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LBC, MU celebrate unity

A rally held on the steps of Jesse Hall gathered about 200 students.

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Chancellor Brady Deaton and Anne Deaton sign the unity sign Friday in the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center. On Thursday, Faculty Council will vote on the potential diversity course requirement for incoming freshmen for fall 2010.

Jade Earle/Photographer

March 5, 2010

Updated Nov. 13, 2010 at 6:31 p.m.

Last Thursday, Legion of Black Collegians President Anthony Martin was asked to define in his own words "a movement."

Martin said a movement is the action resulting from an initiator who works for change without which life cannot be comfortable.

Friday night, a group of approximately 200 students gathered on the steps of Jesse Hall in a demonstration designed to promote unity in the face of the cotton ball incident.

"We're here to celebrate," Martin said.

He said he wasn't referring to the incident or the arrest of two suspects but rather the movement that has since begun.

Earlier in the day, students gathered from noon to 3 p.m. at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center and wrote messages or quotes on boards.

"A lot of things that needed to be said were said," freshman Brieanna Daniels said. "I'm glad we did this, because I thought that maybe everybody would get hyped last week and it would die off, but it didn't."

Daniels said she would like to see the momentum from last week continue.

"I'd like to see people be accountable about their actions," Daniels said. "There were people that weren't here who were the main ones upset last week."

Missouri Students Association President Tim Noce spoke at the demonstration. He said unity is what students should strive for on a daily basis. Those who left cotton in front of the Black Culture Center clearly did not understand unity, he said.

"Above all virtues is love," Noce said, referencing the Bible. "What we really need is love. That holds all this in perfect unity."

Four Front founder Melissa Amaya spoke proudly of the change she has seen at MU.

"But the more things change, the more things stay the same," Amaya said.

Amaya spoke at the event, encouraging unity even with those who caused the cotton incident.

"Those individuals need prayer more than anything else," Amaya said.

Martin said the arrest of the two students suspected to have been involved with the cotton incident was the fastest arrest he had ever seen at MU.

"It was because we made noise," Martin said. "If we could have just seen those cotton balls, got mad, tweeted about it, it wouldn't have happened so fast."

Some students believed change was coming.

"I feel like we're coming to being diverse and letting people know it's a problem," freshman Abrionna Humphery said. "We're doing all the necessary steps to bring everyone together."

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