Faculty and students see good and bad after campus unrest

11 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago January 27, 2016 Jan 27, 2016 Wednesday, January 27 2016 Wednesday, January 27, 2016 6:49:00 AM CST in News
By: Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 News

University of Missouri students and faculty alike have much to look back on after the events on campus of the last calendar year.

MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley will give the annual State of the University address Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

The guarantee of the health coverage of graduate students was cancelled August 14. The decision was later reversed on August 21, but health care coverage for graduate students beyond the 2016-17 school year is still in doubt.

“The idea of going to grad school, having a TA-ship, where I would be paid, and also having health insurance from my employer was a big draw for me,” graduate student Anna Nyseth said. “If I had known the uncertainty, it would have been a major point of thought for me in my decision to come to Columbia."

While Nyseth will not have to fear losing her health benefits, she hopes that graduate students who have children while earning their degrees are able to have their prenatal care covered in the future.

"Nobody needs health insurance more than a pregnant lady," Nyseth said.

The most notable event was when students forced out UM system president Tim Wolfe and MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin on November 9 after graduate student Jonathan Butler, in leadership of Concerned Student 1950, began a hunger strike demanding Wolfe step down. 

Mizzou football players and staff also helped push Wolfe's ouster by supporting Butler's strike on November 8., stating they would not do anything football-related until Wolfe stepped down.

Foley and former MU law professor Dr. Mike Middleton assumed duties as interim chancellor and UM system president, respectively, on November 12.

Cultural anthropology professor Dr. Craig Palmer said he thinks morale on campus will likely improve because of better communication.

“I’m optimistic that people have been reaching out, kind of on all different sides of this. I expect this to be a good semester," Palmer said. "I think the best thing is just that people are talking, and I think the address will be an important part of it."

Streaming of the 2016 State of the University address can be found here.

 

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to provide clarity.]

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