Twitter calls for MSA President’s resignation
Head apologized for posting on Facebook that the KKK had been sighted at MU.
Nov. 12, 2015
Twitter users have called for Missouri Students Association President Payton Head’s resignation, removal from office and even his expulsion from the university due to a post he made on Facebook on Tuesday night saying the Ku Klux Klan was at MU.
Head made the post the evening of Nov. 10 amid panic resulting from anonymous threats on the social media app Yik Yak and a threat called in to the Gaines Oldham Black Culture Center. The claim of KKK presence had already surfaced on Twitter when Head posted the status.
“Stay away from residence halls. The KKK has been confirmed to be sighted on campus,” he wrote.
He said he was working with the MU Police Department, the Missouri State Troopers, and the National Guard. Shortly after posting, he removed the status and replaced it with another, urging students to follow the MU Alert page and avoid spreading rumors. MUPD said the KKK was not on campus.
“I received and shared information from multiple incorrect sources, which I deeply regret,” he wrote in the correction post. “The last thing needed is to incite more fear in the hearts of our community.”
Twitter users began calling for his resignation, impeachment, or expulsion.
Payton Head @MSAPresident if a liar can be president of the student body, the core is rotten. You should resign or be fired! Real World!— Mick Moore (@TxPatriotsLogo) November 12, 2015
In response, Head posted a link to the MSA constitution, which dictates the process by which a president can be impeached.
Article V, Paragraph G of the MSA constitution states that the president and vice president “shall be indicted for dishonesty or nonperformance of duty” through first a petition to impeach and then the passage of a three-fourths vote by senators present at a senate meeting. Twenty percent of all senators would have to sign the initial petition.
The official MSA Senate Twitter account tweeted a statement of support for Head the next day. Senate Speaker Kevin Carr said that some senators voiced concerns about the tweet, but that he had reached out to all senate committee chairpersons and made the decision to post it based on their majority vote.
.@MSAPresident you have done an exemplary job in protecting and advocating for students. You have our support and love. Be strong.— MSA Senate (@MSA_Senate) November 11, 2015
“I believe that some people would like to see Payton be punished in some way, but I do not believe those people compose 20 percent of Senate,” Carr said.
Head’s term ends Dec. 31, and the next president and vice president will be announced Nov 18. Carr said a trial would take at least two or three hours and debate would continue indefinitely until senators voted to close discussion.
“That would be extremely unfavorable to have to preside over and move through,” he said. “That is a procedural burden, and we have two full senates left this year.”
Carr said he’d been speaking to senators who were frustrated with Head’s post. He emphasized that Head was under a lot of stress the night of the post and wasn’t trained to respond to situations regarding student safety. Many students said they were frightened by the threats and administration’s apparent lack of response.
Black students are tweeting that they fear for their lives at #mizzou.— Kayla Reed (@RE_invent_ED) November 11, 2015
“Payton Head is a human being,” Carr said. “Under extreme stress, people make mistakes.”