The University of Missouri at Columbia has been in an uproar recently. On Saturday, Nov. 7, the Mizzou football team went on strike. Their intentions were to boycott the school president and the school’s mishandling of repeated racially charged incidents on campus.
Their terms were that the Missouri president Tim Wolfe resign and admit to a propagation of systemic “white privilege.”
Head Coach Gary Pinkel tweeted a picture of the team with the caption, “The Mizzou family stands as one. We are united. We are behind our players.”
Immediately, speculation and uncertainty arose about the upcoming Mizzou football game and the president’s decision.
On Monday, Nov. 9, Wolfe held a television news conference to announce his resignation.
“I take full responsibility for this frustration, and I take full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred…Please, please use this resignation to heal, not to hate,” said Wolfe.
On that same day, Missouri Chancellor R. Bowin Loftin told reporters that he would transition to a new role.
With so much controversy and racial tension taking place, and with the abundance of media attention, the effects have been nationwide.
This is a very fragile topic with varying opinions and perspectives.
“I think here at Maryville College we have a very cohesive nucleus that holds this college together. There’s a noticeable amount of love and acceptance here,” said former MC baseball player Wes Neadow.
For its minimal enrollment—1162 students currently—MC is a very diverse and colorful community. MC’s organization and the tight knit vibe throughout campus can probably attribute a lot to the 13 to 1 student to faculty ratio.
“I think the faculty, student body and students in general do a good job making everyone feel equal and welcome,” said MC soccer player Seth Douthat.
Overall, MC has a more equal demographic spread than most universities or colleges. Caucasians make up 81.8% of the student enrollment, African Americans make up 7.2%, and Hispanic or Latino students make up 3.2%.
President Tom Bogart and MC administration do a great job of creating a comfortable and inviting environment for each individual who chooses to attend.
The fact that a school like Mizzou could racially crumble to the point of eliminating two of its head administrators is eye opening to universities and colleges nationwide. It’s proof of how fragile a seemingly well-built community can be. It also demonstrates the value of racial stability and equality. A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.
Faculty awareness is also a key element in this entire controversy. It is up to the people in high positions on campus to maintain certain knowledge of student and campus events.
With the size of MC’s enrollment taken into consideration, a certain cohesiveness is assumed. Students and faculty are almost forced to get along as there are minimal options for interaction.
The Mizzou racial incidents and their aftermath make one very aware of contemporary issues. They also show us here at Maryville College how fortunate we are to reside in a diverse and accepting environment.