizing someone for being different. To students who believe what happened on our campus is somehow acceptable, and to those who partook in hateful speech: you are not welcome at The University of Mississippi. We do not want you here. Our campus is not a safe haven for hate.

The University of Mississippi is a campus for all who follow the principles of our Creed. We have our work cut out for us, but we’re ready for the challenge to keep progressing as a student body and as an institution. We are dedicated to fostering and honoring the University Creed not just on campus, but also as representatives for The University of Mississippi around the state, the nation, and the world.

Sean Higgins
President, Ole Miss College Democrats
Associated Student Body Senator, College of Liberal Arts
 
Allen Hamilton
Chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans
 
Kimbrely Dandridge
President, Associated Student Body
 
Brian Barnes
President, Interfraternity Council
 
Kendrick Hunt
President-Elect, National Pan-Hellenic Council
 
Kate Kellum
President, Panhellenic Council
 
Lauren Wright
President, Black Student Union
 
Josh Moore
President, Residence Hall Association
09 Nov 2012
 

 

 

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Ole Miss student leaders released a joint statement sharply condemning the election protest that involved racial epithets. Foto of UM's Candelight vigil to protest the events by Nathan Latil, UM Communications


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