Thursday, November 30, 2023

Sparks Gives Nod to Relocate Confederate Statue

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

Confederate Memorial Statue. Photo by Brantley Meaders.

Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks announced in a statement to the Ole Miss students, staff and faculty on Thursday that the university is moving forward with the relocation of the Confederate statue located in the Circle. 

“The shared governance process has demonstrated that our campus constituents are in alignment, and we agree that the monument should be relocated to a more suitable location,” Sparks stated. “University leaders have consulted with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the staff of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, and we have a clear understanding of the steps and approvals necessary for relocation.”

Governing bodies of the university voted on resolutions for the relocation before spring break. The bodies included the Associated Student Body, Graduate Student Council, Faculty Senate and Staff Council.

The university has already submitted a notice of intent of the statue’s relocation to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, according to Sparks’ statement. 

The resolutions the governing bodies voted on highlighted the relocation should be the Confederate cemetery on campus. The cemetery, where experts estimate between 400-700 Confederate and Union soldiers are buried, lies south of the Tad Smith Coliseum.

However, the announcement from Sparks did not clarify the new location for the statue.

The statement did say the university will “work diligently toward this goal by respecting and abiding by state rules, regulations, and policies that govern the process of relocation, and by continuing to provide updates to the university community as the process moves forward.”