The Student Government Association (SGA) meeting last Monday night packed a rare surprise: the presence of both Interim Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer and UM System President Mun Choi.
The visitors discussed a variety of topics, from strategic planning to Choi’s previous experience as a professor.
After the usual roll call, Bichelmeyer talked to SGA members for nearly half an hour. She emphasized the importance of a “strategic plan” for UMKC, the controversial budget situation and the shortage of on-campus mental health services.
In reference to a decline in funding from the state, Bichelmeyer said, “That’s either a terrible thing, or an opportunity.”
Toward the end of her speech, Bichelmeyer laid out a central question to current athletics and budget cuts: “What do we need to be investing in?”
President Choi arrived at the SGA chamber around 6:50 p.m., immediately catching students’ attention. Dr. Choi shared his two options for the evening: attending the meeting with students, or spending time with business people.
“I think I made the right decision,” Choi joked.
Dr. Choi spoke about the recent DACA controversy, saying he disagreed with those who opposed continued support of the program. He did emphasize, however, that if the law changed, UMKC would have to follow it.
In addition to responding to current concerns, Choi referenced information that most students didn’t know. Dr. Choi mentioned UMKC’s attempt to form a dental school in Joplin, Mo. He mentioned the lack state funding as a detriment to the school’s progress.
Afterwards, UMKC student Rakeem Golden offered his opinion of UMKC and the UM System’s recent changes in leadership.
“I have yet to assemble confidence in our changing leadership,” Golden said.