John Brahan, ASB vice president, discussed the proper protocol for a resolution to come to the senate floor.
“The birth and/or death of a resolution starts in committee,” Brahan said. “This particular resolution regarding Vardaman Hall must be debated, voted on and passed through the committee on Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement before coming to the senate floor. Until the Vardaman resolution goes through the aforementioned process, ASB Senate will not be debating it.”
Chase Moore, the chairman of the Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement committee, has the responsibility of determining the docket for the committee.
“The statement in the Tuesday edition (of the Daily Mississippian) was not put out by the co-authors,” Moore said. “We weren’t aware of an article coming out about the resolution before discussion from co-authors and the committee. From this point on, as an Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Committee, we want nothing in the media about this (resolution) until further notice.”
The committee will vote on the resolution in the near future.
“Senators are constantly researching and spitballing a variety of ideas,” Brahan said. “It’s very important that media coverage pertains strictly to fully formulated resolutions, so that information and intent is not misconstrued.”
Senator Allen Coon is one of the co-authors of the Vardaman Hall resolution. Coon approached The Daily Mississippian presenting the resolution proposal for Tuesday’s committee meeting.
“I would like to apologize for the miscommunication,” Coon said. “I look forward to working with my fellow senators to ensure that appropriate procedures are followed, and that the nature and intent of the proposed resolution is clear and concise to all involved.”
In the summer of 2013, an expanded Sensitivity and Respect Committee reviewed the University’s environment on race and race related issues. Both the University’s organizational structure related to diversity and issues concerning building names and symbols were evaluated by independent advisors, as stated in a letter in sent to the student body by former chancellor Dan Jones.
The report stated there needed to be an effort to provide contemporary context for some of the University’s existing symbols and names, which are too often viewed as an endorsement of ancient ideas.
Any and all symbols and buildings may benefit from this, but some to consider in the early stages include Vardaman Hall, the ballroom in Johnson Commons, and the Confederate Statue, according to the report.
The report said including plaques would provide context and an beneficial educational opportunity for students and campus visitors who are interested in our history.