By Abbey Cumnock

The University of Missouri provides lots of different resources for students, but one group that some students feel MU lacks the necessary resources for are student parents and their children. One of the student parents, Samantha Fritsche, tells MUTV 23News about her experience being pregnant on campus.

“When I found out I was pregnant, I went and talked to an advisor and they didn’t really know what to do,” Fritsche said. She talks about the difficulties of finding classroom seating without an over-the-lap desk. This didn’t accommodate her pregnant stomach, which forced her to slant the desk against her stomach and write sideways.

The Student Parent Center closed several years ago. Its mission was to provide parenting students with the opportunity to achieve higher education through child care services, family support and connection to campus and community resources that support the parenting students’ goals. After the closure of the SPC, the Women’s Center opened its family room. According to the MU Women’s Center website, it is a family and child-friendly space. Resources at the center include a library with pregnancy, birthing and parent sections. The family room is located in the back of the Women’s Center and has a computer, toys and other resources such as a lactation station with lockers and a fridge. Fritsche feels that the only thing saving her from the stress of school is the Women’s Center.

Although the Women’s Center provides several resources for student parents, it is not large enough to support the entire population of parents that attend MU and their children. Khalilah Henderson, the coordinator of the family program at the Women’s Center, feels like this is a population that often gets forgotten, especially graduate students. She believes that by not having the proper resources, MU is marginalizing that group. In addition to the Women’s Center, there are ten lactation stations located on campus including Jesse Hall, Reynold’s Alumni Center, and several lecture buildings. More information on the resources available can be found at familyfriendly.missouri.edu.

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