By Lauren Petterson
 
Two MU faculty members who were seen in a viral video confronting a reporter have now apologized for their actions. Melissa Click has resigned from her affiliations with the MU School of Journalism and the Chancellor’s Student Publications Committee. Janna Basler has been put on administrative leave and has been relieved of her duties as the Director of Greek Life.
 
Signs reading “No Media, Safe Space” surrounded Carnahan Quad on Monday, Nov. 9. Journalists from MU and around the country were present Monday to document the historic celebration and demonstration following the resignation of UM System President Tim Wolfe. Some members of the media chose to give the demonstrators space, while others disregarded the signs in defense of their jobs as journalists, as well as the fact that Carnahan Quad is a public space. 
 
Tim Tai, a photojournalist, was one of the reporters who chose to disregard the signs in order to do his job. This led demonstrators, including faculty members Click and Basler, to approach Tai and tell him that he needed to leave. Click went on to say that she needed “some muscle” remove Tai, who captured the incident on video.
 
Legally, reporters were protected during the demonstrations under the same First Amendment rights which protected the demonstrators. In fact, reporters and demonstrators are both protected under the Campus Free Expression Act, which states “The outdoor areas of campuses of public institutions of higher education in this state shall be deemed traditional public forums.”
 
After receiving backlash from the journalism community, flyers were distributed at the campsite Tuesday that encouraged demonstrators to welcome and thank the media.
 
MU School of Journalism Dean David Kurpius spoke to several journalism classes about the incident.
 
“If you think racism doesn’t live at every college campus in America, you are mistaken,” Kurpius said.
 
Kurpius also took to Twitter to voice his support.
 
“We stand by journalists and our students,” Kurpius tweeted.
 
The MU College of Arts and Sciences posted a statement from Click on Twitter, in which she apologized for her actions.
 
“I regret the language and strategies I used, and I sincerely apologize to the MU campus community, and journalists at large, for my behavior, and also for the way my actions have shifted attention away from the students’ campaign for justice,” Click said.
 
On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Click resigned her affiliations with the MU School of Journalism and with the Chancellor’s Student Publications Committee.
 
Greek Life and Leadership Assistant Director Janna Basler was also criticized for her actions. In a post on the MU Office of Greek Life’s Facebook page, Basler also apologized for her behavior.
 
“Yesterday I allowed my emotions to get the best of me while trying to protect some of our students,” Basler said.
 
Basler also said that this was a lesson for her. According to a statement posted on the MU Greek Life Twitter account, Basler was put on administrative leave and was relieved of her duties as Director of Greek Life.