Students Concerned for Ole Miss Reputation After Election Protest

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(University, MS) For years, Ole Miss has gone to great lengths to distance itself from what some call a “redneck image” with it’s banning of “Dixie” and rebel flags at football games, even ditching the mascot Colonel Reb.

But some say the protest Tuesday night suggest nothing has changed much.

Reports say several hundred students were involved, or watched as political chants turned ugly after President Obama's re-election.

Others say a mob moved from the Student Union to The Grove and back to the dorms.

”I really feel yeah, this thing should not happen because this could really harm the reputation of the University,” said Surabhi Shakla, a student from Delhi, India.

Many told us social media, like Twitter and Facebook, made the situation sound much worse than it really was.

”What was mostly ‘the riot’ was actually those watching the event unfold rather than actual rioting,” said Hjalmar Breit of Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Chancellor Dan Jones reacted to reports of hateful chants when he said,  “The University leadership strongly condemns this kind of behavior and is embarrassed that any students associated with the university would use this kind of language”.

While many say immature freshmen were most responsible, others point to the backlash against the disturbance, saying it shows attitudes have changed here for the better.

”What we saw more of, was people saying that’s a no-no, don’t do that, that’s in the past, this is the modern day, it’s not gonna fly” said Breit.

Many see the Election Night protest as a so-called 'teachable moment.'

”We all are a part of a community and we should respect each and every individual,” said Shakla.

So there’s apparently still work to be done here. Chancellor Jones perhaps said it best when he stated the community must rededicate itself to ending hate.