Ole Miss students vote for the Landshark as new on-field mascot

Published 8:23 pm Friday, September 29, 2017

Rebel the Bear mascot at Ole Miss vs. Tennessee at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss. on Saturday, October 18, 2014.

The Landshark looks poised to make a splash as the new mascot for Ole Miss.

In a four-day vote organized by the Associated Student Body, Ole Miss students voted to replace Rebel Black Bear, the current mascot, with a Landshark.

According to a letter posted to the ASB Facebook page, over 4100 votes were cast this week with 81 percent of those votes in favor of a Landshark as Ole Miss’ mascot.

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“In an age as politically divisive as our own, such agreement and unanimity is rare. This represents a step toward fulfilling the University Creed more and more in our everyday lives, further tightening the bonds between all members of the Ole Miss family and uniting the student body behind a mascot that truly embodies the spirit of our great university,” ASB officers Elam Miller, Jennie Jesuit, Dylan Wood, Will Nowell and ASB President Dion Kevin III said in the letter.

While the vote passed, the mascot change remains in limbo as further steps are needed to make the shift from the bear to the Landshark official.

The Associated Student Body will present an official document to the university before the Vanderbilt football game on Oct. 14. From there, the university will determine if an official change will take place. According to a statement from Ole Miss spokesman Ryan Whittington to The Associated Press on Sept. 19, the vote by the students is an advisory vote and not binding to Ole Miss Chancellor Jeff Vitter or the Ole Miss Athletics Department.

However, in a joint statement from Ole Miss administration and Ole Miss Athletics issued on Sept. 18, the university is willing to listen to the students regarding the school’s mascot.

“We value the important role that students play as an active voice in the life of our campus community. We are always interested in the viewpoints of our students,” the statement said.