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University Of Missouri President Resigns Amid Protests

The faculty at the University of Missouri staged a walk-out on Monday, another in a growing list of protests against the university president’s handling of racially-charged incidents. The protests at the school began after the student government president, who is black, said in September that people passing him in a pick-up truck shouted racial slurs at him. Members of a black student organization then said in October that racial slurs were hurled at them by an apparently-drunk white student.

Two trucks flying Confederate flags drove past a congregation of 150 students who had gathered in protest. One of the participants of that protest, a black undergraduate named Abigail Hollis, said the campus is “unhealthy and unsafe for us.”

The Concerned Faculty urged its members to stage a teach-in at the plaza where dozens of the school’s African-American students and their supporters have gathered for the past week.

More than two dozen football players at the school drew  national attention to the protests by announcing that they would not participate in team activities until the school removed University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe. Head football coach Gary Pinkel and athletic director Mack Rhoades stood in solidarity with the team and showed support for a Missouri student staging a hunger strike.

Initially, Tim Wolfe stated that changes had to be made and that he was working to draw up a plan to promote tolerance in the school. However, today he has announced his resignation amid the protests. He said that he takes “full responsibility for the inaction” and asked that the university community “stop intimidating each other.”

This is not — I repeat, not — the way change should come about. Change comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation. Use my resignation to heal and start talking again.

He urged the university to “focus on what we can change” in the future, not what has happened in the past.

Within minutes of Wolfe’s resignation, thousands of students assembled at the Carnahan Quadrangle, linking their arms to form a human chain hundreds of yards long, around the tents that have been raised in the past weeks during the protests.

Members of the group Concerned Students 1950 stood in the center of the circle, pumping their firsts in the air and shouting: “They said we couldn’t do this,” and “I believe we have won.”

Many of the recent protests were organized by Concerned Students 1950.

The group is named after the first year that black students were admitted to the university.

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