University of Missouri president Tim Wolfe resigned after students went on strike because of their lack of action dealing with racism on campus. Chancellor R. Bowin Loftin also resigned shortly after and is moving to his new job advanced research, starting January 1.
African American students on campus have complained several times about how racism in their predominately white school. They’ve reported incidents of racial slurs and other racist actions but they have all went unnoticed from the schools leaders. A graduate student named Jonathan Butler went on a hunger strike demanding the removal of President Tim Wolfe. He ended his hunger strike earlier that day.
Loftin praised the student for his courages and notable efforts. He says,
I want to acknowledge his extraordinary courage and leadership. A very tough, tough young man, a very focused young man, a very intelligent and forward-looking young man, so we owe him a lot.
Other associations, like the football team and student association had called for Wolfe to step down as well. The entire football team with support from their coach, refused to practice and play games until Butler had ended his hunger strike. Wolfe’s resignation came shortly after that.
During the announcement of his resignation, Wolfe said that he’s taking “full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred” and asked that the university to listen to each other’s problems and “stop intimidating each other.”
this is not — I repeat, not — the way change should come about. Change comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation. Use my resignation to heal and start talking again.
After Wolfe’s announcement, faculty and staff came together on the Carnahan Quad where they linked arms and chanted “We Shall Overcome.” Butler told CNN his reaction after he saw that his strike worked was “just wow.”
I was just so overwhelmed about what this truly means … that students who want to go to college and get an education can now have a fighting chance at having a fair education on a campus that is safe and inclusive. I wish you guys could be on campus to see the love that is permeating among the students, staff and faculty.
Check out some of the social media posts students have been posting on Instagram.
Members of #ConcernedStudent1950 address the press and fellow Mizzou students and faculty following the resignation of UM President Tim Wolfe on November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Mo. #Mizzou #TimWolfe #MizzouHungerStrike A photo posted by Rebecca Crews (@rebeccacrewsphoto) on
University of Missouri Student Body President Payton Head (middle-left, second row), members of #ConcernedStudent1950 and supporters chant and pray together at Mel Carnahan Quadrangle after UM System President Tim Wolfe announced his decision to resign on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Tensions have been rising throughout the week following MU student Jonathan Butler’s decision to hold a hunger strike Monday, Nov. 1.
Take notice to all you “talking activist”. Shout out to the students from Mizzou fighting racial injustice on campus and forcing real change. This is the season of the young and powerful. #mizzou #concernedstudent1950 #leadership #activism #change #socialjustice A photo posted by Dumar Paden (@dumarpaden) on