An online petition to “Keep Juan Meraz” as Missouri State University’s assistant vice president of Multicultural Services had over 1,130 signatures as of late Tuesday afternoon.
The petition was started by Kyle Vesely on change.org hours after the group Springfield Coalition for Minority Advancement (SCMA) delivered its own petition to university administrators. That document had just under 100 physical signatures from students and some community members.
The group alleges Meraz has demonstrated racial discrimination and abused his power. It also released an audio recording that claims to have Meraz speaking with a Hispanic student sharing views of extreme prejudice towards African Americans.
The online petition to keep Meraz reads, “A small group of students is demanding the removal of Juan Meraz as Assistant Vice President of Multicultural Services. We are demanding he remain in his current position of Assistant Vice President of Multicultural Services. We, the current students and Alumni of Missouri State University, will not let the few attempt bully and intimidate such a fine administrator and educator.”
SCMA had demanded Meraz be dismissed from his position Monday. MSU said in a statement that special interest groups do not dictate the processes or the outcomes regarding handling personnel complaints.