COLUMBIA, Mo. (KPLR) - Officials at the University of Missouri in Columbia are investigating allegations that student directed verbal racial slurs at African American students Tuesday night. Campus police were called to the Delta Upsilon fraternity house at 711 Tiger Avenue to deal with the incident. Members of the Legion of Black Collegians issued a statement saying at one point a police officer put his hand on his gun when talking to an African-American student. The national office of Delta Upsilon Fraternity has placed the Mizzou chapter on "emergency suspension."
Justin Kirk, Executive Director for the fraternity issued a statement saying "Racism and sexism have no place in our fraternity and we expect our members to be positive contributors to inclusive campus environments.”
The fraternity is conducting its own investigation. Other investigations are underway by the University of Missouri Office of Student Conduct and the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX.
Interim Chancellor Hank Foley said Wednesday, "I am outraged and saddened to hear of this." He told the students meeting at the student union every student should feel welcome on campus and although he cannot control individual student comments he wants to set a high standard. Students found in violation of the MU student code or university non-discrimination policies could face discipline as severe as expulsion.
Several students leaving class on Wednesday voiced their disappointment over the incident. One student said "I thought we were over this," referring to the racial unrest on campus a year ago. Another student said she thought the University had done a good job of reaching out to diverse groups.
The interim Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Kevin McDonald has offered students affected by the incident counseling.
Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune