Quick disclaimer: I actually really enjoy attending Mizzou, and wouldn’t change the decision I made a few years ago to attend it for anything.
Listen up Mizzou. We need a reality check, a good ole’ talk with the man in the mirror. You know the drill by now, since the beginning of 2015 to March 1, 2016, no school has been in the news for literally all the wrong reasons more than the school we all call home, the University of Missouri.
Seriously, where do you start? What school in the nation has a website literally dedicated to tracking its own stupidity? At first, it seemed like a funny joke, but now I have to bookmark the damn site just to keep up.
Asking for a friend, from top to bottom, from Greek Life, to athletics, to protests and beyond, has a school completely eradicated its reputation as swiftly as MU has?
Roll the game film, let’s take a quick look back.
Start with the athletic department, specifically the money-makers that are basketball and football. Brilliantly highlighted by Jordan Foster, Mizzou beat writer for the Jefferson City News Tribune, he is continuously updating all the violations, dismissals and the ongoing humilation that is MU sports in 2015-16 on his twitter account.
To explain the list in one word: extensive.
Some highlights include former Mizzou quarterback Maty Mauk violating team policies three times in four months (and eventually being dismissed on January 28), now Super Bowl champion Shane Ray being cited for possession with the ‘herb in 2015, Gary Pinkel resigning due to his battle with cancer, and most recently, former Defensive Line coach Chris Wilson leaving the program a month after being hired.
All of that, and didn’t even touch on the current 10-19 basketball team, that, even if they were good, aren’t allowed to participate in postseason play due to infractions handed down by former coach Frank Haith, whom conveniently left the program before the NCAA dropped significantly penalites on Mizzou Basketball.
*deep breaths* moving on…
Fast forward to June, when a list of proposed policy changes to MU Greek Life was leaked online, it (rightfully) sent all of Mizzou Greek Life into complete upheaval and had all sorority and fraternity members dusting off their pitchforks.
Led by then-Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, the list of proposed policy changes included eliminating out of town formals, mandatory drug tests for both fraternities and sororities, and forbidding female “guests” from being in fraternity houses between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
While some pieces of the original proposal were passed (fraternities are forbidden to have hard liquor at their parties) and the main idea of the proposals were to address sexual assault on campus, as you can tell, the outrage for some of the ridiculous rules would spread like a California wildfire across Columbia, and the entire national greek community.
And now for our finale, we look back at the fall semester.
Let’s start off by saying that the core idea behind the multiple protests, the hunger strike, the football team walking out, is an idea that all should stand behind.
Social injustice and racial inequality, for a moment, was at the heart of Mizzou in early November, just like it was in Baltimore, and just like it was in Ferguson.
Racial inequality isn’t an MU-specific problem, it resides on nearly all college campuses, the United States of America as a whole has dealt with it every day and has been since the 19th century.
This campus has a long way to go in this department, and it can begin with as simple of a step as hiring as diverse of a faculty as its student body. Seems like common sense, but it would go a long way in curing MU’s variety of social problems.
As for the train of national embarrassment that came along with the protests, well, by now they’ve been well documented. The fake KKK sightings on campus, the Yik Yak threats, the video of Melissa Click calling for “more muscle” along with the actions of Director of Greek Life, Janna Basler.
Not to mention the System President Tim Wolfe resigning, along with R. Bowen Loftin stepping down as Chancellor.
The list goes on. It’s not surprising in the slightest that enrollment for MU will be down in the fall.
Majority of students want to be done talking about it, the campus as a whole would like to move on, and has begun to.
So why does it matter?
That’s a good question, Mizzou continues to deal with this awful hangover even today. It’s like the type of hangover you get after Friday night dollar shots at Bengals (RIP).
Eventually, we will rebound from all of this. Our football and basketball teams will rebuild, our Greek community is stronger than ever, and the campus has been a lot more peaceful since the beginning of the Spring semester.
And, not to brag or anything, but we were just voted the #1 journalism school and we have #1 rec center in the nation. So we got that going for us.
Oh, and about that website that keeps track of all the stupidity our school has done, we’re currently riding a hot streak of 13 days of not being in the news for something bad, as of right now.
It’s only up from here, Mizzou.
Or as the great DJ Khaled once said, “Ride with me, on the journey of more success.”
Or something like that.
Welcome to The Rival.