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Keller @ Large: Lessons Of Protest

BOSTON (CBS) - "Let's move forward together for a brighter tomorrow," said University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe as he announced his resignation.

Translation: I'm out of here before these student protests really get out of hand.

The debate will continue over whether or not Wolfe did the right thing by stepping down after mounting student and faculty outrage over years of allegedly indifferent response to racial incidents on campus that left some black students shaken. But Boston University students I spoke with at the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, a forum for campus-wide discourse on social and political issues, were energized by the relatively rare modern-day sight of student protest leading to significant institutional change.

"I was happy to see students fighting for something they believe in," said senior William Belt.

"It was really big, I did not expect it," added Rebekah Leopold, another senior.

And a pleasantly surprised graduate student, Osi Osman, noted: "Superiors actually have to answer to the people they're supposed to be working for."

The fact that it took a threatened boycott of next week's game by the football team, which could have cost Missouri a million dollars, isn't lost on the BU students.

"We should always think about what is going to affect the financial situation so we can actually effect change," said senior Denise Ward.

"Once you get into their pockets it's a little harder for them to say no," said senior Jailyn Gladney

These students understand that what happened in Missouri is a drop in the bucket, unlikely by itself to rub out racism on campus. But they draw lessons for the future.

"Sometimes if you're not loud, no one's gonna hear you, they'll just completely ignore you and say you suffered and you liked it," Osman said.

"They don't need cameras anymore because of all the social media platforms that are available these days," Leopold added.

"I think it's a perfect example of how not only collective thought but collective action leads to results," Gladney said.

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