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Ole Miss Releases Incident Review Committee Report on Election Night

By Sandra Knispel | Published 27 Jan 2013 09:56pm | comments
University of Mississippi students burn Obama/Biden campaign posters during election night protests on campus.

The University of Mississippi Incident Review Committee has now released its report to the public. It comes nearly 12 weeks after the election night incident that pitted a group of black against white students on the Ole Miss campus. MPB’s Sandra Knispel has more from Oxford.

Timed to escape large media attention, the report was released via e-mail Friday evening after office hours. Laying out the events of that night over 17 pages, drawing heavily on eyewitness reports and twitter postings, the committee came to the conclusion that erroneous twitter accounts added fuel to the volatile situation, leading some news organizations to falsely calling the racial disturbance a riot. A total of 16 students now face punishment that may range from educational sanctions, to community service, up to possible suspensions.

“We had two arrests the night of the event and those will be adjudicated through our conduct office.”

Dr. Brandi Hephner-LaBanc is the new UM Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

“And they made referrals of three additional students for behaviors that evening, one students to the Provost Office for an academic dishonesty issue, and the other students were referred for some alternative intervention -- restorative justice is something we may consider -- but it’s an opportunity for those students to go through a kind of educational process about what they did that evening.”

After it became clear that President Obama had won a second term, black and white students clashed verbally on campus. Racial slurs were hurled at African American students, including the n-word … just weeks after Ole Miss had celebrated 50 years of integration. Hephner-LaBanc now heads a second committee that is looking at preventive measures to help avoid such race incidents in the future.

“How can we have more conversations? How can we work with our students so that they are talking about difference more and becoming more comfortable with that? So, educational intervention, educational efforts toward that.”

The report from that second committee is not due until March.

Sandra Knispel, MPB News, Oxford.

 

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University of Mississippi students burn Obama/Biden campaign posters during election night protests on campus.


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