Missouri Western President Matt Wilson met with students in the Non-Traditional and Commuter Center to discuss his plans to move the center from Eder Hall to Blum Union.
Wilson hosted the event to further discuss the center’s future in Eder Hall and to answer any questions or concerns. The center moving comes with a long series of changes President Wilson has planned for Missouri Western. Wilson first addressed the crowd’s questions about why the center is moving.
The Military and Veteran's Center will be moved into the Non-Traditional and Commuter Center’s former room. Wilson said that Missouri Western could benefit from having a center that specifically caters to the military and veteran populations.
“Other campuses around the country have found a lot of success with serving military and Vveterans populations by having a designated center,” President Wilson said. “I know that there are veterans on campus that have talked to me about having a dedicated space.”
The Non-Traditional and Commuter Center caters to students whose college experience does not fit the typical college student stereotype. The center serves students from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Administrative Assistant Kathy Frost provides students with a refrigerator, a microwave, a television and other amenities on-campus college students might have in their dorm rooms such as a couch to sleep on.
Frost also provides free coffee, hot chocolate and discounted snacks and drinks for students who cannot afford the food in Blum Student Union.
“They don't go down to Blum very much because they cannot afford the food in the cafeteria,” Frost said.
However, many students said that they will no longer visit the center if it moves to Blum, including Missouri Western student Anna Handza, who commutes from Platte City, Missouri.
“If it did end up moving to Blum, there's not a reason for me to go,” Handza said. “It's so far away from all of my classes.”
Additionally, many attendees have classes in Wilson, Potter, and Popplewell.
“If you move that to Blum, you’re cutting off students,” Handza said.
Non-Traditional Missouri Western student Anne Davies-Speers said that she would not be able to make the walk from Eder to Blum.
“I just wouldn't do this anymore because there's not enough time for me,” Davies-Speers said.
Davies-Speers also said that many older students and students with disabilities might have trouble travelling to Blum and adjusting to a new setting.
“When you mingle with the regular students, it's not necessarily in their radars to understand what that's like,” Davies-Speers.
The center moving Blum could conflict with Missouri Western student Marisa Quin’s schedule.
She currently works as a receptionist in the center. She said that walking from Eder to Blum repeatedly could cause her to be late to her classes or her job.
“It would be far away from class," Quin said. "This is really convenient my classes are right there. It being in Blum would be a long walk. I might not even make it.”
At the end of the meeting, Wilson said that the move to Blum Union can benefit non-traditional and commuting students. He aims to move the center closer to a central place for students to gather.
“You have more central student activity and food and activities that are going on throughout the day,” Wilson said. “That gives it a highlight that maybe it didn't have before.”