Roo News

The Student News Site of University of Missouri - Kansas City

Roo News

Roo News

Pedro Rodriguez.
Finding a New Home
Gracey Saavedra, Staff Writer • November 17, 2023

  UMKC senior and finance major Pedro Rodiguez knows first-hand how difficult it can be to assimilate into a new university.    As a...

The Epperson House is closed to visitors, but can be seen from the distance around campus.
The Spooky History of the Castle on Campus
Aurora Wilson, Lifestyle and Culture Editor • October 31, 2023

  Located at the corner of Cherry and 52 St., the Epperson House looms over UMKC’s campus, haunting students who dare to walk past it.    Construction...

Dr. Villamandos and Dr. Grieco in front of Sancho Panza in the Twentieth Century
UC Berkeley Art Historian To Speak on Historic Haag Murals
Lauren Zoller, Staff Writer • October 30, 2023

  A University of California Berkeley art historian will present her research on Luis Quintanilla, a world-renowned artist whose murals have...

Tayler and the cast sit as they prepare for more filming.
You Are Now Leaving Godly
Lydia Schneider, Staff Writer • October 20, 2023

  Tayler Gilbert, UMKC senior and professional photographer, is putting the final touches on his new film, “Welcome to Godly.”    Gilbert...

Abigail Weiler holds her business card.
Clayful by Abbie
Gracey Saavedra, Staff Writer • October 18, 2023

 Abigail Weiler, fourth-year political science and French major at UMKC, delivers confidence in the form of handmade polymer clay jewelry.    Her...

MU student arrested for drunk misconduct and alleged use of racial slur

MU student arrested by MU police for drunk misconduct and other allegations. (MU)

University of Missouri (MU) police arrested 19-year-old Cal Gerhardt early Thursday morning after he allegedly both harassed fellow students and used a racial slur. Police reportedly found and intoxicated Gerhardt yelling outside the door of two students in a campus residence hall.

According to a statement released by Bill Stackman, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, police charged Gerhardt with first degree harassment and tampering with a witness.

Sara Diedrich, MU Police Department’s public safety information specialist, said police responded to a call at 2:50 a.m. that Gerhardt was banging and scratching on a student’s door in a resident hall while yelling a racial slur. Police investigated the incident and escorted Gerhardt back to his residence, where he was issued a trespassing warning and summons for being visibly intoxicated as a minor, second-degree property damage and fourth-degree assault.

“However, at about 4:20 a.m., MUPD officers were dispatched back to the same resident hall where Gerhardt was reportedly harassing and banging on the door of the same individual,” said Diedrich.

After police investigated the second incident, Gerhardt was arrested and transported to Boone County Jail, where the case was turned over to the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office.

This was not the first time an incident involving racial slurs has occurred on Mizzou campus. In Sept. 2015, a young group of people yelled racial slurs from a pickup truck at Payton Head, the then-president of the Missouri Students Association. This sparked protests across the campus over the course of the semester after many criticized the administration’s inadequate response to the situation. Tensions ran high as many called for the resignation of then UM system president Tim Wolfe.

The situation continued to escalate when a swastika drawn in human feces was discovered in a dorm bathroom. Members of the group Concerned Student 1950 (in reference to the year when MU first admitted African American students) met with Wolfe but failed to reach a consensus. Graduate student Jonathan Butler went on a hunger strike until Wolfe resigned. The football team announced they were going to boycott practices and games until Wolfe was removed from office.

The situation came to a head when a user posted on the anonymous messaging app, Yik Yak, saying they were going to “shoot every black person [they] see” at the college. One man was arrested and later pled guilty to making the post.

In November 2015, Wolfe and MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin both resigned from their respective positions. The university appointed an interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity, and moved to provide more support for those affected by discrimination.

A similar situation occurred the following year, when intoxicated members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity yelled racial slurs at two black students walking by the fraternity’s house. Police were called and, as they were questioning bystanders, other students gathered on the sidewalk. The Kansas City Star said officers reportedly heard “racially charged comments being made by both black and white students.” 

The situation was resolved, and university officials and the Delta Upsilon national organization suspended that chapter the following day.

Bill Stackman, the MU vice chancellor for student affairs, issued a campuswide statement regarding Thursday’s incident, highlighting that their campus is to be welcoming for all.

“As leaders on this campus, we want to make it clear that harassing behavior will be confronted at Mizzou as we strive to uphold our university’s value of respect,” said Stackman. “We are committed to the safety, security and well-being of everyone on our campus, and we are working every day to create an inclusive environment in which every student feels valued. Acts of aggression and intolerance have no place here.”

[email protected]

Leave a Comment
Donate to Roo News

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Missouri - Kansas City. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Roo News

Comments (0)

All Roo News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *