Warning: This report discusses suicide.
(NewsNation) — Students and alumni of Lincoln University of Missouri are demanding accountability and pushing for change following the suicide of former Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Antoinette Candia-Bailey.
Protesters attended the Lincoln Board of Curators meeting last week and reportedly raised up pictures of Candia-Bailey and wore shirts that read, “Karma is a beast” — one of Candia-Bailey’s final remarks. Leading the charge, students Falon Ensley, Tyree Stovall and Kenlyn Washington presented their own questions to the board.
They made the following five demands:
- Open session meetings
- Monthly meetings with the university’s student government
- Mental health support
- Safe housing
- A university president that will advocate for faculty, students and staff
Washington explained with Candia-Bailey’s death, there is renewed attention on different concerns students have voiced for years.
“We need something to happen, we’ve been saying this constantly for years and years, and like I said, she gave us this light, but it’s been so — it took her light, but we should have been talking about this a long time ago,” Washington told KBIA.
Candia-Bailey died by suicide in early January after “bullying and severe mistreatment” from Lincoln University President John Moseley, family sources told HBCU Buzz.
The News-Tribune reports before she died, Candia-Bailey sent an email letter to those both on and off campus, including Moseley, in which she called the university president a “bully” with a “callous and evil soul” who joked about her mental health.
In the letter, Candia-Bailey wrote her relationship with Moseley went “downhill” after Family and Medical Leave and Americans with Disabilities Act documents were submitted due to her “severe depression and anxiety.”
She wrote that she asked for Moseley’s help “several times,” but he ignored her request by failing to respond to emails. When the two were face-to-face, Candia-Bailey said, Moseley “danced around the topic.” During one evaluation meeting, Candia-Bailey said she “left in tears.”
“Student Affairs was my love, and my love killed me,” Candia-Bailey wrote.
After calls by students and alumni for Moseley to be fired, the university president was placed on paid administrative leave. The university’s Board of Curators said Moseley volunteered to be placed on leave during a review into “potential personnel issues and concerns recently raised regarding compliance with the University’s established policies and procedures” by a group of attorneys at the Higher Education Practice Group of Lewis Rice.
As the review process continues, Lincoln University students reportedly plan to protest again next week at the Capitol.
If you or a loved one are experiencing mental distress, please call or text 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
NewsNation’s Cassie Buchman contributed to this report.
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Author: Caitlyn Shelton
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