#Mizzou: Students force University of Missouri president to resign over lack of action on racism on campus


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Too bad he had to resign. I suppose he couldn’t address racism any other way.


#3

Students and professors he might have been able to stare down; but when the football team goes on strike? Game over man, game over.


#4

Welcome to American “Higher Education”.


#5

They are smart. Hit them in the pocket book. They make so much with college sports that losing what I am assuming is about half the team is going to hurt them.

Also anyone have that full letter posted above. The image cap above is obviously fuckedup and out of order.


#6

i read that just missing that game would cost them $1M in fines… so yeah. racism? OK… losing $1M… not OK.


#7

Well - like a lot of things - people are slow to act when it doesn’t directly affect them.


#8

Because they are a state university, the next president is going to be limited in the kinds of action that they can put into place. The constitution protects most ugly speech, so there’s not a lot a university president can do to keep the discourse civil. There was the issue about graduate student healthcare costs (something the president can influence), and while important it doesn’t fit into a discussion about racism.


#9

It’s too bad we’re unlikely to see this same level of activism at the University of Iowa. Still I applaud what these students accomplished.


#10

The school has a code of conduct that students agree to when they enroll. They can be kicked out for racist comments.

https://www.umsystem.edu/ums/rules/collected_rules/programs/ch200/200.010_standard_of_conduct


#11

Anonymous tweets and “a guy in a pickup truck” may not be subject to the university code of conduct.


#12

Probably not. Racist speech is usually protected by the constitution. It wouldn’t be the first time that a university speech code got it wrong.


#13

In its capacity as a state entity, the school probably doesn’t want to get into a pitched first-amendment battle; but they might have some room on other grounds.

It’s not terribly controversial that even the most innocuous speech becomes a great deal less protected when done extremely loudly at 3am while the entire neighborhood is trying to sleep; and there are also various ways of threatening, extorting, defrauding, etc. that employ speech acts but don’t acquire protection from them.

A ‘because that’s on the bad word list, that’s why’ approach wouldn’t go well; but it is certainly possible that some of the offenders are being prolific, creepy, or persistent enough to trigger consideration of their behavior as more than a protected speech act.


#14

I believe he’s actually the Missouri University SYSTEM President, overseeing 4 different school campuses, each with their own President or Chancellor. It’s sad that it had to come down to a “if you don’t resign, my death is on you” situation in order to be heard, though I can’t help but think he’s so many administrative layers away from some of the incidents that he was caught off guard…or at least unaware of the level of tension present on campus. I’ll readily admit I’m not well educated on the roles, responsibilities, and powers his position has, but I can’t imagine someone calling for the CEO of my company to resign because some d-bag in my office is harassing me and no one does anything. It feels…misdirected somehow…? It’s sad to think the amount of desperation felt to be willing to slowly kill oneself in order to be heard.

It’s also sad, and fairly skeptical on my part, but I don’t think his replacement (whoever that may be) is going to be able to change anything.

I wonder if #hungerstrikesforresignations will become a thing, now, especially when change doesn’t come as quickly as someone wants?


#15

Depends on the context of the speech. If the speech makes other students afraid (bullying, threatening, or intimidating) or if it’s disruptive then it’s actionable. If a student writes a paper about why they hate black people, nothing is going to happen.


#16

You have not been paying attention to Federal free speech rulings. Bible Believers v. Wayne County was just ruled on. Now, you cannot ban speech because you believe it will cause violent action, unless the speech specifically calls for violent action. So you cannot ban the US flag just because you think it will make Islamic people or immigrants riot.


#17

Yeah, most speech codes of conduct on campus are made in the name of “student safety”, which has always been given a very long leeway by the Supreme Court in terms of allowing bans on speech and assembly that otherwise would be Constitutionally protected.


#18

Brandenburg v. Ohio is still the case to cite, and it requires an imminent threat in order to strip constitutional protections from speech. None of the vile speech under discussion at the University of Missouri seems to come close to this standard.


#19

Free speech at school isn’t the same as free speech every where else.

Check out Frederick v. Morse. A kid was suspended for holding up a banner that said “bong hits 4 jesus” and was suspended. The Supreme Court upheld the suspension.

Schools have also been able to ban clothes with offensive messages (like t-shirts with the confederate flag).

Also, colleges do things that would sometimes be illegal elsewhere, like use race as a factor in admissions.


#20

Oh dear me, now that sounds all too familiar. " Why can’t those people just be patient?" Hmm, where HAVE I heard that before…?

I watched the resignation video and thought, “I see white people. And I hear the sound of useless white-Christian crocodile tears.” His refusal to show any understanding at all of how bad, pervasive, and longstanding the on-campus racism and its effects are just shows what a distanced, ineffective leader he must have been.