Organizations show support of Legion of Black Collegians

Many letters detailed student disappointment with administration in their lackluster response to previous racist incidents, including one involving MSA president Payton Head.

The racially charged harassment endured by the Legion of Black Collegians 2015 Homecoming Court at Traditions Plaza is not being ignored by MU campus organizations.

The Missouri Students Association, Panhellenic Association, Jewish Student Organization, Asian American Association, Black Business Student Association, Residence Hall Association and MU Four Directions all released formal letters declaring their support for LBC and condemning racism present on campus.

With the Twitter hashtag #StandWithLBC groups and organizations supported LBC in solidarity after an allegedly intoxicated white male reportedly hurled racial slurs at the LBC Homecoming Court late night rehearsal at 1 a.m. Oct. 5.

The MSA Executive Cabinet detailed in their letter how the student association will strive to make MU a place that is safe and welcoming to students of any identity or race.

“The individual that committed the hate crime should be punished, and expelled from an institution that prides itself on creating an environment where students are “welcomed,” the MSA executive cabinet declared in their statement.

The incident on Sunday is similar to the hate crime inflicted upon MSA president Payton Head last month, which was detailed in a social media post by the president that quickly became viral, bringing to light racism that has permeated campus culture. In a detailed formal statement, PHA declared that the Greek organization is “infuriated” with the actions that took place on Sunday, and that similar incidents of racial bias “have been taking place on this campus far too long.”

“We stand in support of the Legion of Black Collegians and their fight for justice and equality,” the PHA executive board wrote in the letter. “Homecoming is meant to be a time of unity and honoring traditions, but how can we stand in unity when part of our student body does not feel welcome?”

PHA also called upon the PHA community “to take a good, hard look at the privileges you have,” and to show their support for the LBC by attending their homecoming traditions and starting an open dialogue with their sisters about racism at MU.

The JSO also released a declaration of support, stating that the Jewish organization is “saddened and angered” by the act of hate demonstrated towards LBC.

“The Jewish Student Organization is committed to making the University of Missouri campus a safe, accepting place for all students,” the JSO letter stated. “There is no room for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism or any other discrimination on our campus and we will do whatever is necessary to make each student feel accepted on campus.”

The Asian American Association expressed in their letter how “disheartening” it is that incidents like these continue on MU’s campus.

“Unfortunately this year’s homecoming did not start with the traditional display of Mizzou’s history in the Student Center,” the Asian American Association wrote. “It started with an act of hate. To happen on the eve of Homecoming Week raises the questions, ‘Is this what the University of Missouri stands for?’”

The BBSA addressed the student body in a letter stating that the BBSA is “saddened” that the MU student body doesn’t fully grasp the importance of inclusivity.

“We should all be able to walk around at ANY time of the day and not feel that we may be attacked or even scrutinized for being a student of color on this campus,” the BBSA executive board wrote. “We work just as hard as everyone else and we will NOT be looked down upon anymore.”

The RHA executive cabinet rallied in support of the only black student government in the U.S., saying in their letter “we cannot stay silent during this time.”

“RHA is deeply disappointed in the administration because of the largely passive stance they have taken in the past on this issue,” the RHA executive cabinet wrote. “How do we feel pride in a school that ignores the safety of its students?”

MU Four Directions said in their letter, “We may be a small group, but we will use our small voice to speak out about the mistreatment of fellow students.”

The Indigenous People and Allies group stated, “the only traditions being celebrated are ones that destroy the values of the university and yet are silently accepted as the status quo by majority students.”

LBC will continue to host their Homecoming events, which can be found on their Twitter page.

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