Removal of flag gaining ground at Ole Miss

Published 12:00 pm Friday, October 23, 2015

One by one, groups are voting to take down the state flag at the University of Mississippi.

The executive committee of the Faculty Senate voted yes on the resolution to take down the Mississippi State flag from campus.

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The faculty senate went into session Thursday at 7 p.m. in Bryant Hall room 209 and announced the decision immediately following the vote, which passed 41-1.

The Associated Student Body previously passed the resolution 33-15 with one abstaining vote Tuesday.

“It’s time for us to take down this flag,” ASB Vice President John Brahan said.

Brahan said the flag is a political issue that calls for attention. He said he does not want to see the flag taken down as a sign of disrespect for the state of Mississippi, but rather as a chance to prove Mississippians can come together.

The flag at the Sigma Nu fraternity house, one of two state flags on campus, already has been lowered as a sign of respect to ASB’s recent vote.

Author of the bill and ASB Sen. Allen Coon said ASB’s purpose has been to act because Gov. Phil Bryant has chosen to remain silent.

Coon said the flag coming down from campus is a way Ole Miss students can abide by the Ole Miss Creed by truly promoting the values of inclusion and equality.

When Michael Barnett, chairman of the faculty senate, opened the floor for discussion and questioning of the resolution every faculty senate member remained silent. The meeting was called to order promptly at 7:05 p.m. Within around 10 minutes the resolution had passed nearly by unanimous vote.

Later, protestors were in front of Fulton Chapel holding signs that said “Keep the Flag Up,” “Black Lives Don’t Matter” and others. The group of less than 10 was asked to leave campus by the University Police Department and individuals were escorted back to their vehicles.

The purpose of the faculty senate is to make recommendations to the Chancellor and Academic Council on policies affecting the University as well as advise on matters.

The final decision will be up to senior university officials and Acting Chancellor Morris Stocks on whether or not the flag will come down.

If Stocks agrees with the Associated Student Body and faculty senate, Ole Miss will be the fourth college in Mississippi to remove the flag from campus. Alcorn State University, Jackson State University and Mississippi Valley State University currently do not fly the state flag on campus.