On March 1, the Associated Student Body Senate announced its intention to vote on a bill to encourage administration to relocate the Confederate statue from the Circle to the Confederate cemetery on campus. By and large, this was the first time the majority of the student body had heard about this legislation. Thus, little to nothing can be done by students in dissent of the bill to express their opinions.
No matter your opinion on the moving of the statue, there is something fundamentally wrong with the timing of the announcement. The ASB posted minutes from the last meeting noting that bill 19-4, the legislation to move the statue, would go to committee that Thursday, Feb. 28. The next day, the ASB Facebook page announced the intent to bring it to the floor.
Over the past couple of weeks, Ole Miss has been home to debates about the Confederacy. It is understandable that the ASB wants to address this debate and bring change to campus. However, it seems that they are trying to ram through legislation without input from the student body. This is a serious debate with arguments to be heard on both sides.
Similar actions have taken place within the ASB. In September 2017, a student vote to change the mascot from a bear to a landshark took effect. Only about 4,100 students voted for the landshark mascot, and there were few opportunities for the students of Ole Miss to voice their opinions on a mascot change.
The movement of the statue is of even greater weight. The ASB should open this legislation to the debate it deserves, allowing all members of the Ole Miss community to voice their opinions.
Lauren Moses is sophomore accounting and political science major from Dallas.