OXFORD, Miss. (WLBT) - The University of Mississippi has approved to move the longstanding Confederate statue from the middle of their campus in Oxford.
The Associated Student Body (ASB) of Ole Miss and other students say some details behind the move were not part of their initial request.
Joshua Mannery is the ASB president, who is back in Jackson for the summer.
“We as the Associated Student Body and a couple of the other governing bodies on campus, we asked them to relocate the statute to said cemetery. We didn’t mention any language of beautifying,” said Mannery.
WLBT obtained a copy of the Chancellor’s letter to the Institution of Higher Learning from the Ole Miss website.
At the bottom of the 156 page letter are renderings of the University Cemetery, where the statue is set to be relocated.
“I think there is a level of respect that needs to go to a cemetery and I think we can make it look better and restore it. But I think beautifying is an extra step that we don’t have to take,” said Mannery; “so they’re moving it to a cemetery, but they’re making said cemetery look better than like 75% of any other parts of our campus. [It’s] defeating the purpose of moving it at that point.”
Mannery feels the statue has been a symbolic place for white supremacists and other groups to protest.
The Associated Student Body and some faculty have been fighting to remove the statue for over a year to minimize that.
They're happy for the victory, but Mannery believes there is still a window of opportunity to stop the renovations.
“As always there’s always something else. But it will come to a day where we can finally relax and just be students and not have to be student leaders 24/7,” said Mannery.
We have reached out to the university about the relocation project.
We are waiting for a response.