By Tom Ciccotta
The University of Missouri is still facing enrollment issues in the aftermath of campus protests that took place two years ago, according to a report from the New York Times.
Freshman enrollment at the University is down 35 percent since the protests that centered on student complaints about supposed inaction from campus police with regards to acts of racial bigotry.
According to the report, the University acknowledges that the 2015 protests are the “main reason” for the drop in enrollment. Administrators believe that most families now consider the institution to either be a breeding ground for unchecked bigotry or a playground for student protesters to run amok.
“The general consensus was that it was because of the aftermath of what happened in November 2015,” said Mun Choi, the new University of Missouri system president. “There were students from both in state and out of state that just did not apply, or those who did apply but decided not to attend.”
The New York Times report claims that the protests that took place at the University of Missouri likely served as an inspiration for protest efforts at other institutions, such as Middlebury College, UC Berkeley, and Evergreen State College.
Tyler Morris, a white student interviewed in the Times report who hails from St. Louis, claims that he passed on the opportunity to attend the University of Missouri due to concerns that he might be labeled a bigot by the community.
“The discrimination wasn’t against white people, but I didn’t want to be that person who I guess was stereotyped because I was white,” he said.
The student movement behind the protests, Concerned Student 1950, set up a tent city on campus. Then University of Missouri Journalism Professor Melissa Click was filmed calling for “muscle” to remove a student journalist who was documenting the protest efforts.