A student march of about seventy-five participants was held on the University of Mississippi campus with the purpose of reminding the Ole Miss community of the recent desecration of the James Meredith statue.
The march, starting noon yesterday, began at the Student Union, proceeded through the Grove and the Circle, passed the Lyceum and ended at the statue. After the students walked, Shan Williams, senior psychology major and leader of the march, gave a short speech expressing her frustrations about the desecration enacted on the statue by university students.
“The university needs to know that we will not be silent,” Williams said.
Williams said she expected only five people to show up for the march and was surprised by the turnout. She also said the decision to lead the march did not happen overnight.
“I was very angry about the whole situation, and found myself asking, ‘Why not do something about it?,’” Williams said.
While Williams said her anger initially fueled her desire for the march, she made a point to differentiate this from her reason for the march.
“My reason for the march is to encourage the university to become more proactive,” Williams said.
Williams said she was concerned that the university has formed a complacent society, and this disturbed her.
“None of this would have happened if we had honored James Meredith’s wishes to remove the statue,” she said. “Why not remove it?”
Adebanke Buki Alabi, an Ole Miss alumna who recently completed her master’s degree at the university, expressed feelings of disgust regarding the incident.
“When I first heard what happened, I was disgusted, because this does not represent the opinions of a majority of the university,” she said.
Anne Babson, graduate instructor and PhD student, expressed similar opinions.
“I am frustrated that these three people who committed these acts have become the face of the university,” Babson said.
When asked if she would participate in any more of these types of activities, Williams said, “I don’t know, we’ll see.”