The Graduate Professional Council General Assembly passed two resolutions Tuesday in response to the collapse at University Village and the subsequent death of Columbia fireman Lt. Bruce Britt.
Resolution 1314-04 — submitted by members of the GPC executive board, including GPC President Jacob Wright — requests MU administrators to “explore all possible means for renovating or replacing the University Village apartment complex.”
The Missouri Students Association passed a similar resolution last week. Wright said even though he was satisfied with MSA’s resolution, it was important to emphasize the need to replace University Village instead of demolishing the complex.
“There are people who live there, and if it were just demolished, they need a place to live,” he said. “Replacement would be any (option) in which some sort of alternate accommodation is provided for the people no longer living at University Village, by the university.”
More than 100 students, mostly graduate students and students with families, reside at University Village, said Christian Basi, MU spokesman.
Demolition of University Village would also displace the affordable childcare service that is offered at the complex, Wright said.
“There are other childcare options in town, but (they) can be prohibitively expensive,” he said. “If University Village were demolished and that childcare facility wasn’t replaced in some form, that would potentially place an enormous financial burden on the students.”
The second resolution, 1314-05, seeks to honor Britt’s death by formally recognizing his service.
“University Village is home to many graduate and professional students at the University of Missouri and their families,” the resolution said. “Therefore, be it further unanimously resolved that this council expresses its profound grief and sincere condolences to Lieutenant Britt’s family and fellow firefighters for the Lieutenant’s death.”
Wright said bringing about significant change and improvements to MU facilities like University Village would also help honor Britt for his service.
“One of the ways you honor someone’s sacrifice is to try and prevent a situation like this from happening again,” Wright said. “It would be a shame if we didn’t learn any lessons from this and it cost somebody else their life.”
Though the buildings were declared by inspectors “structurally sound,”, Wright plans to meet with MU administrators to discuss GPC’s resolutions and urge them to look into the possibility of renovating or replacing University Village.
“Even though the complex is structurally sound, I think that renovation or replacement is something that should still be looked into,” he said. “Structurally sound (housing options) and the type of housing stock that graduate and professional students want to have are two different ideas.”