The Confederate statue on the Ole Miss campus will be moved.
After the student and faculty-led governing bodies recently voted to move the statue from the Circle to the Confederate cemetery on campus, Ole Miss Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks released a statement confirming that the statue will be moved.
“The recommendations made by these University entities and sent to us by other internal and external groups, indicate that the most suitable campus location for this monument is not its current site on University 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. 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.”
Sparks also stated that while the university has submitted a notice of intent to the state’s Department of Archives and History, the process to “secure the necessary approvals for this relocation will require some time.”
The original vote was held by the Associated Student Body after a resolution was introduced claiming that the statue “violates the tenets of the University Creed”.
The statue was one of seven sites to recently receive a “contextualization” plaque explaining its historical relevance to the University. On the plaque, it stated that the statue was a “reminder of the university’s divisive past.”
At the time, then-Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter stated that he believed putting the statue in context was a better option as opposed to removing the statue that has been on campus since 1906.
“We left the Confederate statue, but we contextualized it, and I think that’s far preferable than removing it as some cities have done, which I think is wrong,” Vitter said in March 2017.
Much like the removal of Colonel Reb and “Dixie” from Ole Miss athletic events, and the state flag from campus, the decision to move the statue will likely spark heated debates between those who disagree on the issue.
While the Confederate cemetery was suggested, Sparks did not mention a specific location in his statement.