Faculty show support for Concerned Student 1950
Many departments have released official statements.
Nov. 06, 2015
In the days since graduate student Jonathan Butler announced his hunger strike, students have marched through campus and camped out near Tiger Plaza.
Butler said he would end the strike only when UM System President Tim Wolfe is removed from office. In response, Concerned Student 1950, a group of students whose name represents the year black students were first allowed on campus, rallied support for a boycott of MU food and services. They have also camped out on Carnahan Quad since Monday night.
Some faculty in support of the movement have said that they are cancelling class. Graduate student workers organized a walk out for Monday and Tuesday of this week](http://www.themaneater.com/stories/2015/11/8/forum-graduate-rights-announces-two-day-walkout/).
In response to the campus events, different departments and schools have released statements of support. The Maneater will continue to update this story as more statements are released.
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
“To the ELPA Community: The ELPA faculty would like to share our disappointment and grief related to a long history of racism, prejudice, and discrimination at MU and the inadequate response of campus leadership to an ongoing culture that permits these incidents to thrive. We were notified yesterday that one of the department's graduate students, Jonathan Butler, is engaging in a hunger strike due in part to the lack of responsiveness of President Wolfe. We are deeply concerned and care for Jonathan and value the leadership he has shown fighting the injustices at MU. We are worried that the outcome of his hunger strike will lead to physical harm and eventually the loss of a compassionate man and powerful voice for social justice. We hope that multiple actions will be taken that will lead to immediate and long term positive change. Sincerely, The ELPA Faculty
The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies also tweeted their support.
#ConcernedStudent1950 and all those camping on the quad, the WGST office is open and our coffee is your coffee. 325 Strickland Hall— MU WGST (@mizzouwgst)
November 4, 2015
They later posted a statement on Instagram:
“The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies is committed to creating a safe, intellectually vibrant, and inclusive campus for all students. While we certainly condemn the many racist, sexist, and homophobic acts perpetrated by individuals, we also acknowledge persistent and intolerable structural inequalities at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, and dis/ability. Racism, sexism, ableism, and homophobia truly live here and have affected the safety, educational opportunities, and emotional well-being of marginalized students on campus. If this institution is to remain a space for Excellence and Discovery, we must collectively ensure that the university’s core values of Respect and Responsibility are extended to all students. To this end, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies supports all students who are committed to the preservation of social justice and to the eradication of racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and ableism from our campus.”
The School of Social Work came out with a statement later in the week, released through professor Dale Fitch.
“Along with the MU GPC, the School of Social Work stands with all of the student groups on campus that are experiencing marginalization and oppression for being a minority,” the school’s statement read. “And we especially support the efforts of Concerned Student 1950 at this time.”
Department of Black Studies
We, the Black faculty and staff as well as Black studies affiliates, would like to express deep and sincere support for our students who are engaged in bringing awareness to institutionalized racism and its intersected forms of oppression at the University of Missouri. We are gravely concerned with our students’ ability to succeed and thrive at this institution. As faculty and staff, we applaud our students’ resilience as they work to challenge this oppressive environment. We appreciate the students’ bravery and dedication, and anticipate that this administration, including the Board of Curators, will take immediate steps to address their concerns.
Department of Human Development and Family Science
Dear HDFS students, Please know that the Department of Human Development and Family Science stands with students who are experiencing marginalization and oppression on campus. Oppressive campus experiences impact student functioning, learning, psychological and social adjustment, physical and mental safety, and matriculation through programs of study. We support the ongoing efforts of many of our students involved in Concerned Student 1950, and other student organizations focused on addressing injustices of marginalized groups. We applaud the courage and resilience of our students, and expect the Board of Curators and MU Administrators to take bold action to address these major issues.
Department of Religious Studies
The Department of Religious Studies recognizes and supports the Mizzou student activists who are advocating for the institutional change at the University of Missouri. We are concerned about the mental and physical health of our students and their personal safety as this crisis continues. We stand ready to work with all students, faculty and administrators to create the institutional change needed.”
Department of Political Science
Department of Communications
We recognize and support our Mizzou student activists who are advocating for institutional change at the University of Missouri; and we are deeply concerned about the mental and physical health of our students and for their personal safety as this crisis continues. We stand ready to work with all students, faculty and administrators to create the institutional change needed.
School of Information Science and Learning Technologies
_To the People of Missouri: Student leaders at the University of Missouri recently placed a spotlight on the systemic racism present on our campus, and we at the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies stand with our student leaders. We respect the symbolic importance of recent actions. Protest in many forms is a good response to the members of our campus community who demonstrate a lack of respect for the basic rights and humanity of students and colleagues of color.
The University of Missouri has a long history of not addressing the fundamental needs of their diverse populations, including people of color, the LGBT population, non-Christian populations, and others. We know the micro aggressions those students experience are psychologically damaging. As a University, we are in the business of human development, and of helping young people form robust identities that guide them as the future leaders in our society.
We recognize and value the sincerity and passion of the Concerned Student 1950 organization; you are already leading. We join fellow faculty across the campus to take time to research and listen to the student voices, as well as take steps and advocate for changes in behaviors across all levels of campus personnel.
As faculty, we have an obligation to provide leadership in the much needed journey that must unfold to address racial inequities and to promote healing. The faculty and staff of the School of Information Science and Technology are committed to engaging in intentional dialogue with our students about this movement and about the urgency for change.
We join our students in striving for equity, inclusion, and respect. We view racism as the combination of prejudice and power. Social psychology reminds us that we will never remove "in group" or "out group” prejudices from human nature. We can, however, extend meaningful power -power over budgets and campus priorities -to people of color and groups who represent their interests. In effect, this is what the demands of our student leaders will accomplish.
Mizzou as an institution is in a unique position. We are nationally at the crossroads of northern, southern and western U.S. cultures. We are geographically located in a rural area, which is mostly white, and so we have many employees and students who have never experienced the hostilities of urban racism. We are a crucible of the different facets of racism present in U.S.
Society, together in one place.
We write this letter as a component of our responsibility as a faculty and staff, to the citizens of Missouri.
Libraries and learning technologies can act to facilitate civil, informal discussion on the future of our campus.
Libraries have long been a place for open information and civil discourse in American Society, and the online environments we design, construct and research are often called upon as solutions in the struggle of U.S.
Culture to reconcile our basic goodness as people with long standing institutional racism. We have a deep respect for the students leading and participating in the Concerned Student 1950 protests.
We are committed to taking an active role in demonstrating to the world how students and faculty working together can actually create institutional change.
Sincerely, The Faculty and Staff of the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri._
The Graduate Professional Council passed a resolution this week in support of Butler and other activists on campus.
Members of the History department left a note and supplies for the campers, according to a tweet from student activist Reuben Faloughi.
Graduate students in the History department also released a statement about their concerns for Butler.
Taylor Blatchford contributed to this report.