Open letter to students, faculty and alumni reaffirms individual student responsibility in enforcing the University Creed
By Michael Harrelson, Editor, HottyToddy.com
A group of Ole Miss student leaders representing a broad coalition of campus organizations has written an open letter to students, faculty and alumni in reaction to last week’s election night protest on campus.
The letter –– signed by the president of the Ole Miss Associated Student Body, the president of the Ole Miss College Democrats, the chairman of the Federation of College Republicans and the president of the Black Student Union, among others –– sought to distance the leaders and the students they represent from the student protest on election night, which they say has damaged the reputation of Ole Miss at a critical time.
“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,” the students wrote.
At a time when the University has just commemorated the 50th anniversary of its integration, the students invoked the words of the Ole Miss Creed in decrying the “singing of Dixie” the shouting of “The South Shall Rise Again” and “screaming racial slurs at their fellow students.’
The protest that took place early Wednesday, November 7, witnessed the burning of an Obama Biden yard sign before campus police broke up the demonstration without injury, violence or damage to property, according to campus police.
“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 tenants of the Creed,” the letter said.
The student leaders also addressed the student protest group that responded to the social media post that urged fellow students to “go out and protest” the re-election of President Barack Obama.
“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 fraternity and sorority representatives of the Pan-Hellenic Council and the president of the Resident Hall Association also signed the letter dated November 9, which concluded, “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.”
The letter was signed by the following:
President, Ole Miss College Democrats
Associated Student Body Senator, College of Liberal Arts
Chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans
President, Associated Student Body
President, Interfraternity Council
President-Elect, National Pan-Hellenic Council
President, Panhellenic Council
President, Black Student Union
President, Residence Hall Association