16-Person task force examining future of Jefferson statue

The group is led by a community member from the State Historical Society of Missouri and contains alumni, faculty and other stakeholders.

Following this story's publication, the MU Graduate Professional Council has resigned from its position on the task force Friday morning.

GPC President Tori Schafer, who was the group's representative, issued the following statement:

"After attending two task force meetings, the GPC Executive Board discussed the future of its representation on the task force. Given student concern for the direction of the task force and the importance of supporting our fellow students, we feel it’s best to resign from the committee.”

At this time, The Maneater is not aware of any other changes to the task force's structure.

Original Story

The Maneater has obtained a list of members on the “Taskforce for Contextualization of Thomas Jefferson,” a 16-person group considering the future of MU’s controversial Thomas Jefferson statue.

The names had not previously been public but were included in an email to faculty ahead of Thursday afternoon’s MU Faculty Council on University Policy meeting.

Gary Kremer, a community member who is the director of the State Historical Society of Missouri, is the task force chair.

Also on the task force are:

  • Elizabeth Beal, a representative from the MU Staff Council
  • Darryl Chatman, a UM System curator
  • Carli Conklin, an associate professor at the School of Law
  • Cindy Hall, a communications and marketing staff member from the UM System
  • Erin Holmes, a postdoctoral fellow in history from the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy
  • Tracey Mershon, an MU alum and the president of the Jefferson Club, a group for donors who have given more than $25,000 to the university
  • Jeff Pasley, a historian and the associate director of the Kinder Institute
  • Bill Roundtree, an MU alum and the vice president of the Jefferson Club
  • Kristin Schwain, an associate professor from the School of Visual Studies
  • Anthony Tretter, an undergraduate student who is the current MSA President
  • Robin Wenneker, a UM System curator
  • Michael Williams, a UM System curator
  • George Wilson, a graduate student who is the president of the Association of Black and Professional Students
  • Phil Wood, a psychology professor who is also on MU’s Committee on Inclusion, Diversity and Equity
  • Tori Schafer, the president of the Graduate Council and a law student

The announcement, sent to faculty Thursday morning, did not provide any update on the task force’s activity or function.

The Jefferson statue and accompanying tombstone sit on the edge of Francis Quadrangle and have been the target of demands from student activist groups including Mizzou is Still Concerned, Mizzou 600 and others. The Board of Curators has previously clarified that only it has the ability to move the statue.

Jefferson’s tombstone arrived at MU in 1885. The statue was purchased by the Jefferson Club for $45,000 in 2001.

Edited by Caitlin Danborn | cdanborn@themaneater.com

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