Mizzou In Review: Top issues of the 2018-2019 school year

MU experienced pressing issues like changes to Greek life policies and six campus closures due to weather
MU student and resident advisor at Hatch Hall Janelle Finch recently downloaded the Bird app on her phone to make traveling across campus easier and faster. “This is just easier,” Finch said. “I can get to the journalism buildings from Hatch much faster now.”

Title IX Legislation

Talk revolving around Title IX legislation has circulated around the MU campus, highlighted by the legislation proposed by the Missouri State House and Senate, Senate Bill 259 and House Bill 573.

The Maneater Editorial Board advocated against both bills because they would create an imbalance of power for sexual assault and harassment claims.

MU has taken steps to teach the student body about sexual harassment and discrimination. For instance, in October the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center held Walk the Walk, an event that immersed participants in common experiences sexual assault and harassment survivors face.

MU also forced two RSVP center workers to resign after they spoke to the Columbia Daily Tribune about Title IX, according to the Columbia Missourian. MU forced on the grounds that they violated school policy for talking to news sources, according to the Missourian

Greek life proposed changes

MU proposed new policies that require Greek life chapters to adhere to certain guidelines, such as GPA baselines and housing rules.

These policies were a result of a two-year investigation by the MU Fraternity & Sorority Advisory Board, which was created to find new ways to regulate the Greek life system. The new policies also include a process for self-reporting hazing incidents.

The proposal outlines efforts to increase diversity and inclusivity among the chapters. The implementation dates for each policy range from fall 2019 to fall 2021.

Plan B resolution passes

The Missouri Students Association legislature passed a resolution to increase the availability of emergency contraceptives on campus. It hopes to average two Plan B pills for each student.

The resolution states that Columbia doesn’t currently provide abortion access and students have to drive two hours to a St. Louis clinic and wait 72 hours between appointments to get an abortion.

The resolution doesn’t take effect, it only aims to encourage MU to investigate more ways to provide emergency conception to students.

Bird scooters come to Columbia

The black and white electric scooters made their way onto campus early in the fall semester, prompting safety concerns from MU administration. MU News Bureau Director Christian Basi said the university received no prior notice that the scooters would be coming to campus.

The scooters have gotten a mixed reception from students. Some appreciate the efficiency the scooters offer when getting to classes, while others worry about potential accidents the scooters could cause.

The city reached an agreement with the company that requires Bird to pay $1 per scooter active per day, provide a 24-hour call line and move any illegally parked scooters.

Bird then left Columbia for the winter, citing a decrease in demand from riders and safety concerns caused by the weather conditions.

They returned March 8, and Bird spokesperson Rachel Bankston said they were happy to be able to provide an environmentally friendly transportation option.

Winter weather causes campus delays, shutdowns

This year, MU has had six campus closures or delays to the start of campus operations.

Between 1949 and 2006, there were four campus closures and one delayed start. After 2006, there have been 19 campus closures or delayed starts.

In response to the closures, MU made the decision to allow affected professors to host make-up classes on Reading Day May 10. The use of Reading Day as a make-up class is optional, and students cannot be penalized for attendance.

To determine whether or not to close campus or have a delayed start, MUPD and MU Landscape Services assess potential road conditions. Gary Ward, the vice chancellor for operations, makes a recommendation to Chancellor Alexander Cartwright, who then makes the decision.

Edited by Kaitlyn Hoevelmann | khoevelmann@themaneater.com

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