- Associated Press - Friday, October 9, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - All freshmen at the University of Missouri will be required to undergo diversity training beginning in January, and the program will eventually be expanded to include all students, faculty and staff.

The university made the announcement Thursday, days after a student was removed from the Columbia campus for shouting racial slurs at a black student group practicing for homecoming. That incident came less than a month after someone shouted racial slurs at Missouri Students Association President Payton Head, who is black.

The online training program will start with new Missouri freshmen arriving in January, The Kansas City Star reported (https://bit.ly/vrhz6V ). University spokesman Christian Basi said that will allow the university to see what adjustments might be needed before about 6,200 freshmen enroll in the fall of 2016.

It will address issues of racism and promote the diverse organizations and resources available on campus. The training will eventually become mandatory for all faculty, staff and other students.

“As you know, a few individuals have tried to harass and intimidate our students using racial slurs over the past few weeks,” Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin wrote Thursday in an online letter to students, faculty and others. “As a community, we must live by our values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence.”

Loftin was out of town when an inebriated student shouted slurs at members of the Legion of Black Collegians Royalty Court early Sunday morning. He recorded a video from his hotel room condemning the incidents.

“It’s enough. Let’s stop this,” Loftin said in the recording. “Let’s end racism and hatred at Mizzou.”

Basi said the university began working on a new diversity training program months ago.

“What I can tell you is it was the right time to make this announcement today,” he said Thursday.


Information from: The Kansas City Star, https://www.kcstar.com

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