UPDATED: Thursday, November 12, 2015 2:45 PM EST
The University of Missouri’s governing board has named Mike Middleton, a senior Black administrator, as interim president of the school.
Middleton will temporarily replace former President Tim Wolfe, who resigned amid pressure from students who expressed concern over racially-charged incidents on campus.
UPDATED: Thursday, November 12, 2015 1:00 PM EST
According to the AP, the University of Missouri’s governing board is set to name an interim president for the school during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
This is a developing story.
Two students connected to the social media threats made towards Black students and faculty at the University of Missouri have been identified and arrested.
Hunter Park, a sophomore at Missouri University of Science and Technology, and Connor Stottlemyre, a student at Northwest Missouri State University, were arrested for making terroristic threats Wednesday. Former university chancellor R. Bowen Loftin confirmed the arrest of Park, who made the threats on the anonymous app Yik Yak while 90 miles away from Mizzou’s campus, The New York Daily News reports.
Stottlemyre’s threats were more detailed than Park’s, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Police stated the 19-year-old threatened to “shoot every Black person” he saw at his school in Maryville on the same app. Meanwhile, Park’s alleged threats warned students not to come to campus on Wednesday.
The New York Daily News reports:
A Reddit member with the same username Park had on other social media posted a complaint about Mizzou’s protests. “Entitled mizzou students f—ed over the other um schools. I hope to see mizzou kicked out of the sec..,” the user wrote, likely referring to the Southeastern Conference and the threatened game boycott from many black Mizzou football players. In other posts, the user wrote: “My roommates and I spoofed our gps and are trolling your yik yak. It’s fantastic … there are plenty of (android) apps that allow you to do it.”
Neither student was on main campus at the time of the alleged threats. Police are still investigating.
Unfortunately, as of Thursday morning, the threats and vandalism continued. According to the Associated Press, police began investigating an incident at the Columbia campus’ Black culture center. Someone spray-painted over the word “Black” on the sign:
Administrators didn’t react to the threats, backing up claims from Black students that racism is an ongoing issue at the school. And while some teachers canceled classes and many students stayed off campus, others shamed students for giving into the threats.
Dale Brigham, an associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology, sent an email telling students not to let “the bullies” win. Students reacted to the email on Twitter.
NBC News reports:
“If you don’t feel safe coming to class, then don’t come to class,” he wrote his nutritional science students. “I will be there, and there will be an exam administered in our class.”
Brigham sent a letter of resignation Wednesday, stating, “I am just trying to do what I think is best for our students and the university as an institution. If my leaders think that my leaving would help, I am all for it.”
Christian Basi, a spokesman for the university, said administrators did not accept his resignation.
The administration also announced plans for a panel that would allow faculty to discuss how they’ve dealt with the threats and racial tension on campus. Students have continued to voice their concerns about racial injustice through social media, an outpouring of criticism that eventually led to the resignation of the University’s president, Tim Wolfe.
In the wake of the Mizzou protests, students at Yale, Ithaca College, and many more around the nation have followed suit in order to combat discrimination.
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