COLUMBIA — A group of MU students which calls itself Concerned Student 1950 organized a demonstration Thursday in which about 200 people walked through campus and chanted phrases including, "Join us in the revolution."

A woman speaking through a megaphone urged participants not to speak or give their names to reporters and to identify themselves only as "Concerned Student." 

At Speakers Circle, another member of the group reiterated its demand for the removal of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe. 

On Wednesday, the group announced a boycott of university services including merchandise, retail dining services and ticketed events at a news conference at Traditions Plaza. 

Also, the Missouri Students Association and the Graduate Professional Council hosted a meeting on Wednesday night. The purpose of the emergency meeting was "in regards to the removal of Tim Wolfe," according to a tweet from the MSA Twitter account, @MSAmizzou. 

Wednesday night marked the third night that Concerned Student 1950 and its allies camped on the Mel Carnahan Quadrangle in solidarity with Jonathan Butler, the MU graduate student who pledged to continue a hunger strike until he either dies or Wolfe leaves his position.

At the news conference Wednesday, Concerned Student 1950 talked about Jonathan Butler’s hunger strike and announced future actions, including the boycott and raising awareness of the protest through committees. They also answered questions concerning the strike and the petition to remove Wolfe from his position.

The boycott will officially start Thursday. 

“Mizzou is a business. ... We have to understand the business aspect behind this,” Rachael Owens, an organizer for Concerned Student 1950, said. “I think this is one of our first homework assignments —  what does it take to get (Wolfe) fired?"

Owens was forming an outreach committee at the conference to target celebrities and members of the MU Board of Curators. The group wants to influence those in power by informing people of the boycott and strike. 

"Black students are only taken seriously when captured by the media," a member of Concerned Student 1950 read from a prepared statement.

The group asked those at the conference to join them in educating people about the strike, as well as the campout. 

The campout has garnered campuswide attention. On Wednesday night, former Missouri football player Michael Sam was spotted dropping off water to the students.  

The group is using Twitter to push its message using the hashtag #BoycottUM. They have also started a Change.org petition to remove Wolfe from office. 

“We are happy we have this force behind us,” Concerned Student representative DeShaunya Ware said. “Because it doesn’t end with us. Honestly, Concerned Student 1950 stands for every student who has come through the university since 1950, and we are breaking the silence."

Mostly students and a few faculty and staff members attended the emergency MSA meeting Wednesday night. The meeting was closed to the media, and students were asked not to talk with the media after the meeting. 

Spokeswoman for Concerned Student 1950 Imani Simmons-Elloie declined to comment about the meeting. She said she had no comment because "students need to process emotionally."

Concerned Student 1950 derives its name from the year Gus T. Ridgel was admitted to MU, becoming the first black graduate student admitted .

Missourian reporters Jack Witthaus and Allison Colburn contributed reporting this story. Supervising editor is Katie Kull.

  • Staff photographer, Spring 2016 Studying photojournalism and International Studies Reach me at: mpbvy7@mail.missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 882-5720

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