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University of Missouri

Mizzou in Fall 2015

MIZZOU looks back at a ​memorable​ semester, with a chronology of major events.

crowd gathers

Students gather on Carnahan Quad November 9, 2015. Photo by Tanzi Propst.

For alumni off campus, the number and speed of events unfolding last semester was daunting. For student journalists, fall 2015 presented a spot on the front lines of breaking news. Here’s a look back at what happened, illustrated by student photos.


Aug. 14
Graduate student health insurance benefits were cut with very little notice.

grad student protest

Photo by Justin L. Stewart

Aug. 26
Graduate students held daylong protests in response to insurance cuts and reduced tuition waivers for students with part‐time graduate assistantships.


Sept. 12
MSA President Payton Head spoke out about being called racial slurs near campus.

Payton Head portrait

Payton Head. Photo by Elizabeth Cardwell.

Sept. 21
The results of an Association of American Universities survey were released, revealing the prevalence of sexual assault on campus.

Sept. 21
A professor filed a lawsuit requesting the right to carry a firearm on campus.

Sept. 24
Following scrutiny from state legislators, the university discontinued “refer and follow” privileges for a local doctor, essentially ending abortion services at Columbia’s Planned Parenthood clinic. Students and community members protested.

planned parenthood protest

Photo by Justin L. Stewart

Sept. 24
First “Racism Lives Here” rally held.


Oct. 5
An intoxicated man yelled racial slurs at Legion of Black Collegians members rehearsing for a Homecoming performance on Traditions Plaza.

Oct. 7
Some students used Post‐it notes to protest a statue of Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner, and other students staged a counter‐protest, draping the statue in a U.S. flag.

Thomas Jefferson bust with post-its stuck to face

Photo by Olivia Paggiarino

Oct. 8
A group of students burned an ISIS flag on the Quad.

Oct. 10
Members of Concerned Student 1950 protested at the Homecoming parade.

Oct. 24
A swastika drawn in feces was discovered in a residence hall restroom.


Nov. 2
Graduate student Jonathan Butler began a hunger strike, demanding the resignation of President Tim Wolfe.

Jonathan Butler protesting

Jonathan Butler. Photo by Morgan Lieberman.

Nov. 2
Student protesters and allies set up camp in the Carnahan Quadrangle in support of Butler.

tents on quad

Photo by Elizabeth Cardwell.

Nov. 3
Wolfe issued a statement about Butler’s safety, commending his effort “to raise awareness” of the injustice students of color face.

Nov. 3
Spurred by the campus climate and administrative decisions, the English Department issued a vote of no confidence in Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.

Nov. 4–9
Multiple academic departments made statements of support for Butler and statements of concern regarding university leadership.

Nov. 5
The Faculty Council released a statement expressing “deep concern” about campus and system leadership.

Nov. 5
Students staged a walkout and a boycott of the Student Center and dining facilities.

students marching

Photo by Hannah Yowell.

Nov. 7
Mizzou football players announced via social media that they would not practice or play football until Wolfe resigned. Football coaches supported the players.

football team

Mizzou Football Twitter.

Nov. 9
Nine deans demanded Loftin’s dismissal, citing widespread dissatisfaction with his leadership.

Nov. 9
A Mizzou faculty member and a Mizzou staff member blocked student journalists’ access to the protest area on Carnahan Quad.

journalism student clashes with protesters

Photo by Michael Cali.

Nov. 9
Wolfe and Loftin resigned, ending the boycotts and hunger strike.

Wolfe and Loftin

Photos by Tanzi Propst.

students celebrating

Photo by Tanzi Propst.

Nov. 10
An anonymous threat of violence was made in the social media phone application Yik Yak, and a Missouri S&T student was arrested early the next morning.

Nov. 11
Hundreds of false social media accounts were created by outside entities; more threats, hate speech and false rumors were disseminated through them.

Nov. 12
The Black Culture Center sign was vandalized.

Nov. 12
Hank Foley was named interim chancellor of Mizzou, and Mike Middleton was named interim president of the UM System. Law professor Chuck Henson was named interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity, a new position.

Nov. 13
Head football coach Gary Pinkel announced plans to retire and revealed that he had been treated for lymphoma.

Gary Pinkel at podium

Photo by Shane Epping.

Nov. 15–16
Mizzou faculty organized a teach‐in and an inclusivity march to promote peace and unity.

inclusivity march

Photo by Michael Cali.

Nov. 20
The Board of Curators held a listening session to hear students’ concerns.


Dec. 1
Mizzou created an Office of Civil Rights and Title IX.