President Schill addresses racial issues during campus conversation

University of Oregon President Michael Schill spoke to a packed room in the Global Scholars Hall today.

“Lessons from Mizzou: A Campus Conversation” was meant to raise awareness of racial problems on campus, and discuss what the university could do to learn from the recent incident at the University of Missouri.

The University of Missouri has had an ongoing problem with racism and hate crimes over the past couple of years. Former president Tim Wolfe had dealt with ongoing allegations that he wasn’t doing enough to combat racism on campus, which eventually culminated in the black football players refusing to play until Wolfe was removed.

Wolfe resigned on November 9th.

The UO conversation began with an address from President Schill, in which he spoke about the obstacles that minority students still face on campuses today, and the steps he intends to take to help those students overcome those obstacles.

“These students feel they have not been heard,” Schill said. “I am here today to say that we are listening. I’m listening.”

Schill went on to address specific plans he had, such as renaming certain buildings on campus like Deady Hall that are named for notable KKK members.

After Schill’s address, many tables in the room were able to have individual conversations where students, faculty and guests were able to voice their opinions. The conversations centered around what things on campus are working to combat racism, and what still needs to be done.

“What I think is working is there’s a push to be diverse,” College of Education staff member Aaron Montoya said.

The turnout was reportedly much larger than expected, with all the tables full, and many people having to stand and crowd along the walls for the duration of the event.

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Kyle Wizner

Kyle Wizner