Second MU official issues apology after viral video
COLUMBIA - The Columbia community is reacting Wednesday to yet another apology by an MU employee. Janna Basler said she is "deeply sorry" for her involvement in an incident caught on camera. She along with MU Assistant Professor intimidated multiple student reporters covering the Concerned Student 1950 protests.
In a YouTube video from Mark Schierbecker, Janna Basler -- the Student Life Associate Director -- is seen telling student photojournalist Tim Tai to leave the protest. He was on assignment for ESPN and trying to take photos of protesters on MU's Carnahan Quadrangle Monday. This came after the resignations of two high-raking UM administrators. The video of Basler has gained nearly 2 million views since it aired on KOMU 8 News Today on Tuesday.
Basler's apology was posted on the "Mizzou Office of Greek Life" Facebook page at 10 Tuesday night.
“As a student affairs professional, I take my responsibility to students very seriously. Yesterday, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me while trying to protect some of our students. Instead of defusing an already tense situation, I contributed to its escalation. I regret how I handled the situation, and I am offering a public apology to the journalist involved," Basler said, "I have the utmost respect for journalists and the profession of journalism. I have devoted my career to helping students learn and develop outside the classroom. What happened on Carnahan Quadrangle has been a lesson for me. I am deeply sorry for what happened.”
A joint statement by all the three MU Greek councils supported Basler.
"Janna started at the University in 2001 and since then she has made tremendous strides in creating a stronger, safer and more unified Greek Life at Mizzou," the statement said.
Department of Student Life Director Mark Lucas also issued a statement about the incident.
"MU is committed to the First Amendment, free speech, academic freedom, and the robust exchange of ideas and knowledge," the statement said.
It also said Vice Chancellor Cathy Scroggs and Lucas are reviewing the videos and will have conversations with the individuals in the videos to determine their next actions.