Any Insights on whats happening at the University of Missouri?

Is anyone here a student, faculty member, or know someone who can give insight on what is going on on campus? Whats the gossip?

Note - I dont want “official” news. I’m meaning news from the ground.

As an alumni, I can say there are a couple of things the media hasn’t gone into in much detail that add a little to the story.

  1. Columbia, and central Missouri in general, has never been a particularly hospitable environment for minorities in general, and African-Americans in particular. The explosion you’ve seen in the last few days has been building up for decades.

  2. Both the university president and chancelor had managed to alienate the faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students (of several different political persuasions) and a number of elected officials from both parties. Not only that, but the chancelor and the president had been blaming each other for various problems, so they couldn’t even present a united front.

Some chatter on the internet:

The young man who was doing the hunger strike has been a student since 2008 and had around $245,000 in student loans. This might have been a trick to get his student debts erased.

The football players had numerous arrests and charges against them plus had an average GPA of 1.8 so they might have been close to losing their scholarships.

The coach earned $4 million compared to the university president only earning $430,00 and his team had only a 1-6 record in the SEC and he was afraid of being fired anyways.

The journalist who was in the latest video had won awards and because of the videos fallout, and the massive egg on their face, the students involved now are welcoming the media.

The woman who was yelling for “muscle” to go after the reporter is an adjunct professor at MU and her fellows are now meeting and voting on getting her fired for her actions.

The grad student who was on the hunger strike is the son of a executive at Union Pacific railroad who makes 8.4 million per year. 245,000 in student loans is probably no big deal to him.

Some of which is mostly true, some of which is speculative, and some of which is flat out wrong.

More than 30 football players originally moved to take part in the strike, and the rest of the team backed them. SOME of them have sketchy backgrounds, others don’t.

He wasn’t going to be fired this year. Another bad season next year and he might be in trouble.

I’m no expert, but it is my understanding that student loans are not loans from the University, but from someone named Sallie Mae. Nothing happening on campus would make Sallie want to wipe out these loans.

The only D1 players who would be eligible with a 1.8 GPA or lower would be freshmen (minimum for eligibility is 1.9 after 24 credit hours) and they haven’t actually posted a GPA yet, with the first semester not over yet.

What sites are you reading chatter from, Stormfront?

I’m a Mizzou alumnus, and several friends and coworkers have kids going there now. As kunilou mentions, Columbia as a college town is an island of youthful activism amidst a sea of arch-conservative conformity. Minorities - whether racial or LGBT - are not welcomed by the surrounding communities. Boone county (wherein Columbia is located) used to be home to a sizeable KKK population - including a “Grand Dragon”, at least back in the 90s.

Urbanredneck’s list is full of crap; it’s all reactionary conspiracy theories. All the students I know of have basically said the same things: racial tensions are high (as they are in Missouri in general), the administration is out-of-touch and unresponsive, but that it’s a relatively small group of radicals agitating for changes who are behind the commotion. None of them are afraid for their safety, and I don’t know of anyone thinking they need to leave school out of fear.

Mizzou has a long history of throwing money at its football program (even when performance does not warrant it), and looking the other way on grades and misconduct. So all that is nothing new. What is somewhat unusual was the hostility toward the media - Mizzou prides itself on being a journalism school, and the J-school buildings are on the Quadrangle, so trying to rope out the media was a bit poorly thought-out. But apparently the perception among the students is that the media is part of “Them” (university administration, majority conservative culture, whatever).

Basically, they haven’t bought into the big lie of the Liberal Media. Even the students I’ve talked to recognize that conservatives own the media, although they admit most of the J-students they know aren’t conservative.

I saw a headline earlier today that she resigned.

Sort of. She resigned some honorary title but still holds her job as a professor which means the students paying tuition and the taxpayers of Missouri are still giving her a paycheck.

If anyone is interested in the amazing shift of power dynamics with the football team’s boycott threat, we’re having a nice discussion in between dalej42 rants over in the Game Room.

I’m sort of surprised at university administrators being forced to leave because of racism in Missouri. I would expect that to possibly happen only in a liberal, northern state.

Missouri, going back to the Civil War (and beyond), is a state with a very divided political and racial history. It has very liberal pockets (KC, Columbia, St. Louis) and VERY conservative and downright racist pockets. Columbia prides itself on being the seat of the militia that held the area for the North during the Civil War. Get a little ways outside of Columbia, or, heck, sit at the wrong table when folks come into town for a football game, and you’ll get an earful of racist crap about “them people being no better than they should be” and much, much worse.

In other words, Columbia is liberal. Other parts of Missouri are liberal. Aaaannnd other parts of Missouri are about as Southern, red-neck and racist as you can get. Throw Ferguson into the mix (not very far from Columbia), and it’s not a surprise that racial tension is a large factor at UM.

The other thread covers all of the other reasons why the administrators resigned. Racial tension is just one factor.

Ferguson is not very far from St. Louis; it’s half-way across the state from Columbia. So about a 2-2.5 hour drive.

I don’t consider that very far. YMMV

Yeah, but you are from California. :slight_smile:

An Aunt in New England anxiously called us after a tornado in Dallas, thinking Little Rock was near there. :slight_smile:

As a former long time St. Louis resident …

Ferguson is NOT very far from Columbia by the standards of the ~40% of UM students and alumni who hail from greater St. Louis. Neither are the inner city and suburbs of Kansas City very far from Columbia by the standards of the ~40% of UM students and alumni who hail from greater Kansas City.

There is a ginormous unplanned caravan of cars sporting tiger tails traveling to Columbia from both ends of I-70 for every football and basketball game. They don’t think the round-trip drive is excessive to attend a game lasting a couple hours at most.

As others have said, Columbia and UM is a short physical distance from the inner cities and educated suburbs of the metro areas. But it’s light years culturally and politically from the backwards KKK-loving Bible-spouting yokels who make up the rest of that county and all the surrounding counties for about 2 of the 2.5 hours drive towards the metro areas.

It is hard to appreciate just how different the two worlds are. Columbia within Boone county and UM within Columbia are very much culturally alien colonies in the wilderness.

I doubt that there are any backwards KKK-loving Bible-spouting yokels in Boone County. If there is any hatred and prejudice at work in this county, it appears to be hatred and prejudice from people like yourself, directed against the residents of Boone County outside Columbia.

There is NO WAY Gary Pinkel is getting fired. He’s the winningest coach in UM history and has won 2 straight SEC East titles. Not a chance.

You don’t know what you are talking about. I lived in Columbia for 7 years, and have lived in Missouri for 30+ years. There has always been a sizeable KKK presence in Boone county. In years gone by it was a major hub of the KKK’s leadership, but as I understand it most of those old bigots have died off. There absolutely has been - and continues to be - prejudice against minorities drawn to MU by the rural residents of Boone county.

And, by minorities, I’m not just talking black students, but also MU students of Asian or Arabic descent, or LBGT students.