Opinion: Where were student voices in mascot vote?

Posted on Oct 6 2017 - 7:57am by Will Hall

Last week, social media was united in mocking Ole Miss yet again for mindlessly making another decision that further erodes our university’s great traditions and fanfare.

Promoted by the Associated Student Body in a campaign that could politely be described as less than enthusiastic, the Landshark was selected as the new mascot in a margin (more than 81 percent) usually reserved for elections in North Korea.

With a voter participation rate at a stunningly low 20 percent, the campus’s establishment figures, united with their old friends in the radical liberal minority, hailed this selection as another step toward their dream of mandated unity.

The ASB presents itself yet again as a disgrace to the very concepts of democracy and student engagement. If the ASB and its allies in the administration actually cared about the opinion of the student body, they should’ve done more than held a simple yes-or-no vote on two equally unpopular mascots and instead listened to the large and vocal number of students who want Colonel Reb to return as their mascot.

Though incredibly popular with both students and alumni, the mascot that warmed the hearts of fans from all walks of life tragically found itself torn away from our great university in 2003 in the vague name of progress. Since then, our athletics have seen highs and lows with our beloved colonel being made to wait outside while the Rebels play on the field he once called home.

The fact of the matter is that the change from Black Bear to Landshark was not some ill-advised attempt at building community. Rather, this was another calculated step in the march to advance the policy of gradual revisionism that this university has found itself so desperate to push forward.

Gradual revisionism serves to right no wrongs or advance any particular cause but instead establish a system where institutions and symbols are made to look sinister and are slowly destroyed, making way for the established order of cultural Marxism, in which the thoughts and opinions of the majority become inherently wrong due only to the fact that they are held by the majority.

Just last week, university staff members, according to a video posted on Facebook by the Our State Flag Foundation, prevented a grassroots student organization from gathering signatures for a petition to include Colonel Reb on the ballot.

This petition that got shut down received more than 2,000 signatures, coming well within the threshold that the ASB would consider a landslide.

If the ASB has any desire to act in the democratic spirit it was made to represent, I encourage it to hold a second referendum on the topic of the mascot, adding only the option for students to write in their selection.

If this option were added, I have full faith that students from all races and backgrounds would join together to select Colonel Reb to be our mascot again and restore a sense of community on a campus that sees itself bitterly divided.

Will Hall is a junior journalism major from Atlanta.