OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — University of Mississippi students are endorsing the landshark as the school’s new sidelines mascot. In a statement Friday night, student government President Dion Kevin III said 81 percent of more than 4,100 students voted to replace the current black bear with the landshark.
University officials say the vote is advisory and doesn’t bind Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter, but say they’re willing to listen. Kevin says he hopes the vote is a “catalyst” to persuade administrators to make a change.
The statement begins with praise for the change:
We are proud of our students and their leadership and active engagement as important members of our university community. We recognize that their efforts stem from a desire to unify the Ole Miss family. The results of the Landshark poll confirm the sentiments that Ross and I have heard since arriving on campus — that the Landshark and “Fins Up” have become synonymous with the positive spirit and strength of our athletics program and the “Never Quit” attitude of Rebel Nation.
— Jeff Vitter (@JeffVitter) October 6, 2017