Skip to Content

Lincoln University students say Wednesday’s forum was ‘a run around’


Students at Lincoln University were able to get in front of university leaders Wednesday morning to ask questions and voice their concerns surrounding the recent death by suicide of Vice President of Student Affairs Antionette "Bonnie" Candia-Bailey.

The meeting took place behind closed doors, but students said it was not productive.

"As far as productivity with the meeting, we didn't have much of it," said student Mylah McCanton. "With the lack of responses to the questions we were asking, we didn't get what we needed to hear. It was just a run around basically."

Students said the discussions centered around how to move forward as a "family" at the university. They said they asked questions like how can students trust administration and what administration looks for in its leadership, but didn't get straight answers.

"We were getting a lot of 'this is an ongoing investigation,' 'we cannot answer this,' 'maybe at another time, maybe at a later date,'" said student Jayla Lee.

Students said their protests will continue, but university officials did promise to hold future meetings to update students on the investigation progress.

In an email, Lincoln University officials said regarding the forum, "The listening sessions were part of our ongoing commitment to hearing feedback and various perspectives. We invited participants to share their points of view. We will have additional sessions like this in the days to come as we take steps to reinforce our commitments in the areas of education, mental wellness and safety for every person at Lincoln University.”

The Board of Curators held a closed session meeting at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Students protested outside that meeting, but were not allowed inside.

ABC 17 News was told around 5:45 p.m. that the board members had left, but was not immediately told how long the meeting itself lasted.

According to the meeting agenda, the board was set to discuss multiple items, including individually identifiable personnel records and records protected by law.

Students said the protests happening on campus are about more than the death of Claudia-Bailey, as they want to see more mental health awareness around campus and accountability from leadership.

"There's been so many issues that've been swept under the rug," said student Chelsea Robinson. "And I feel like it's kind of like she sacrificed herself for us to come to the forefront and fight for our university."

In a letter left on the day of Candia-Bailey's death, she called Lincoln University's President John Mosley "defensive" and "over-controlling."

Mosley has since gone on voluntary administrative leave. The university went with Stevie Lawrence, provost and vice president of academic affairs, to serve as acting president.

Wednesday's session comes after several students gathered in front of Young Hall in protest while board members held a meeting. Students asked for accountability and justice.

Late Tuesday, ABC 17 News confirmed the Plainfield, Illinois, Police Department will be handling the investigation of Candia-Bailey.

Chief Bob Miller told ABC 17 News that investigators do not suspect foul play and the department is not looking for any suspects. She was found in a parking lot of a business complex near the intersection of Route 59 and Renwick Road on Jan. 8. An autopsy was performed Jan. 9, according to the Will County Coroner's Office.

Candia-Bailey's funeral will be Saturday in Joliet, Illinois, according to her obituary.

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories
board of curators
jefferson city
lincoln university

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Gabrielle Teiner

Author Profile Photo

Morgan Buresh

Morgan is an evening anchor and reporter who came to ABC 17 News in April 2023.

Ryan Shiner


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content