Assistant to Chancellor Jones says incident blown way out of proportion
By Adam Brown
A social media post that urged students to “go out and protest” the re-election of President Barack Obama resulted in an incident on the Ole Miss campus late last night that witnessed the exchange of racial slurs and the burning of an Obama yard sign.
Although some media outlets were referring to the incident as a “riot”, no violence was reported, campus police said.
“It (the incident) is being blown out of proportion,” said Andy Mullins, assistant to Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones. “There were no injuries, no property damage and no pepper spray. How do you get a riot out of that?”
Campus police were present at the scene, where officers made two arrests –one on a charge of public intoxication and the other for disorderly conduct. Names of those arrested were not released.
The incident began early Wednesday morning following projections by national media that President Obama had won re-election as president.
Several hundred students gathered near the center of the campus in reaction to the viral social media posts, which reportedly drew other students to watch as the incident unfolded
“Students were yelling at each other,” Mullin said. “It was over in less than an hour.”
Check hottytoddy.com for updates throughout the day.
HottyToddy.com Update: The University of Mississippi issued the following statement concerning the student protest ignited by a social media post following the re-election of President Obama.
Statement from the University of Mississippi
OXFORD, Miss. – University police were notified by students shortly before midnight Tuesday that Twitter chatter was indicating students were gathering near the student union to protest the results of the election. The officers found 30-40 students gathered in front of the union, and over the next 20 minutes the gathering had grown to more than 400 students, many of whom were chanting political slogans. The crowd was ordered to disperse by university police, and after about 25 minutes students had returned to residence halls. About 100 students gathered again at one hall, and university police dispersed the group and made two arrests for disorderly conduct, including one for public intoxication and one for failure to comply with police orders.
“While we are grateful that there were no injuries and there was no property damage, we are very disappointed in those students who took a very immature and uncivil approach to expressing their views about the election,” said University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones. “The gathering seems to have been fueled by social media, and the conversation should have stayed there.”
“Unfortunately, early news reports quoted social media comments that were inaccurate. Too, some photographs published in social media portrayed events that police did not observe on campus. Nevertheless, the reports of uncivil language and shouted racial epithets appear to be accurate and are universally condemned by the university, student leaders and the vast majority of students who are more representative of our university creed.”
Jones said, “Parents are being notified that it’s a normal day on campus and that one of America’s safest campuses is safe again this morning, though all of us are ashamed of the few students who have negatively affected the reputations of each of us and of our university. We are initiating a thorough review of this incident to determine the facts and any follow-up actions that may be necessary.”
Jones said, “We are reminding our students of relevant statements within the university creed: The University of Mississippi is a community of learning dedicated to nurturing excellence in intellectual inquiry and personal character in an open and diverse environment. As a voluntary member of this community: I believe in respect for the dignity of each person. I believe in fairness and civility. I believe in personal and professional integrity.”
Social Media Post Ignites Student Protest at Ole Miss
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