MU students asked for greater transparency and concrete change from student leaders and administrators Thursday evening at a Missouri Students Association town hall meeting.

Representatives from MSA — Maya Hill, director of outreach, and Mark Bremer, chair of MSA Senate’s social justice committee — were repeatedly questioned by students on how the student leaders would respond to and approach issues of race and inclusion.

The representatives explained their efforts to meet with organizations and student groups around campus, aiming to understand “how (they) can best support students” and “getting as many perspectives as possible.”

That wasn’t enough for some students, who criticized the student government for lack of action and visible change on campus.

“When will we hear about what has actually changed?” sophomore Jessika Cole said. “Talking to black students who are seniors now, it doesn’t feel like anything has changed.”

Several other comments echoed that sentiment, calling for specific action items. MSA representatives said that as of now, no “concrete plans” to address concerns were in place and cited a desire to hear as many voices as possible. They repeatedly emphasized their role as a liaison between students and administration, rather than speaking for administrators. MSA did not make student body president Jennifer Sutterer and other executive cabinet members available for comment.

The student government’s monthly meeting with students attracted greater attention following several events in October on campus and in Columbia. A deleted social media campaign by MU Athletics promoting diversity and inclusion Oct. 23 led to national headlines. On Oct. 13, a sermon addressing gender dysphoria from The Crossing led to businesses cutting ties with the church. An international student was assaulted near MU’s campus Oct. 6, according to MU police and the Missouri International Student Council.

Several students brought renewed criticism to the MU Athletics campaign, as well as the university’s response, calling it “insincere” and questioning “who was at the table” for the creation and promotion of the campaign. MU has not commented on the deleted posts since its apology was issued on social media.

  • Higher education reporter at the Missourian. Reach me at galenbacharier@gmail.com and follow me on Twitter @galenbacharier.

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