- The Washington Times - Friday, May 5, 2017

The owner of a Missouri doughnut shop located just a few blocks from Mizzou’s Columbia campus announced the shop’s abrupt closure Wednesday, citing a drop in student enrollment ever since racial protests swamped the campus in 2015.

Strange Donuts owner Jason Bockman initially announced the closure in a Facebook post, accompanied by a now-infamous photograph of former assistant communications professor Melissa Click, who was fired in February 2016 after she was caught on video intimidating a student reporter during the protests.

“Love you Columbia but we gotta keep it moving,” wrote Mr. Bockman, who reportedly opened the Columbia location just a few months before the protests started. “Effective immediately we are closing the como loco. It’s been a lot of fun but there has been a correlation between the student population decline and our sales. We are planning some huge things for Strange and need the energy elsewhere.”

He added that Seoul Taco, which shared the space with Strange Donuts, would remain open, the Columbia Missourian reported.

Mr. Bockman’s post caught a wave of backlash from the Mizzou community, with some students planning a Strange Donuts “going out of business” party at nearby Harold’s Doughnuts, the Missourian reported.

Mr. Bockman deleted his original post and issued an apology on Twitter Thursday.

“I’m truly sorry for the post I made yesterday,” he wrote. “It was never my intention to be inflammatory or offensive.

“I try to live a life of inclusion and service to my community,” he added. “The announcement was a poor representation of me and our brand. I was wrong. I want to thank everyone in Columbia for their support. I wish we could have made it work. Stay Strange.”

Mr. Bockman told the Missourian that he “messed up.”

“I never delete posts, but I did this time because it was clearly offending so many people, and that upset me,” he said. “I really missed what I was going for with that.”

Mr. Bockman said his other two other locations in St. Louis are still going strong.

Mizzou’s Columbia campus saw a 6.2 percent drop for the 2016-2017 academic year — the lowest enrollment since 2010, the Missourian reported.

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