Local community reacts to resignations and moving forward

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COLUMBIA – Protestors were still camped out on MU’s Carnahan Quad Tuesday, nearly a full day after the system president and chancellor stepped down.

Student opinions ran rampant throughout the day, but local residents also weighed in on the resignations of Tim Wolfe and R. Bowen Loftin and how they would affect the university in the future.

William Woods University Associate Professor Dr. Anthony Cavaiani said the most interesting thing to him was the involvement of Mizzou’s football team in the issue.

“In this instance, I think, sport was kind of used as a mechanism to create some sort of social change,” Cavaiani said. “It was kind of the launch pad, I think, for everything that we saw.”

The MU football team joined the protest by declaring the black players would not play until Tim Wolfe addressed racial issues or stepped down. Wolfe resigned days after.

“A lot of people talk about the negatives of college teams, some about how universities shouldn’t have football teams,” Cavaiani said. “But this is an example of how they can effectively create change.”

Other residents said Wolfe and Loftin’s resignations were long overdue. Michelle Lancaster said it was not just administration’s treatment of racial tensions that was poor, but of its faculty and students as well.

“What’s happened with the faculty, how they’ve been treated, how grad students have been treated and now the issue of racism has been treated,” Lancaster said. “I think the needs of everyone here has been dismissed.”

The group ConcernedStudent1950 still has a list of demands looking to be filled by the UM system, including a review of policies and the creation of a new position for a Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Officer within the MU System.