Interim Chancellor Hank Foley visited the Residence Halls Association congressional meeting Monday night to answer questions and discuss the state of the university.
Foley began by giving an overview of efforts to improve campus climate, such as MU introducing a Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusivity, a position currently held by Chuck Henson. He also outlined the university’s plan to increase the number of officers within the MU Police Department over the next three years.
“I’m extremely optimistic about the future,” Foley said. “I think we are moving forward.”
The efforts to improve campus came after a decrease of about 1,000 applications and talks of cutting MU’s budget by about $4 million. The cuts could be a result of protests in the fall, or as a punishment to the UM system administrators for being considered ineffective, Foley said.
“There is no way to punish the university financially and not affect students,” Foley said.
RHA also passed three new pieces of legislation. The first would move gender-neutral housing from the College Avenue residence hall to Gateway Hall. A double room in Gateway Hall is about $1,200 cheaper than a double room in College Avenue, and the change in price could make the housing option more accessible to transgender and non-binary students, according to the resolution.
If approved by the Department of Residential Life, gender-neutral housing would make up one floor of Gateway Hall. Gateway Hall also has gender-neutral bathrooms, which, the resolution states, would make more sense to pair with gender-neutral housing. The change could come as soon as the 2017-18 ROAR process.
A bill also passed allowing special elections for RHA justices. According to the bill, a single election will be held per year for justices during the spring semester as opposed to one election per semester. This ensures that representatives will not have to leave their positions in order to become justices, as one cannot be a justice and a representative simultaneously.
In the case of special elections, one is instituted immediately if the number of justices falls below three. The chief justice will also be able to call a special election if he or she determines that there is a need for more justices.
The last piece of legislation changes the quorum for members of the Operations Committee. Originally, 50 percent of Operations representatives needed to be present in committee meetings in order to approve legislation. The bylaws now state that only 40 percent of representatives, a total of eight members, need to be present.
The Programming Committee will be running RHA Week from Feb. 29 to March 4. There will be events every day to show appreciation for RHA representatives.
Edited by Waverly Colville | firstname.lastname@example.org