Concerned Student 1950 protests MU's Working Group Monday
COLUMBIA - Concerned Student 1950 is still not satisfied with the University of Missouri's administration and said The Working Group is not doing its job. Concerned Student staged a rally on campus Monday.
The Working Group is a joint effort between the Vice Chancellor of the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity and student leaders campuswide. It aims to address the relationship issues between administration and students.
Concerned Student 1950 gathered outside the Black Cultural Center and marched along with Hollywood director Spike Lee to various areas on the MU campus, protesting that The Working Group is failing them.
"We will not work with this administration anymore," members of Concerned Student said.
The protesters marched through Speaker's Circle, expressing their concerns with the Working Group. Protesters entered Jesse Hall, knocking on the locked door to the office of Interim Chancellor Hank Foley. Assistants inside would not open it.
Lee followed the group during the march with a camera crew and filmed the protests on his phone.
Before the protest group's campus rally, former hunger striker Jonathan Butler clarified on Twitter he is no longer associated with Concerned Student 1950.
Butler declared he was going on a hunger strike in early November to force the resignation of former UM system president Tim Wolfe. He later gained support from the football team, which drew national attention after joining the strike.
Butler sent out a string of tweets Monday morning addressing the protest group and the campus rally.
In light of some information I received about what will be happening on campus today I would like to clear some things up:— ???? ????? (@_JonathanButler) March 7, 2016
I am no longer affiliated or organizing with the group "Concerned Student 1950". I have not organized with them since November of 2015.— ???? ????? (@_JonathanButler) March 7, 2016
For several reasons I have chosen to withdraw myself from the group and pursue other forms of activism— ???? ????? (@_JonathanButler) March 7, 2016
as well as taking time for self care so I can process the events of the past semester(s) and begin to heal.— ???? ????? (@_JonathanButler) March 7, 2016
Many across campus are still processing & still healing in different ways, so I continue to pray for everyone's wellbeing and mental health.— ???? ????? (@_JonathanButler) March 7, 2016
Revolutionary love helps us win this battle against injustice & I hope that we all continue to love & support one another through this fight— ???? ????? (@_JonathanButler) March 7, 2016
"It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love & support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains."— ???? ????? (@_JonathanButler) March 7, 2016
Monday afternoon, MU's Interim Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Chuck Henson released a video statement responding to Concerned Student 1950's protest against The Working Group.
"The Working Group is working and the protest that happened on our campus today was unfair and might leave a wrong impression about the amount of progress we have made and the climate on our campus today," Henson said.
Henson goes on to say that the group has met three times since he took on the job of Interim Vice Chancellor of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity on Nov. 10.
"We are moving forward and the point of The Working Group is to move forward together. That's why the working group is composed of student leaders from student groups all across this campus: to engage in a respectful way and have serious conversation about what we are doing to move forward," Henson said.
He urges everyone involved with The Working Group to come with an attitude of patientce and extend grace to the proces and to each other.
"We're dealing with issues that took more than one hundred years to develop here and are certainly going to take more than one hundred days and three meetings to address," Henson adds.
Henson said he has every intention of continuing to build relationships to get work done.
"It's going to take elbow grease and work over the long haul for us to make the progress we are going to make," he said.
Henson finished by saying, "I am excited to meet with everyone who wants to come to a respectful conversation and help with the solution. The working group is working and we are moving forward."
[Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the statement from MU's Interim Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Chuck Henson.]