Concerned Student 1950 looks to the future
Members of Concerned Student 1950 said they are working toward creating an “actual One Mizzou.”
Nov. 17, 2015
A calm breeze drifted through a reverently quiet Carnahan Quad campsite Nov. 10, creating a peaceful atmosphere that came in sharp contrast to the day before, when a national media frenzy had surrounded the site.
Members of Concerned Student 1950, the group that spearheaded campus protests that led to former UM System President Tim Wolfe’s resignation Nov. 9, said they want to create a tranquil, open and peaceful space for every student.
“This is a peaceful, graceful, spiritual place for everyone,” a student occupant said. “Like any religion, background, you are welcome to be you here. This is your safe space to be who you want to be.”
The students said they are working to develop a safe, supportive community for everyone on MU’s campus, and hope to eventually see it grow beyond MU.
Students on college campuses across the U.S. have heard that call, and have been holding their own protests inspired by and in support of MU students. Many hope to see the type of institutional changes that have occurred at MU take place at their own school.
Members of Concerned Student 1950 said these changes were a long time coming. Another student occupant of the campsite explained that the movement grew out of a history rooted in oppression.
“This movement is so much more than the past month, the past year; it goes all the way back,” she said. “It’s bigger than everybody who’s alive right here on this campus, this is before we were even thought of, this is how deep this is. It’s kind of rooted here. We want to uproot, re-condition everybody’s mindset to understand that this is the place where everybody should be welcome.”
Both student occupants said they think the movement will continue to have the same momentum in the future.
“I see this going in the right direction,” one said. “I see the momentum has not died. It’s not done, it’s motivation to keep us going further and further and the next step is for shared governance amongst the students and the administration and everybody.”
She explained that the hope for shared governance is that it will bring a voice to every student, whether of a majority or minority identity.
“We want everybody to understand that if you’re going to represent us, represent us well,” she said. “Represent the marginalized and the majority; it’s for everybody.”
They also clarified that there are still more demands the group would like to see met by the administration besides the removal of Wolfe, and that they will continue to work toward them.
“We’re not saying (Wolfe) was the only problem,” she said. “That’s why there’s the list of demands we put out there to the public, so they understand that he wasn’t the only problem.”
The student occupants also said the movement will not end until there truly is a cultural change on campus.
“It’s not going to end, we’re not going to stop, and even once we’ve figured out that we’ve won what we wanted, we’re still going to continue to keep it that way,” she said. “The fight never ends, the fight never ends. It’s never-ending until we really get what we need, and what we want, and what we ask for and then to maintain it.”
She explained that the movement will lead to the establishment of a safe space beyond the campsite that was on Carnahan Quad until Tuesday, Nov. 10, when organizers broke it down in anticipation of a severe storm expected to hit Columbia.
“We want it to be a safe space for everybody, that’s what we’re working towards,” she said. “Not just this little part in Carnahan Quad, but you know outside of this space, all around Mizzou, all around Columbia and eventually everywhere.”
She explained that she does not know what outcomes the movement will bring in the future, but that they are working toward making each new day better for the community.
“We’re trying to progress toward a greater cause,” she said. “It’s all about progression and some people feel as if it’s not that way, which is OK if you don’t feel that way, that’s fine, but we’re all fighting for something that’s bigger than us. We can’t see what’s actually going to happen in the future, but we can work on it and bet that we will have a greater Mizzou, an actual One Mizzou. That’s the thing that we want more than anything.”