mizzou president blocks students covid


Mizzou’s president accused of blocking students who complained about COVID safety

Students at the University of Missouri are left with restricted access during a crucial semester.

Sep 10, 2020, 2:14 pm*



Brianna Holt

On Wednesday, an anonymous Twitter account under the username @UofMisery created a thread for Mizzou students to show that they’ve been blocked by the school’s president, Mun Choi. Students expressed that the block is a result of voicing their concerns with on-campus safety issues surrounding the coronavirus. At the time of writing, the thread has 13 screenshots.

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College students around the world are taking to social media to express their frustrations and showcase the obstacles they face this fall semester. The COVID-19 pandemic has left universities with two choices: continue in-person classes or implement online teaching. While both options hold their own distinctive challenges, returning to campus includes health risks that students are bringing to light online, but not always receiving solutions to.

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Students’ concerns at Mizzou vary from disabled bathroom sinks to inadequate meals and unclean quarantine bedrooms. A Twitter thread detailing some of the diverse ways the university has failed to uphold optimal health standards has brought public attention to the situation. Additionally, the lack of response from the university has pushed those who are blocked by Choi, both journalists and students, to pursue a lawsuit for violating the First Amendment.

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Choi became the 24th president of the University of Missouri System in March 2017 and was later appointed interim chancellor of the University of Missouri-Columbia this March. According to Mizzou’s Office of the President webpage: “The defining project of Dr. Choi’s vision for the UM System is the Next Generation Precision Health Initiative, a statewide project to bring together and amplify the resources of the entire university system with the goal of creating personalized treatments for society’s toughest diseases.” While progressive initiatives for student health are undeniably instrumental, addressing the concerns of students during a pandemic is just as crucial.

We’ve reached out to Christian Basi, the director of media relations at Mizzou, for comment but have not received a response.

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*First Published: Sep 10, 2020, 2:13 pm