SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Missouri State University President Clif Smart gives more details on the racial social media posts made by incoming freshmen.
On June 1, 2020, President Smart made the statement that racism is abhorrent, wrong, and not welcome at Missouri State University.
On June 2, 2020, President Smart discussed the events that impacted Missouri State University’s campus. Smart says a student posted a disturbing video on snap chat and then reposted it on Twitter.
Smart says another student used an offensive racial slur in a social media conversation with a black student from the same high school.
Smart says many students have reached out to express the hurt, anger, and disbelief of these racial, social media posts.
Smart says as hurtful as the video and social post were, the First Amendment protects them. These students did not have the education, training, and experiences needed to develop cultural competence.
Smart says when faced with a difficult situation, we must remind ourselves of the three pillars of the university’s public affairs mission – ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement. These three pillars are the core of the university.
Smart says the students involved in the post have withdrawn from the university. The university had planned to allow them to join the campus in the fall with additional education and training to help them better understand the impact of these actions.
Smart reminds all students to think carefully before posting something on social media.