After University of Southern Mississippi student Ranicia Taylor was allegedly harassed at Southern Miss’ 44- 28 victory over Rice on Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium, she posted to social media about her experience at the game.
In response on Oct. 3, USM students came together for a moment of solidarity for Taylor at Shoemaker Square.
“I feel like it’s important for everybody to have justice, so I feel like I should come out here today for those people at the game and for people everywhere,” said sophomore sociology major Tarilyn Elliott. “These injustices can’t go unheard.”
More than 120 students – draped in all black attire – attended the protest. #BlackLivesMatter advocates and Hispanic and white students participated in the protest as well.
“First of all, I’m black and that’s my roots,” said USM student Desiree Chatman. “If you believe in something, stand for it. Nobody should be criticized for it.”
Dean of Students Eddie Holloway, Dean of College of Arts and Letters Steven Moser, Chief Communication Officer Jim Coll and other important university figures also attended.
“From my understanding, nobody has been identified as directly with this incident,” said Interim Vice President- Student Affairs Tom Burke. “But it definitely is inappropriate and we would take action against the student if we found them in violation against the Code of Conduct or the Creed of the University.”
According to College Factual, Southern Miss’ student body is 30.5 percent African-American.
“I feel like they should hold somebody accountable,” Elliott said. “They should get down to the bottom of it. An investigation should be done and someone should be held accountable for their actions because this is not okay.”
Editor’s Note: Content edited for AP style, editorial comments and grammar at 6:47 p.m. Oct. 3.