University of Missouri President Resigns Following Successful Protest

A victory for peaceful activism.

University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe announced his resignation on Monday after weeks of protest over racial discrimination at the school. The resignation became official at the Board of Curators meeting on the school's Columbia campus.

"I take full responsibility for the actions that have occurred," Wolfe said in a statement to ESPN. "I have asked everybody to use my resignation to heal. Let's focus in changing what we can change today and in the future, not what we can't change in the past."

A campus-wide protest against racial discrimination included a University of Missouri Football Strike in which the players would not participate in any football activities. If the team did not play in an upcoming game against Bingham Young University on Saturday, the University of Missouri would have lost $1 million.

According to a statement in the Washington Post from the Missouri Student Association, which represents 27,000 undergraduates, the calls for Wolfe's resignation originated from an increase in "tension and inequality with no systematic support" following the tragic shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager in nearby Ferguson last year.

There have been numerous racial incidents at the University of Missouri since September, including the drawing of a swastika and racial slurs against black students.

Students criticized Wolfe for his administration's slow response to these incidents. Tensions flared when a group of students asked Wolfe if he knew what systematic oppression was.

"I will give you an answer, and I'm sure it will be a wrong answer," Wolfe said to the students, according to the Washington Post. "Systematic oppression is when you don't believe you have the equal opportunity to success."

Wolfe's comments only angered the student body, as calls for his resignation grew louder. The campus protests gained momentum when grad student Jonathan Butler went on a hunger strike last Monday and declared that he wouldn't eat until President Wolfe resigned or was removed from office


30 of the University of Missouri football players joined the outcry and protested.

Then the entire football program, including head coach Gary Pinkle, supported their teammates by boycotting all football activities.

The mounting pressure from the football program forced Wolfe to resign.

Missouri lawmakers, including Rep. Steve Cookson, also called for Wolfe's resignation during the past week.

The students who successfully protested against Wolfe were organized under the alias Concerned Student 1950, a reference to the year that African-American students were finally able to attend the University of Missouri.

The Mizzou football team is expected to end their protest and play in their upcoming game.



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