The University of Mississippi is an institution of higher learning just as any of the 629 public 4- year universities in the United States. Due to the location of the university, the school faces criticism and publicity for its unconscious efforts and decisions to uphold its southern heritage. Though there were attempts to modernize the school, “Ole Miss” still holds the image of the Old South. The decisions and actions of supporters of the school’s traditions are weighing heavily on the universities inability to progress. There is a difference in the meanings of certain symbols based on a person’s understanding, genetic make-up, cultural background and race. Though the university is upholding its traditional ways of learning and functioning, change is somewhat required by society. “. The University of Mississippi does uphold a traditional way of life within the name, “Ole Miss”, and other symbols of racial segregation, confederacy and white superiority. The University of Mississippi will be seen as inferior to other universities because of its faithfulness to “Ole Miss” and upholding southern traditions. The traditions of the University should be dealt away with or altered, if not, the traditions of the University will continuously hold an “open wound”. In order to uphold the South’s “southern identity”, the use of symbol as traditions at the University of Mississippi preserve a way of life that is interchangeable with white identity.
“Ole Miss” is the school many student’s hope to attend while other’s plan to attend the University of Mississippi. The difference between the University of Mississippi and Ole Miss is well described by Frank E. Everett Jr.
“Here is a valid distinction between The University and Ole Miss even though the separate threads are closely interwoven. The University is buildings, trees, and people. Ole Miss is mood, emotion, and personality. One is physical, and the other is spiritual. One is tangible and the other intangible. The University is respected, but Ole Miss is loved. The University gives a diploma and regretfully terminates tenure, but one never graduates from Ole Miss.
Within this quote, Everett merely says that “Ole Miss” is something that is cherished and The University of Mississippi is appreciated, but not as much as the experience of “Ole Miss”. The University was built and formed on the traditions of slavery, segregation and white supremacy, but as time has progressed so has the University. On the other hand, “Ole Miss”, the loved and cherished, is holding on to those beliefs of the South indirectly. From class, I learned that the nickname, “Ole Miss, is thought to have many origins from Jack Carey. The University as “Ole Miss” has become synonymous with one another. Since the names of the institution are synonymous, it makes the name “Ole Miss” a tradition for students. “Ole Miss” should be banned; Colonel Reb was shunned. Both symbol represent past of southern histories—a past of slavery...