MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - In a historic decision, Ole Miss Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks announced Thursday that school administration has started the process to relocate the controversial Confederate monument away from it’s current, centralized location.
The decision comes after tensions have recently risen on campus.
Student groups have protested for its removal for years.
In February, pro-confederate organizations held a rally in support of the monument.
Earlier this month, the Ole Miss student body senate and faculty senate passed resolutions to relocate the statue to the confederate cemetery on campus.
In a statement Thursday, Chancellor Sparks said, “The shared governance process has demonstrated that our campus constituents are in alignment, and we agree that the monument should be relocated to a more suitable location.”
“I’m glad we’re finally getting somewhere," said Emrys Gill, SASI secretary.
Emrys Gill and Quay Williams represent the group Students Against Social Injustice, or SASI.
SASI has organized many protests for the removal of the statue.
They told WMC they see this first step as a victory, but there is a long way to go.
“It doesn’t stop here, obviously. We are going to continue to monitor the situation every step of the way," said Gill.
“We haven’t actually seen any, I guess physical steps or processes being made by admin yet that we can feel confident about," said Quay Williams, SASI President.
Now begins what is expected to be a long process.
Ultimately, the Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning will hold a vote on whether the statue can be moved.