A University of Mississippi student-body panel ruled this week that the male winner of a campus popularity contest would not longer have the title "Colonel Reb."
The Daily Mississippian, Ole Miss' school newspaper, reported that the Associated Student Body Judicial Council ruled the title of “Colonel Reb” was unconstitutional per the student government bylaws.
The DM quotes former ASB Judicial Chair Courtney Pearson, who last fall became the first African American homecoming queen in Ole Miss' history explaining: “An anonymous complaint was filed and the ASB Judicial Council took the appropriate steps to hear the complaint.... We followed the appropriate guidelines that we could have according to the most current Codes and Constitution. The decision is final.”
The Colonel Reb character is a old coot of an officer in the vanquished Confederate army, and has stirred controversy over the years. In 2003 then-Chancellor Robert Khayat announced in 2003 the Confederate throwback adopted as the official mascot in 1979 but whose image had been around since the 1930s, would no longer be a staple of Ole Miss on-field matchups. Khayat’s public reasoning was that having “a 19th century person representing a 21st century university in such a highly visible role” seemed odd.
As they are prone to do when anyone so much as sneezes in Colonel Reb's direction, Ole Miss were furious about the ASB committee's decision. Rob Pillow, ASB Attorney General Rob Pillow, vowed to investigate the name change, which he concedes is permanent.