Disturbance in Oxford after election, 2 arrested - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Disturbance in Oxford after election, 2 arrested

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Courtesy Twitter.com Courtesy Twitter.com
OXFORD, Miss. (FOX13) -

Shortly after midnight as Mitt Romney conceded the presidential election to Barack Obama, Ole Miss students in Oxford, Miss., gathered to protest Mr. Obama's re-election.

A disturbance ensued after angry students assembled near the center of the university in protest.

Officials say racial slurs were tossed in a crowd that grew to about 400 students after rumors spread that a riot had broken out.

Two arrests were reported but university officials say there were no injuries or property damage.

Images on Twitter showed the brief unrest, presumably from the results of the presidential election.

The disturbance lasted until around 1 a.m. before students disbanded.

A university spokesman says the gathering began after midnight with 30 to 40 students protesting Obama's re-election but quickly grew. Rumors exploded on Twitter after student journalists posted a video calling the gathering a riot.

Chancellor Dan Jones on Wednesday condemned the disturbance, saying most students and faculty are "ashamed" of the actions of a few.

He said inaccurate comments and photos posted on social media sites don't match police observations.

In the wake of the protest, the University of Mississippi released a statement. The full text of the release reads:

Statement from the University of Mississippi

OXFORD, Miss. - University police were notified by students shortly before midnight Tuesday that Twitter chatter was indicating students were gathering near the student union to protest the results of the election. The officers found 30-40 students gathered in front of the union, and over the next 20 minutes the gathering had grown to more than 400 students, many of whom were chanting political slogans. The crowd was ordered to disperse by university police, and after about 25 minutes students had returned to residence halls. About 100 students gathered again at one hall, and university police dispersed the group and made two arrests for disorderly conduct, including one for public intoxication and one for failure to comply with police orders.

"While we are grateful that there were no injuries and there was no property damage, we are very disappointed in those students who took a very immature and uncivil approach to expressing their views about the election," said University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones. "The gathering seems to have been fueled by social media, and the conversation should have stayed there."

"Unfortunately, early news reports quoted social media comments that were inaccurate. Too, some photographs published in social media portrayed events that police did not observe on campus. Nevertheless, the reports of uncivil language and shouted racial epithets appear to be accurate and are universally condemned by the university, student leaders and the vast majority of students who are more representative of our university creed."

Jones said, "Parents are being notified that it's a normal day on campus and that one of America's safest campuses is safe again this morning, though all of us are ashamed of the few students who have negatively affected the reputations of each of us and of our university. We are initiating a thorough review of this incident to determine the facts and any follow-up actions that may be necessary."

Jones said, "We are reminding our students of relevant statements within the university creed: The University of Mississippi is a community of learning dedicated to nurturing excellence in intellectual inquiry and personal character in an open and diverse environment. As a voluntary member of this community: I believe in respect for the dignity of each person. I believe in fairness and civility. I believe in personal and professional integrity."

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Associated Press reporter Holbrook Mohr om Jackson, Miss., contributed to this report.

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