MSA suggests Tour Team swing through basement

MSA Senate’s Resolution 54-08 encourages the Office of Visitor Relations to include the basement of the MU Student Center in their campus tours.

The Missouri Students Association Senate passed a resolution last Wednesday encouraging MU Tour Team to include the basement of the MU Student Center in its prospective-student tours.

The rationale behind the resolution, Campus and Community Relations Committee Chairman Chad Phillips said, is to expose incoming students to the groups housed there, such as the LGBTQ Resource Center, Multicultural Center and RSVP Center, and introduce them to the resources offered.

“We have great tours,” Phillips said. “But this is a missed opportunity and what could be a great step toward making people more welcome. If we’re giving a tour and there’s anyone on the tour who identifies with one of these groups, that would be a comforting thing and potentially a deciding factor.”

Although Phillips believes the impact of such a change on prospective MU students and parents could be “huge,” he said he concedes that administrative action on the issue is unlikely.

“Some people, even in MSA, have said this is impossible,” Phillips said. “But I think we have a decent chance. Individual tour guides have leeway in their routes. So if we approach them one-on-one and have individual conversations, we can get them to try it.”

Junior Payton Head, a tour guide and candidate for MSA president, did just that. He said he led a group through the lower level of the Student Center on Monday morning.

“There is so much that tour groups get out of it,” Head said. “They get to see firsthand some of the resources that never really get highlighted on campus. I was able to explain to parents and students that this is not just a place of reaction but a place that proactively works to provide awareness, counseling and prevention.”

Head said while there are other benefits to touring the lower level, including getting to see the student journalism outlets housed there, he believes this idea might lead to a safer campus.

“The Green Dot slogan says, ‘No one has to do everything, but everyone can do something,’” Head said. “This can be the ‘something’ that Tour Team can do in the fight to create a safer Mizzou. This is not my decision to make, but I strongly encourage MU Visitor Relations to take this idea into consideration.”

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