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Lincoln University students protest Board of Curators meeting following administrator’s death


Students of Lincoln University in Jefferson City protested on Tuesday afternoon ahead of a Board of Curators closed session meeting.

The board was expected to discuss personnel issues during a closed session, according to a meeting agenda. The meeting follows the death of Vice President of Student Affairs Antoinette "Bonnie" Candia-Bailey, who died by suicide on Jan. 8.

President John Moseley volunteered to be placed on paid leave, according to a release from the school on Friday. Stevie Lawrence, provost and vice president of academic affairs, will serve as acting president.

Bailey's death has upset students and alumni over the president and board's handling of the situation. Students protested in frigid temperatures outside of Young Hall on Tuesday, urging board members to hold more people accountable.

"There's a lot of workplace bullying going on... negligence. So overall, we just want to see a change in our faculty and in our president, Board of Curators and everybody else that was mentioned," senior Xoe Binford said.

Students who protested described Bailey as kind, caring, and having a contagious laugh. Some added that the way she interacted with students on campus made her feel less like an administrator member, and more like a friend.

"To know Dr. Bonnie was to love Dr. Bonnie," said Lincoln University Junior Jillian Patton. She was always just a bright light... like she just brought so much energy."

"She actually walked up to students and acknowledged them, you know spoke to them, hugged them," junior Shianne Pearson said.

ABC 17 News obtained a memo last week written by Bailey the day of her death, laying out several complaints over Moseley's leadership. Bailey said Moseley was overly-controlling of the university and was "defensive" with others that tried to give him feedback.

Some students said the Board of Curator's response to Bailey's death is lacking, adding that they believe the board should have placed Moseley on administrative leave immediately, rather than him volunteering.

Other students said they hope communication between the board and students improves, and that they believe certain details should not be kept in a closed session.

"The fact that he had to sit here and volunteer to do it i don't think that's really the standpoint that we want," senior Tijuana Bradley said. "It states something but it doesn't state anything from the board of curators at all."

ABC 17 News reached out to the Board of Curators for comment.

The Board of Curators is expected to meet 3 p.m. Wednesday for a special session. An open session is also expected for students to attend at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Candia-Bailey's death is being investigated by the Plainfield, Illinois, Police Department.

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Nia Hinson


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