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Ole Miss Incident Committee Commences Work

By Sandra Knispel | Published 18 Nov 2012 11:32pm | comments
A student protest on campus after President Obama's reelection on Nov. 6 gets out of hand.

The University of Mississippi is taking concrete steps to deal with the fallout from the protests that erupted on campus shortly after President Obama’s re-election two weeks ago. MPB’s Sandra Knispel has more on the University’s new ad hoc Incident Review Committee.

No question the negative PR for Ole Miss has been a nightmare in the wake of the election-night protest. Ever since, the University has been at pains to show that racist behavior will not be tolerated, while still investigating students for possible criminal charges or violations of the university creed, says UM Chancellor Dan Jones.

“This is a very complex event. It occurred at night and there were perhaps 30 or 40 people who were involved in exchanging words, but a larger group of people who were around and observing and so forth."

Made up of nine administration and faculty members, the new Incident Review Committee is tasked with interviewing witnesses and wading through hundreds of tweets, Youtube and Facebook posts in order to draw up a report of what really happened that night. But it’s also supposed to make recommendations on how to change student behavior. Dr. Susan Glisson, director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, is one of the nine committee members.

“The students have suggested that there ought to be a racial reconciliation orientation for students as they come to campus and I would suggest that that’s a campus-wide opportunity not just for students but for all of us as faculty and staff.”

Again Chancellor Jones.

“Certainly the group that will be asked to take the broader look at our university culture will consider a number of things, including those kinds of educational opportunities. We’ll ask them to evaluate those things and make recommendations.”

Their report is expected before the end of the semester and will me made public, with specific identifying markers to individual students redacted.

Sandra Knispel, MPB News, Oxford.

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A student protest on campus after President Obama's reelection on Nov. 6 gets out of hand.


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