Parents seek support from MU community

Parents who currently take their children to the University Village Student Parent Center handed out flyers asking for more signatures on a petition to relocate the center.

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Parents who currently take their children to the University Village Student Parent Center daycare met at Speaker's Circle on the MU campus Friday to spread awareness of a petition they created last Friday.

The petition was created to urge MU officials to relocate the daycare center, with hundreds of signatures from mid-Missourians and others across the country.

However, there still has been no response.

Parents handed out flyers to hundreds of people on campus Friday. One parent said she has had to make other arrangements for her 8-week-old infant who was supposed to start attending the Student Parent Center in April.

Another man that stopped by told ABC 17 that he did not have the opportunity to go to college until he turned 37. That's because he did not have a daycare center like the one at University Village that afforded him the chance to raise his kids and attend school at the same time. He said the relocation of the center is something he will definitely sign for in support.

Several people passing by Speaker's Circle said they would sign petition after learning the entire University Village complex will be demolished after June 30th.

Parent Naomi Clark is the President of the Association for Parenting Students and has had email contact with MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.

Clark voiced her concerns about the safety of the Student Parent Center through it's closing date, and Loftin assured her that the children are in a structurally safe environment.

Clark followed up with an email to Loftin Thursday, asking the chancellor to meet with parents privately to have their questions answered without media presence.

In a news release Wednesday, Loftin encouraged MU students, staff, and faculty to consider the feasibility of continuing to offer child care on campus for the children of students.

Vice President for Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs said in that same release, "We will provide resources to those parents searching for child care." 

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