SCCA covers Speakers Circle with hashtags in support of the hunger strike

Strike takes a turn after Butler signs a “do not resuscitate” order.

The seriousness and urgency of graduate student Jonathan Butler’s hunger strike continues to increase as he has now signed a “do not resuscitate” order, according to a member of MU Student Coalition for Critical Action. A DNR is a medical order that prevents doctors from providing any form of resuscitation, which can include mouth-to-mouth, breathing tubes, electric shock and forms of medicine.

Freshman and SCCA member Chanel Smith said that Butler signing a DNR was “very scary,” and hoped to impart the seriousness of the situation Wednesday night in Speakers Circle. A trail of white papers taped to the sidewalk that read “#ConcernedStudent1950” led to where a handful of SCCA members were posting stacks of fliers shortly after 5 p.m. With fliers covering the trees and steps of Speakers Circle as well as the message board next to the fountain, SCCA members also wrote #BoycottUM in chalk on the ground.

As students walked through Speakers Circle, SCCA members, including Smith, told them about Butler’s hunger strike in hopes to spread awareness. Butler has been on a hunger strike since Monday. He said in a Facebook post that he will end the strike when UM System President Tim Wolfe is no longer in charge.

“I hope a student’s reaction, well first, is to look it up, because most people don’t know what Concerned Student 1950 is or Boycott UM or Mizzou Hunger Strike,” Smith said. “I just hope that they look it up, find out what’s going on, and find out how Mizzou really is oppressing different situations, different people — and it’s not even just about black students, it’s about all students getting their voices shut down (and) kind of trying to put an end to that.”

SCCA member and junior Armani Cross said that with over 200 fliers to pass out, they hope that people begin to understand that everybody is human and should be treated equally. Cross said that she has already begin to see that response from faculty and staff at MU.

“I didn’t know it would get to so many teachers, and so many teachers would be so passionate about it,” Cross said. “Today I brought up the fact that we were going to be meeting in Speakers Circle today at 5 to one of our professors, and he said … the only way we can get any of this discrimination to stop is by this generation. It’s our generation’s turn.”

Both Cross and Smith stressed that this is an issue not only affecting African-American students and said the campus felt both divided and tense.

Smith urges students of all backgrounds to contribute by staying informed and spreading the word. In response to Butler’s strike, students have encouraged a boycott of MU through #BoycottUM. The Missouri Students Association held an emergency town hall meeting Wednesday night, and attendees wouldn’t comment to the media.

“Definitely look up the hashtags,” Smith said. “Definitely find out what’s going on. Definitely do something. Regardless of your race, regardless of your religion, regardless of your background, you can help. All you have to do is retweet something. Something that small can help.”

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