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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Center for disabled students disabled, searching for a qualified director


Photograph by Leo Reynolds

There are many social student groups on campus. Places where students who have similar backgrounds or shared experiences can meet, make friends and support each other.  Unfortunately, one group of students is currently without a social center. Students with disabilities have been without the aid, and the friendly environment provided by the Disabilities Center for an entire semester.

 While the Ross center for students with disabilities provides vital information and academic accommodations, they do not provide the same friendly place to come and relax as the Disabilities Center would if it were operational. Nor does the Ross center organize enjoyable events or fund raise for trips and other off-campus activities.

The disbandment of the center was not a calloused budgetary decision. Assistant Director of Student Activities and Leadership Bob Coyle recognizes the need for a social center that is inclusive and friendly.

“We have no one to run it.” Coyle explained in an interview. “We need a qualified UMB undergraduate to be in charge of the organization.”

The absent center was not abandoned for lack of trying. In fact, Mr. Coyle and other administrators sorted through dozens of applications last fall and throughout the summer searching for the perfect candidate. They thought they had found someone and were optimistic that the center would be up and running winter session 2010. However, last minute personal problems forced the would-be-director to withdraw from the position. Not wanting to shove an unqualified or unprepared person into the position (creating a substandard and potentially useless organization), Mr. Coyle and his associates decided to disband the center until an appropriate candidate could be found and implemented.

The position is still available and need is great. Mr. Coyle outlined some of the characteristics he thinks make for effective leadership. “We need someone who is flexible, both in schedule and personality, a multitasker, someone who can come up with clear plans with reasonable goals and can execute them.”  

 The position calls for a 20-hour workweek minimum, but work-study is not required. An assistant can be hired as well although that position does require work-study. An accepted candidate would receive leadership training as well as a briefing on how the groups function within the university system.

Mr. Coyle is hopping to have filled the position and have the disabilities center up and running by next semester. Interested parties should contact him immediately.