Chancellor Loftin addresses campus climate

Loftin condemned bias and intolerance in the statement.
Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin speaks at a media conference Feb. 14, 2014, in Jesse Hall. Loftin denounced discrimination in a statement Sept. 16, 2015. Maneater File Photo

Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin released a statement Sept. 17 denouncing hatred and discrimination on campus and called for the MU student body to do the same.

“I have heard from far too many of you who have experienced incidents of bias and discrimination on and off campus,” he said in the statement. “This is particularly hurtful when our students are the target.”

Loftin’s statement comes in light of Missouri Students Association President Payton Head’s recent experience with bigotry and racial discrimination on campus just a few days ago, which has been covered nationally by media outlets such as The Washington Post and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

As Head was walking through campus this past weekend, men riding in the back of a pickup truck screamed the n-word at him. After this experience with intolerance, Head took to his Facebook page to document what had happened, citing his own experience as well as the experiences of some of his friends. He called on the MU student body to “fight for social change.”

In his statement, Loftin seemed to address the stories Head cited.

“The incidents that I have heard about — both blatant and subtle — are totally unacceptable,” Loftin said. “Our core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence leave no room for bias and discrimination. We support free speech in the context of learning, spirited inquiry and intellectual discussion, but acts of bias and discrimination will not be tolerated at Mizzou.”

Loftin informed students that they should contact MU Police Department with any incidents involving bias. Students can also file formal complaints with the Office of Student Conduct.

Loftin ended his statement by calling on the MU student body to take a stand against bias and discrimination on campus.

“Please help us make this campus a safe and productive learning and living environment and to show our community and the world that Mizzou will not tolerate hate,” Loftin said.

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