It’s strange how controversial it is to simply sit down, but for whatever reason, it is.
And when that controversy came to Missouri Western last week, the reaction to it was fumbled but ultimately recovered. And that recovery of the situation is the important thing.
You see, when two students on the Mystics team took a knee during the national anthem last in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick, they sadly got punished for exercising their right to free speech. The dancers weren’t allowed to perform at the football game on Oct. 1 as a result of their actions and an argued violation of team conduct.
But that’s not where the story ends. And thank goodness for that.
After this happened, the administration acted swiftly to right this wrong. The administration talked to the two students involved. MWSU President Dr. Vartabedian issued an apology to them. The administration reaffirmed that they supported the students and their rights. Further conversations with the administration, student government, and students are planned in order to talk about the issues and see what needs to be done to address them.
The administration acted admirably in addressing the issue. More importantly, however, it’s reassuring/great that the administration came down on the side of the students.
Even this week, the SGA resolution introduced in support of student rights, also makes the point of saying, “Hey students, we’re with you.” So not only is the administration saying “we support you,” but so is student government — a true reflection of them as the students’ voice.
All of this seems to show a consensus of understanding here at Missouri Western: listen to and support the students. It’s reassuring to see an administration and a student government sensitive to student issues as well as supportive of students. It’s great to see them acknowledge a mistake occurred and then apologize for it happening. After all, it’s easy for a student’s voice to get drowned out or tuned out. Just last year, we all watched as a Missouri college was torn apart due to a lack of concern for students and their voice. Mizzou became a house divided and broken. It’s nice to see that Missouri Western is standing (or in some cases sitting) together on this issue and listening and respecting one another. Maybe the tensions at Mizzou could have been avoided had the administration followed a lead like what Missouri Western is doing. Hopefully this trend continues on.