MU students decide to transfer after semester's racial tension

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COLUMBIA - Racial tension on MU's campus has caused some students to take matters into their own hands by transferring universities. Thursday was the last day of classes for students. 

Many students have decided to withdraw from the term and some decided to stay to finish the semester, but will transfer after they finish. 

"I'm transferring because I really didn't like all the racial stuff that happened on campus," MU freshman Keenan Callion said. 

Another freshman student said for the money he's paying, safety is vital.

"People have gone out of their way to make it feel like we shouldn't be here, and if I'm paying 20 or 30 thousand dollars, I have a choice of where I can be at," Ronald Hearns said. "I feel like where I was from it wasn't like this." 

One student packed up her stuff and returned to Chicago right after racial tensions turned into threats earlier in the semester. 

"I didn't feel comfortable at school, so I felt it was best for me to just withdraw," Teria Halsell said. 

For Halsell, she said her withdrawal was a result of her feeling like her teachers didn't care about her success in the classroom and the racial problems were just the icing on the cake. 

MU Associate Director of the News Bureau said that the number of term withdrawals for the semester are actually down from past fall semesters. This semester, 320 out of 35,448 students have withdrawn. That number is down from 376 and 372 the past two fall semesters. 

Students who withdrew from the term simply had to complete a form that they could get from MU Registrar's office. Students then had to contact their academic area for signatures. Monday was the last day to withdraw from the term. 

On the other hand, the number of students who have decided to transfer after finishing the semester has yet to be calculated.  

One student said he has decided to stay despite two of his friends' decision to leave. 

"I'm staying because, I feel like this being a PWI [predominantly white institution], leaving this school wouldn't solve any of the problems that I would have on any other campus," freshman David Westbrook said. "By no means is Mizzou a bad institution, but when you have such a low population of black people on campus, you don't feel welcome."

The students KOMU 8 News talked to said they don't blame the institution for the incidents happening on campus, but they said direct actions should have been taken afterward to ensure students' safety.