As student leaders at the University of Missouri, we recognize that during this time of crisis and uncertainty, it is important for governmental leaders to take quick and decisive action to keep our communities safe, and for the government and media to keep the public informed of new developments. In an earlier statement, we addressed concerns about reports that negatively portray our international student population. We feel inclined to reiterate that we support our international students and the members of our international community.
Media coverage surrounding infectious disease has traditionally generated racist discourse that blames victim populations for the threat. The coverage of COVID-19 has been no different. We have heard about incidents in which the virus is referred to as the “Chinese” virus or “the yellow peril.” We worry that recent reports and new developments could further foment negative feelings and actions toward our international students and the members of our international community. During this time, it is important that we focus on the safety and well-being of our entire community while not directing our societal frustration onto the members of our international community.
It is important that our students know that there are resources available from the University to help in this time of need. Counseling services and career services are still being offered. A list of available resources for all students, and an additional list of resources for international students, can be seen on our website.
We, the student leaders of the Graduate Professional Council and the Missouri International Student Council, stand by our international students and the members of our international community in this stressful time, and likewise encourage our entire community to stand strong together.
With our warmest regards,
Graduate Professional Council
Missouri International Student Council