Ole Miss students hold protest, say administration is mishandling the pandemic

Updated: Sep. 16, 2020 at 5:22 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A student-led protest took place at the University of Mississippi on Wednesday.

A group of about 20 students took part in the protest.

“Protesting the administration and the university’s reaction to COVID-19 and how it has affected student health workers, students and staff in general,” said Tex Boren, Ole Miss student and member of Students Against Social Injustices.

The group “Students Against Social Injustices” organized the protest.

They’ve sent Ole Miss administrators a list of demands, which include protection for student workers, free and mandatory testing, and a scale-back to student housing.

Boren says when it comes to testing, it’s not available for everyone.

“No, they will choose people that they want to test at random. I can’t just walk over there and say, ‘Hey, I want a test,’ and even if I can, that’s not accessible to everyone,” said Boren.

The protest comes just days after White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx visited the university to learn and discuss their COVID-19 prevention plans.

Dr. Brix liked most of what she saw, but recommended more testing.

“They have the capacity it’s just not that all the students volunteered. So we really need to get the message out that testing is a path forward to staying open,” said Dr. Brix.

Chancellor Glenn Boyce has said it’s something they will do along with encouraging more students to get tested.

However, Boren says Ole Miss should not have reopened when it did.

“If we closed in March with like 500 cases in the US, and now we have over 1 million cases, no, I don’t think we should have come back. I love being here and I love going to school, it’s not very safe,” said Boren.

Boren also says students don’t trust the number of cases that are being reported.

According to the university COVID-19 dashboard as of Wednesday there are 55 active student cases.

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