Campus Discusses Homecoming and Race
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri hosted an open forum Tuesday night to discuss how inclusive MU Homecoming may or may not be. The event, called "100 Years of Homecoming, 100 Years of Exclusivity?" focused on how to create a better experience for all students and understanding what homecoming meant to minority students.
A quick history lesson. The first black students weren't admitted to MU until 1951. They weren't allowed to go to the Homecoming games or attend the festivities. In 1968 the Legion of Black Collegians was created as a governing body for black students. Still feeling they weren't really welcome, in the early 70's the LBC hosted it's first Black Homecoming.
But some people question whether a Black Homecoming is still needed in this day and age.
The issue became a hot topic after a couple of articles in the Maneater and VOX magazine claimed the Legion of Black Collegians, homecoming events seperated the campus and created a divide between majority and minority students.
In return, some minority students said they felt unwelcome at the "majority homecoming" and that the events catered to Greek students. The Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) hosts Homecoming events through out the week before the big game. This year, more than 5,200 units of blood and 62,000 pounds of food were collected. There were also more than 35,000 people at the Homecoming Parade that took place downtown.
Todd McCubbin is the Executive Director of the Mizzou Alumni Association and he said he believes homecoming is a tent, and that if some people believe the tent needs to be bigger or they aren't included, MAA wants to work towards making next year better.
LaKeisha Williams is with the Missouri Students Association and she said she wants to be sure tonight's event is not a debate or a venting session, but that it is a chance for students to have a dialogue and are given an opportunity to voice their opinions.
The University Of Missouri celebrated its 100th homecoming this year, and according to the MAA, MU invented homecoming.