ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A Missouri lawmaker is calling on University of Missouri officials to speed up their response to the needs of minority students, particularly on the Columbia campus.
Ferguson Representative Courtney Curtis, a Democrat, said he experienced similar issues as a student at Mizzou a decade ago. He said Friday, at the time, he was a student leader who urged university officials to build a more inclusive climate at the Columbia campus. As a member of the Missouri legislative black caucus, Curtis joined other lawmakers in a meeting last spring with university officials. He said, "They knew what was coming and they had the opportunity to act. "
Curtis remains frustrated that Little was done to solve the issues before the protests began last fall. "Right now the University's brand or image is damaged and they are not showing enough to show that they truly care about the students. "
Curtis has asked one of the Curators to give up his vote to the student curator on the board. "That is something that we've been asking for since 1999; that would send a message that we do hear the student voice and we do appreciate it. "
In November Curtis presented a three page plan to improve inclusion at the Columbia campus and across the university system. Among the recommendations include minority alumni in the selection process of University leaders, create a zero tolerance policy for actions that don't foster inclusion, and encourage minority student participation while hiring and retaining more minority faculty.
Curtis is calling on students,faculty, staff and alumni to work across racial lines to make the culture at the University of Missouri welcoming to all students.