Mizzou situation shows power of student protest

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University of Missouri president Timothy M. Wolfe and University Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin have both resigned from their positions following several student protests.

Mizzou’s entire football team held a strike, claiming the administration did little to nothing in combating racism on campus. After Wolfe stepped down, Mizzou’s athletic department issued a statement, making the claim that the football team’s strike would have ultimately cost the university $1 million due to cancellation fees. This number astonished many.

Students are generally considered more likely to be social justice advocates than their counterparts who aren’t enrolled. Protests are not something new to college campuses. Students protested things from the Vietnam war to, more recently, police brutality.

The team joined in on protesting after graduate student Jonathan Butler began a hunger strike earlier last week. The team members focused on the health of Butler, saying they were dedicated to ensuring the health of another student. This showed solidarity among students and inspired others to join in on protests.

Students across the nation need to take notice of this. Students held enough power and leverage in the situation to ultimately cause the president to step down.

This sends a powerful message to young people all over the nation. When students see injustices, they do not have to sit by. Citizens reserve the right to gather for whatever cases they deem necessary. Instead of sitting back and letting committees do all the work, students can throw their influence into the mix, because colleges need to serve students first, meaning their opinions should hold weight with those higher-ups in various administrations.

This scandal can show every day students it does not take a board of governors to make serious changes in their universities. More men and women should take a stance on issues affecting them and those around them.

The events in Missouri can serve as a check to the faculty and staff of United States higher education institutions; the men and women who attend these schools are more powerful than many think.

Those students who were involved in strikes and walk outs demonstrated more initiative and school spirit than those who just sat by silently, letting racism run rampant on their campuses, without any ramifications.

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