Plans for ‘One Mizzou’ underway

In their first meeting, planners decided on a logo for the campaign.

In response to the Hatch Hall racist graffiti incident, student leaders met Tuesday to discuss the inception of the new “One Mizzou” campaign.

“Bascially, the program is an initiative to promote diversity and community on campus,” Missouri Students Association President Eric Woods said. “Different groups on campus are coming together to find some solutions – be it programming, goals, events or ideas – that we can use to promote that.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, the majority of discussion revolved around the selection of a logo. The logo will be dispersed throughout campus, notably on banners that will be hung in the Student Center.

“It sounds kind of silly, but we’re trying to brand this thing,” MSA Multicultural Issues Committee member Sean Nahlik said. “We wanted something iconic, simple and recognizable – that’s really the whole idea behind One Mizzou.”

These banners will be unveiled at an event in March. Woods said the campus will see a “One Mizzou Day” sometime in mid-April, but didn’t want to reveal the surprise of the day just yet.

This year, student leaders chose to react differently to the graffiti incident than they did last year when students dispersed cotton balls outside the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center.

“When issues like this have occurred in the past, we generally focus on initial responses,” Woods said. “We talk about how upset and offended we are, but very rarely do we take action to do something that will have lasting impact.”

MSA Senate Speaker Evan Wood said a pragmatic approach is what sets One Mizzou apart from events such as last year’s Town Hall meeting concerning the cotton ball incident.

“Instead of just talking about how we’re all appalled, we’re talking about how we can move forward,” Wood said. “This isn’t something that is going to set off a bang and then go away. It’s going to be around for the foreseeable future.”

This was one of several initiatives MU will take to combat racism.

“Obviously, I don’t think this is going to kill racism,” Nahlik said. “But it is a step in the right direction.”

Racism is something almost impossible to kill, Wood acknowledged.

“The thing that I’ve learned seeing this happen two years in a row is that there are always going to be people with extreme views and occasionally, they’re going to act on them,” Wood said. “But at the same time, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be doing everything we can to foster a higher sense of community and togetherness.”

Representatives from the Residence Halls Association, Triangle Coalition, the Asian American Association, Four Front and the Graduate Professionals Council were also present at Tuesday’s meeting. They will most likely meet weekly, and hope to see members of the Legion of Black Collegians attend in the future.

“We’ve got multiple students from diverse groups on campus who are all interested in seeing this succeed,” Woods said. “That’s what I think is the best part of this – it’s not just MSA or LBC trying to address the issue of diversity. It’s everyone working together to address these issues once and for all in a way that will hopefully be on a big scale.”

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