#ConcernedStudent1950 pays visit to UM system president

1 year 2 months 2 weeks ago November 07, 2015 Nov 7, 2015 Saturday, November 07 2015 Saturday, November 07, 2015 3:31:00 PM CST in News
By: Ebony Holmon, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - A video of UM System president went viral among MU students following an encounter Friday night. A group of students involved in #ConcernedStudent1950 traveled to Kansas City in order to meet Tim Wolfe.

He was scheduled to attend a fundraising event in Kansas City. The students waited for him outside.

"While we were on the sidewalk we stood arm and arm, and we were chanting," Darneisha Colmes said. "Basically, because we wanted to grab the attention of everybody nearby and let them know about the situation going on here."

Colmes was one of the students who went to Kansas City. She said one reason was to support Jonathan Butler, a student who is on hunger strike.

"We reinstated that our goal together as #ConcernedStudent1950 is to find administration and to find ways to tackle discrimination on this campus. We trust that we can accomplish that," Colmes said.

The conversation didn't last long. Colmes said they weren't able to ask many questions. She said the ones they did ask were about other events of racism on MU campus within the past two school years.

She said they also asked him about communication issues.

"We asked him why it had taken so long to respond to us," Colmes said. "Every time we had approached him or written to him or the board of curators about the events the racism and discrimination on campus. And...there was some generic answers."

She said Wolfe thanked them for coming out to see him. She said he also told them he is working on some solutions. 

The last question they were able to ask is where the video picks up.

In the video, the group asked Wolfe, what he believed "systematic oppression" is. Their reaction was far from content. 

Colmes said after the video ended, so did the conversation. She said Wolfe walked away, but the group stayed for a while longer.

"The sprinklers were still going, and we basically waited the situation down until the police left, until the last car left, until until the sprinklers were turned off," Colmes said. 

After Wolfe left, she said they continued to chant and pray "arm-in-arm with some people from the University of Missouri Kansas City."

Throughout the night, the video gained popularity on social media. KOMU 8 News reached out to UM public relations in order to get a statement from Wolfe.

We haven't received any response yet, but we will update the story when we do.

Earlier in the week, Wolfe made a statement regarding racism on campus.

In part, he said the best way to tackle race issues on campus is to have a conversation and open dialogue.

To watch the video, click on the play button on the video tab on the top left of the page.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to make spelling and grammar corrections.)

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