The protesters at the University of Missouri have effectively won by forcing the President, Tim Wolfe, to resign over supposed mismanaging of a series of racial situations that had occurred on campus.
The boycott stems from a series of racial incidents at the University of Missouri allegedly mishandled by the school’s president, Tim Wolfe. The university president’s detractors cite his refusal to speak with protesters who blocked his car at a homecoming event, swastika graffiti scribbled in human feces, and the experience of Mizzou co-eds enduring n-word taunts as reasons for him to resign. The culprits in the alleged incidents involving excrement and the n-word remain unknown. Beyond a few specific examples, the activists vaguely point to systemic racism as the cause for the movement to ditch the university leader.
The resignation was effective immediately, with Wolfes’ spoken hope that healing could immediately begin on campus. The protesters demanded a written apology from the president that included these things:
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The president of the University of Missouri system stepped down Monday amid criticism of his handling of student complaints about race and discrimination.
President Tim Wolfe said his resignation was effective immediately. He made the announcement at the start of what had been expected to be a lengthy closed-door meeting of the school’s governing board. He largely pre-empted that session in a halting statement that was simultaneously apologetic, clumsy and defiant.
“This is not the way change comes about,” he said, alluding to recent protests. “We stopped listening to each other.”
He urged students, faculty and staff to “use my resignation to heal and start talking again to make the changes necessary.”
A poor audio feed for the one board member who was attending the meeting via conference call left Wolfe standing awkwardly at the podium for nearly three minutes after only being able to read the first sentence of his statement.
The race complaints came to a head over the weekend when at least 30 black football players announced they would not participate in team activities until Wolfe was gone.
For months, black student groups have complained of racial slurs and other slights on the overwhelmingly white flagship campus of the state’s four-college system. Frustrations flared during a homecoming parade Oct. 10 when black protesters blocked Wolfe’s car, and he did not get out and talk to them. They were removed by police.
Black members of the football team joined the outcry on Saturday night. By Sunday, a campus sit-in had grown in size, graduate student groups planned walkouts and politicians began to weigh in.
Until Monday, Wolfe did not indicate that he had any intention of stepping down. He agreed in a statement issued Sunday that “change is needed” and said the university was working to draw up a plan by April to promote diversity and tolerance.
And the president wasn’t the only one to resign:
Just hours after University of Missouri (MU) president Tim Wolfe was driven from office over racial tensions at the school, the chancellor of the school’s flagship Columbia campus announced that he will be stepping down as well, increasing the body count in a gruesome day for the university. Meanwhile, activists at the school say their struggle is not over and that they plan to release even more demands for the school in the near future.
R. Bowen Loftin will leave his post at the end of the year, after which vice chancellor Hank Foley will take over on an interim basis until a new chancellor is chosen.