Since I have been president of Missouri State University, one of our top priorities has been to create an inclusive environment on campus and to encourage everyone to respect the differences among individuals in our campus community and beyond. We’ve updated policies and provided training to students and employees on campus to help make this happen.
This week we had an incident involving a member of the Greek community on campus and his interactions with a transgender individual from the Springfield community. Unfortunately, the actions of the student did not reflect the inclusiveness or respect that we have been trying to develop in our students. The student bullied and humiliated the victim. Such actions are both disappointing and unacceptable.
As we would hope, the leader of the fraternity consulted with our Title IX coordinator for guidance when he learned what had happened. As an organization with zero tolerance for this kind of behavior, the fraternity swiftly took action to discipline the student and reach out to the victim.
We applaud the leader of the fraternity not only for responding quickly and taking appropriate disciplinary action with the student, but also for the respect shown toward the victim.