Saturday, June 25, 2022
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Housing task force surveys UMKC students

An online housing survey gave students the chance to share their opinions about the future of UMKC’s on-campus housing.

The survey was authored by the Student Housing Task force, a group formed by Chancellor Mauli Agrawal to research ways to expand UMKC’s student accommodations.

The task force asked for student opinions on several simple questions, such as, “What types of housing would you be interested in?” and “What types of amenities would you like to see near your housing?”

A couple of questions on the survey might have suggested UMKC is open to looking for housing options a little further away from the main campus. For example, one question stated, “Would you be willing to live further from campus if you were on a streetcar line?” while another prompted students to determine what they would consider “walking distance.”

Some students, however, raised concerns about the effectiveness of the survey.

“I feel it is useful to the school for gathering metrics on [the survey], but I don’t think they are particularly accurate since I feel most people won’t do it,” said Torsten Whetsell, a UMKC student and resident of Oak Street Hall.

“Kind of skeptical they would do anything about it,” stated Abdulazeem Shariff, another Oak Street Hall resident. “I feel like they are giving us the illusion of feedback.”

These types of concerns may prove troubling for the results of the survey, which are meant to accurately gauge student attitudes towards new housing initiatives.

With around 1,080 students currently living on campus, there are many opinions for the task force to consider. Some may want increased amenities, while others, such as Shariff, would prefer “a price drop.”

At this time, the results of the survey have not yet been released.

New infrastructure, however, is a likely component of the task force’s proposal. According to a previous interview with UNews, UMKC Director of Media Relations John Martellaro stated that the group’s plans will “certainly involve new construction at some point.”

From the construction of the new engineering building and conservatory to the ambitious goals of Chancellor Agrawal’s 10-year strategic plan and the work now underway by the task force, expansion is on the horizon for UMKC.

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