Exactly one year ago on Nov. 9, 2015, UM System President Tim Wolfe stepped down from his position following demands and protests from student activist group Concerned Student 1950 for his resignation. Hours later, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin resigned. But this is not the first time MU has had consequential protests. Throughout MU’s history, students have been able to put their opinions and ideas about major events into action and initiate change.
Students have rallied together to protest everything from national and international issues, such as war and apartheid in South Africa, to subjects relating more directly to students, such as commercialism on campus and nondiscrimination policies.
During the late '60s and early '70s, students across the country protested the Vietnam War on college campuses. It escalated in 1970 when National Guardsmen shot and killed four Kent State students. At MU, about 2,000 students responded by protesting on Rollins Field, and four students carried a black coffin adorned with a gold cross from Rollins to Crowder Hall, the ROTC building. Students boycotted attending class to protest, and professors cancelled many classes for the protest as well. As a result, then-Chancellor John Schwada declared a state of emergency at MU.
Almost 30 years later, and a couple of protests in between, student Johnny Frevert took a stand on the UM System’s exclusion of a sexual orientation clause in the system’s nondiscrimination policy. Frevert started a hunger strike on April 4, 1999. Four years later, after Frevert’s month-long hunger strike, the UM System Board of Curators unanimously agreed on adding a sexual orientation clause to the nondiscrimination policy in October 2003.
Throughout MU’s history, there have been many protests that have led to the resignations of administrators and policy changes. The Maneater dug through the archives to find some of the most impactful demonstrations, movements and moments through MU’s history. View our interactive timeline below to witness the history made by students and faculty.
Edited by Claire Mitzel | email@example.com