Students’ effective campaign led to an increase in funding that will improve facilities and resources across campus. Enhance Mizzou will be remembered as one of the year’s major student successes.
Money from the fee will be used to improve MU’s libraries, mental health services, technology, student activities and facilities. The fee will be charged as $2.91 per credit hour and caps at $35 for a full-time undergraduate student or $26.19 for graduate students. The referendum passed March 8 with 79 percent of the 9,420 voters in favor of the fee.
The development of the fee began in spring 2016, when the Division of Student Affairs sent a survey to several groups across campus. The survey asked students to identify their satisfaction with a variety of resources across campus and to prioritize their needs for improvement. The results were sent to administrators, who identified how much it would cost to implement these initiatives.
With this data, administrators met with representatives from Missouri Students Association, Graduate Professional Council and other groups in fall 2016. The feedback provided led to the creation of the Enhance Mizzou fee.
A student informational team then worked to ensure the fee’s success. The group presented to various student organizations to provide information and garner support for the initiative. In addition, the students behind Enhance Mizzou were quite active on social media, conveying their messages through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Enhance Mizzou also held a town hall and tabled in the Student Center and Ellis Library in order to directly interact with the student body and answer questions.
Of the $35 fee, $12 will go toward improving libraries. This will allow students to access the library 24 hours a day, five days a week. In addition, this money will allow the libraries to fund special collections and resources that would not otherwise be available. Although this fee will benefit the library, it is important to note that the Enhance Mizzou fee encompasses significantly more than the proposed 2015 library fee, which was voted down by students.
The Counseling Center will receive $8 of each student’s fee to hire three new counselors, adding 15 hours of counseling per day. In addition, this money will be used to expand outreach initiatives, getting more students connected to the mental health resources they need.
On-campus technology improvements, including TigerWiFi, will receive $5 of the fee. Another $5 will go toward improving the student unions, which will provide more wireless printers and better maintenance of heavily used areas. An additional $2.50 will go toward leadership and service programs, including community service opportunities and Mizzou Alternative Breaks scholarships. The final $2.50 will be used for campus activities, including guest speakers and Mizzou After Dark events.
Enhance Mizzou received far-reaching support, with all three Missouri Students Association presidential slates in favor of the fee. This campaign will be remembered as a success, as it directly responded to student needs and provided tangible means to solve them. Students were at the heart of this effort, and students will ultimately benefit from the fee’s implementation.