At Missouri Western’s first Board of Governors meeting, both triumph and opportunity were among the things the board looked for as they began going through Western’s numerous departments and awaited updates from department leaders.
One of the highlighted triumphs came from residential life as the department was able to establish Greek housing within Juda Hall, begin renovating the super singles and ultimately rebuild the outdoor basketball courts, all within a summer.
“We started with four students last fall,” director of Residential Life Mark Stier said in reference to how many Greek students were living in the Greek dorms. “We went from four to 40. Of those 40 students, five were of those were non-residential students who will be bought back to campus.”
President Dr. Robert Vartabedian noted another triumph through the Craig School of Business’s expanded opportunity with its “Applied Entrepreneurship” course. Craig School, partnering with the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, was able to extend their course and offer it every semester, giving more Craig School students managerial employment opportunities.
“We could possibly have 40 new stores in the next four years,” Vartabedian said.
The most debatable notion of the meeting came from the proposal to amend the alcohol policy. The proposal was to include the selling and/or consumption of alcohol to the Spratt Hall Atrium, the Remington Hall Atrium, Potter Hall Gallery and lobby, the Stadium Club of Spratt Stadium, Room 114 of the Looney Complex and at university events hosted by Vartabedian and members of the cabinet at their personal residences.
Athletic Director Kurt McGuffin saw the greatest need for the approval of the Looney and Spratt complexes as it could be used to reward the Gold Coat members and Western Athletic VIPs and provide more opportunity for expansion of those complexes.
“There’s a revenue piece with selling alcohol,” McGuffin said. “When people buy it we get a percentage of the sales that is ran through Aramark. You go to many facilities, whether they’re major league facilities or universities like ours and you see it. Central Missouri has alcohol on their football stadium and their suites and premium areas. Washburn, Emporia, Pitt State; Missouri Southern is doing a proposal just like ours to try to get it in their facilities.”
McGuffin also noted that selling alcohol could ultimately lead to more gifts from the Gold Coat Club and prestigious Western VIPs as he is hoping to expand the Spratt Stadium with more VIP rooms and suites. According to McGuffin, no university money or state money would be used to renovate these complexes.
“The number one goal is to have a revenue producing building. A lot of times when you add suites and clubs to a stadium or a basketball facility, in this case the football stadium, it produces instant revenue.”
Though the board was quite pleased with the idea of the renovations and were considerate in amending the alcohol policy, they ultimately wanted to see a more specific proposal before making any final decisions.
“As far as the renovations, I think they see a need to have a vision,” McGuffin said regarding the board’s decision to see a new proposal for the Spratt Stadium expansion.
“There are needs and these types of drawings are not done in 30 days. It may be 10 years from now that we get something like this; it may be five years depending on fundraising. I think they are ready to see this on campus because it is a revenue producing building for our university.”