As campus police at the University of Missouri arrested a suspect Wednesday morning, the campus was eerily desolate, according to those at the scene. Police arrested Hunter M. Park for allegedly making online threats against African-American members of the university community. The arrest comes after University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe resigned Monday, amid allegations that he didn't do enough to prevent racial injustice at the campus. On Wendesday, the Mizzou campus looked empty, but the campus' fight for racial equality is far from over.
Park, who is not a student at the university, was arrested off-campus after being charged with making threats on the social media site Yik Yak. According to reports, Park is a student at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. His alleged Yik Yak posts included a threat to "shoot every black person I see," and warned people not to go to campus the next day. The University of Missouri tweeted that there was "no immediate threat to campus," but many students understandably felt unsafe.
Rayford reported Wednesday that in addition to the campus' emptiness, a local Starbucks was closed amid the turmoil. Others reported similar scenes of an empty campus after Park was arrested.
But even though the campus is somewhat abandoned, Veterans Day parades planned in the area are apparently still taking place, and classes were still held at Mizzou on Wednesday. The University of Missouri's Twitter account stressed that the campus is not under threat, and that campus police have taken the allegations seriously. Some people, though, were dismayed at the school's tweets, suggesting that they diminished the reality of the threats and racial inequality on campus.
Before Wolfe resigned Monday, there were multiple allegations of discrimination and racism at the school, whose undergraduate population is roughly 79 percent white. Students reported that racial slurs had been shouted at them on campus, and in October, a university dormitory was allegedly defaced with a swastika made out of feces.
This week's events appear to be the culmination of many long-standing issues at the university, and arresting Park won't solve all of them. University of Missouri students have the right to a safe education, and this week's events have cast a national light on the many issues facing the school.