It’s starting again at Mizzou.
Angry protests are underway at the University of Missouri after reports that black students were called the N-word and other slurs on Tuesday night outside of a predominantly white frat house on campus.
Tuesday night just before midnight, a white student allegedly called two female students — from the Legion of Black Collegians activities committee — the N-word, according to the group’s statement. The LBC says other members came to the women’s aid, and police also showed up.
“It was at that moment, outside of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity house, that while police were attempting to de-escalate the situation, members of the fraternity began recording the interaction, as well as shouting a variety of obscenities at the Committee,” LBC reported. “These obscenities included, but are not limited to ‘Mizzou PC, C**ts, B****es, [N*****s],’ with a plethora of other micro-aggressions.”
Around 50 protestors gathered Wednesday afternoon, and a “town hall” about the incident is scheduled for Wednesday evening.
Tuesday’s events are the latest in a string of race-based incidents at Mizzou. Last year, several racial incidents– including similar slurs and the discovery of a small swastika scrawled in feces in a campus restroom stall– led to massive student protests, which spread to other campuses nationwide. Mizzou students successfully demanded the ouster of the president of the entire University of Missouri system. The demonstrations also contributed to the resignation of the chancellor of Mizzou’s flagship Columbia campus, where most of the unrest took place.
Since then, the university has taken steps to improve the “campus climate,” including spending $1.1 million on a system-wide diversity audit. But after last night’s events, some on campus are questioning whether last year’s turmoil achieved meaningful change.
“It is blatantly obvious that all of this superficial work has been nothing more than a discussion with little action behind it,” the Mizzou Legion of Black Collegians wrote in a statement. “Quite frankly, WE. ARE. SICK. OF. THIS! Rightful action will be taken not only to correct these wrongs, but to prevent such acts of hate from happening further.”
In an emailed statement, the University of Missouri said campus police officers have identified the students involved, and that both the Office of Student Conduct and the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX are taking “appropriate action.”
The interim vice chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity is meeting with the LBC students today, and the University is also offering counseling services on campus.
In the statement, Hank Foley, interim chancellor, said, “We have zero tolerance for actions like this; if any student is found in violation of the Student Code and/or the University’s nondiscrimination policies, they will be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension and/or expulsion.”
The predominantly white Delta Upsilon Fraternity did not immediately respond to Heat Street’s request for comment. The executive director of the Delta Upsilon International Fraternity said the frat’s Columbia chapter has been placed on emergency suspension.
The Mizzou Panhellenic Association issued a statement saying that black students “were targeted by students in the Greek Community.”
“Open forums will not suffice. Mandatory diversity trainings will not suffice. Initiation of negligible numbers of minorities into our organizations will not suffice. To change our campus, we must change our hearts,” the Panhellenic Association’s letter said.
The LBC Tweeted that it was not currently giving interviews to journalists, and that members were meeting with administrators.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.