Moving Confederate monument not a done deal
While student leadership at the University of Mississippi voted this week to relocate a Confederate monument on campus, the process to move the Ole Miss statue could take a long time — if it is ever moved.
Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks issued a statement, laying out the steps that will be taken next, indicating it could be weeks before the university takes any action.
Next, the ASB’s resolution goes to the Dean of Students. From there, it will be sent to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. Both of those officials must sign off on the resolution before it lands on the Chancellor’s desk, Elam Miller, Ole Miss ASB President told WLBT.
First, “the university would need to develop its justification that the cemetery is a suitable location,” Sparks said in an emailed statement, adding that the university would also have to “consult with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History due to the landmark status of the monument.”
Even then, the university can not move the monument without the approval of the College Board.
“We appreciate the thoughtful and deliberate consideration that the student groups have given to formulating, debating, and passing their resolutions recommending relocation of the monument,” Sparks said. “This is an important decision and issue for our university. We understand that other campus constituents are considering resolutions, and once received, we will take those under consideration as well.”
Sparks did not say whether or not he supported relocating the monument.
When reached for further comment, including a possible timeline, Rod Guajardo, associate director of strategic communications for the univeristy, declined to comment and referenced Sparks’ statement.
However, after the Associated Student Body on Tuesday voted unanimously to relocate the Confederate monument, Guajardo issued a statement, saying, “As an institution of higher learning, we rely on a model of shared governance, of which the Associated Student Body is one constituency.
“We commend the ASB Senate for using the democratic process to engage in debate of topics that impact our community. This student-led resolution will now be shared with ASB leadership for final sign off before being circulated for acknowledgement by the appropriate University of Mississippi administrators.”
Student: Statue represents unacceptable values
Student Katie Dames, chairman of the Committee of Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement for ASB Senate, said Tuesday night the purpose of the resolution “is not to hide history.”
“The Confederate statue represents history hidden in plain sight — we accept the values of Confederacy each time we walk past it with ambivalence,” she said via email. “We can do so much better as a university, and the passage of this resolution proves that.”