The Student Government Association at The University of Southern Mississippi will vote Nov. 5 on a resolution to officially remove the state flag from both the Hattiesburg and Gulf Coast campuses.
Senior political science major and SGA senator Nathan Barron authored R05F15, “A Resolution to Remove the Mississippi State Flag from University Grounds,” on the basis that, “the (flag) does not represent the values of the Student Body or of the University and is inconsistent with the Southern Miss Students’ Creed,” according to the resolution.
“This is organic,” Barron told The Student Printz. “This is from the ground up, and that is what we want in Senate: for the students to get involved. (Now) that we know that the flag has been down, it has become exciting news.”
According to SGA Vice President Kyle Stoner, students continue to send their opinions to senators via direct email and the Speak Up Southern Miss application on the SGA website. Their input, Stoner said, is of great value to the Senate.
“As the elected voice of the student body, the Student Government Association Senate is responsible for representing the diverse voices of the student body of The University of Southern Mississippi through democratic processes,” Stoner said. “This resolution was created by a senator in order to allow for the student voice to be heard on the current event of the State Flag of Mississippi.”
The vote comes just over a week after the Oct. 28 removal of the state flag from the front of the Hattiesburg campus. That Wednesday, students and faculty protested both against and for flying the Mississippi state flag on campus.
“The Confederate battle flag represents violence, oppression and hate to many Mississippians and to people all over the world,” said Susan Hrostowski, associate professor of social work and organizer of the flag protest. “Such a symbol does not reflect the best Mississippi has to offer. It is as offensive to many as the swastika.”
Counter-protesters like junior psychology major Christine Miller disagreed.
“To take it down feels like you’re rejecting everything you are and how far you’ve come, as if you’re spitting on all the progress you’ve made,” Miller said in a story by The Student Printz.
The SGA Senate resolution says, “Furthermore, The University of Southern Mississippi shall not raise the flag of the State of Mississippi on the Hattiesburg or Gulf Coast campus as long as the Confederate emblem, in whole or in part, remains on the flag.”
The Student Printz will report the SGA Senate’s vote later Thursday. Stay with The Student Printz as the story develops.