The Briefing: Board of Curators’ April meeting, international enrollment drops, campus carry resolution fails, Take Back the Night

UM Board of Curators discussed tuition rise, facility renovations at meeting last week

Tuition may be increasing by 2.1 percent for both in-state and out-of-state students for the 2017-18 school year, according to the agenda presented at the April 27 and 28 curator meeting. The final vote was tabled until after the Missouri legislature passes the final 2018 fiscal year budget, which is set to happen later this month.

Additionally, per credit hour fees are proposed to rise for students in the College of Engineering, College of Business and the College of Arts and Science.

At the meeting, the curators discussed transitioning the four campuses to a differential tuition system, which would set higher tuition rates for higher cost and higher earning majors. The curators said more discussion about the possibility would take place at their September meeting.

The curators also began discussion about facility overhauls at all four campuses, including a new building for the MU School of Music and total renovations of facilities in Waters, Mumford, Whitten, Stanley and Lefevre halls.

Though the curators began discussing possibilities for capital funding, they will not request funds from the state for any of these projects until the 2019 fiscal year.

International enrollment applications affected by political climate, U.S. economic conditions

International graduate student enrollment was down 16 percent as of March 15, according to the director of graduate admissions and student services. More than two-thirds of international students at MU are graduate students; the drop in enrollment is the first since 2006 and may affect the competitiveness of MU as a land-grant research university.

The drop in enrollment does not mean a drop in international student population because there are often more applicants than graduate positions.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said the political climate, including recent executive orders and changes to immigration policy, are possibly a reason for decreasing interest in MU and other American universities. Economic conditions in the U.S. and around the world may also play a role.

The university is working with students who are applying from nations affected by the travel ban. The largest number of these students come from Iran.

Resolution asking for a rule change to allow firearms on campus failed in full Senate

A resolution proposed by a senator in the Missouri Students Association asking for the UM System Board of Curators to change the rules to allow guns on campus failed in full Senate on April 26 by a vote of 14-9.

The resolution also failed in committee the previous day but was brought before the Senate because of a 2016 MSA resolution stating legislation with at least 50 signatures on it must be heard before the entire body.

Arguments for passing the bill included statistics from a survey conducted by the Associated Students of the University of Missouri that said 39 percent of MU students favor restricted or unrestricted concealed carry on campus. Opposition included a senator who argued violent crime rates would increase if the resolution passed.

Missouri does not have a law restricting concealed and carried firearms on campus. The rule banning firearms on campus comes from university administration.

A student with a sign that read “MSA wants the most vulnerable to be defenseless” was escorted out of the Senate.

Stories shared, funds raised at Take Back the Night

The rally held April 27 in support of survivors of sexual assault, abuse and violence saw about 100 students and community members gather at Traditions Plaza. This year’s Take Back the Night, an annual event to bring awareness to issues of sexual violence, featured multiple parts.

Attendees first marched around campus, carrying signs and chanting, “Claim our bodies, claim our rights, take a stand, take back the night.” The march ended in Traditions Plaza for the “Speak Out” portion of the event, during which those affected by sexual violence shared their stories.

Organizers also fundraised for True North, a domestic and sexual violence shelter, and Leadership through Education & Advocacy for the Deaf, a resource group for those with disabilities, by selling T-shirts during the event.

Take Back the Night was hosted by the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center.

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