UPDATE: The University of Missouri Chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin, has decided to step down as well due to public pressure—he will be "transitioning" out of his role as Chancellor by the end of the year.
UPDATE: The voice of the students has been heard and University of Missouri president Tim Wolfe has officially announced his resignation.
Wolfe has been under pressure from students, faculty and lawmakers to step down because of his poor handling of racial tensions at the university and his failure to address students' concerns following three very significant acts of campus racism carried out by white students.
The university's governing body, the Board of Curators, reportedly met in an emergency meeting to discuss what to do, as the student government issued a statement calling for Wolfe to leave.
During a press conference announcing his resignation, Wolfe reportedly had these words to say;
"The frustration and anger that I see is clear, real, and I don't doubt it for a second. I take full responsibility for this frustration. I take full responsibly for the inaction that has occurred. I'd ask everybody, from students and faculty and friends, to use my resignations to heal and start talking again, to make the changes necessary."
Upon Wolfe's resignation, graduate student Jonathan Butler can now go back to eating, officially ending his week-long hunger strike.
The #MizzouHungerStrike is officially over!— JB. (@_JonathanButler) November 9, 2015
And the football team can return to the field!
Prayers were answered 🙏🏽 although there's a lot more work to do.— Brandon Lee (@Bossmann_4) November 9, 2015
Although the fight against campus racism at Mizzou is hardly over, this victory is a symbol of how powerful student voices are and how organizing, working together, and standing up for what is right achieves results.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @Forbes
Following a streak of racially charged incidents and inaction from the university administration, a group of black players on the Missouri football team has vowed to go on a strike until university system President Tim Wolfe resigns.
The announcement was made on Twitter in a post by Missouri's Legion of Black Collegians:
“The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe ‘Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere,’” read the tweet. “We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students' experience.”
And it’s not just students participating in the protest. The team’s head coach Gary Pinkel also joined the initiative by “Concerned Student 1950” — an African-American student group named after the year the university began admitting black students — by posting the following tweet:
A series of incidents led to the movement against Wolfe since September. Most recently, on Oct. 10 Concerned Student 1950 members protested during the MU Homecoming Parade by blocking a car carrying Wolfe and making speeches.
Instead of listening to their pleas, he called police to disperse the activists.
“I regret my reaction at the MU homecoming parade when the ConcernedStudent1950 group approached my car. I am sorry, and my apology is long overdue. My behavior seemed like I did not care. That was not my intention. I was caught off guard in that moment.”
But he still has not shown any indication of resigning, despite rising tensions at the campus. Instead, Wolfe promised administrative actions to bring change to Mizzou.
“It is clear to all of us that change is needed, and we appreciate the thoughtfulness and passion which have gone into the sharing of concerns,” Wolfe said. “My administration has been meeting around the clock and has been doing a tremendous amount of reflection on how to address these complex matters. Clearly, we are open to listening to all sides, and are confident that we can come together to improve the student experience on our campuses.”
However, protesters say they are “tired of dialogue” and want to see some action:
We are tired of dialogue! We want action! @UMPrez— ConcernedStudent1950 (@CS_1950) November 8, 2015
Tim Wolfe literally didn't say anything. Didn't address anything new. Basically the same statement from last time. That's why he's gotta go— Larry Johnson (@Larry_theDon) November 8, 2015
See More: Ferguson, Missouri Is America’s War Zone
A Change.org petition to oust Wolfe has more than 6,500 signatures of the 7,500 sought.