Southeast students hold silent protest in solidarity with Mizzou - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southeast students hold silent protest in solidarity with Mizzou students

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Students held a silent protest after schools across Missouri pledged to show support for Mizzou students.

"It's not just at Mizzou, though Mizzou brought it to the forefront, it's happening everywhere," senior Nia Jeffrey said.

Jeffrey said even though issues aren't happening on the Southeast Missouri State University campus, minority students everywhere must stand together.

"Just because it's not effecting us directly right here right now, it doesn't mean that it will affect us at some time," she said.

Around this time last year, some of the same students met to protest the grand jury decision in the case of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

Since that protest, students say Southeast has made many improvements.

"Their making so many efforts to do what they have to do for the minority students on this campus and I love that," junior Jayson Thompson said emotionally. "But after I leave this campus and go into the real world, it's different."

Thomson said the university has been very progressive, but it's life outside of the school that worries her.

"You kind of get, you kind of get tired of the same thing you know," Thompson said emotionally. "It's like we're trying so hard to protest and get change, but I don't see it happening."

One of the many things Southeast has formed, a diversity task force.

"The membership is quite large actually," Southeast President Dr. Carlos Vargas said. "We have student, we have faculty, we have staff from offices we feel are particularly important."

President Vargas is the university's first Hispanic president. He said the task force has been a huge improvement to the campus.

"They actually recently provided some suggestions to us and we are in the process of looking at them, evaluating them and how to move forward with that," he said.

Senior Wendi Garner said Southeast has done an amazing job, but the real work is just starting.

"SEMO is definitely making efforts with our new president and the diversity task force," Garner said. "I see a lot of changes, a lot of positive changes at that and I'm really happy, but its still a lot to be done, we have a lot to do."

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