Students make the most of summer in the Burg

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By NICOLE COOKE (digitalBURG) – Summer is when Warrensburg dips in population with the mass exodus of students heading home. It’s a time for ice cream, swimming, sleeping in and weekends at the lake.
A few students have decided to add working and living in Warrensburg to that list.
Although Warrensburg may not be the most exciting place to spend summer break, every year UCM students choose to stay for a multitude of reasons.
The Intern
Sadie Hicks is spending her summer like many college students – expanding her portfolio by working as an intern.
Hicks is working as a social media specialist for UCM alumni relations. While she was excited to get the job, she wasn’t quite as excited for the location.
“If I was not working here, I would definitely not be staying here,” she said.
Hicks is also taking a summer class, but chose the online option. She said the six-week class is fast paced, and it took some adjusting to get used to school in the summer.
“It is very different. I don’t like it at all,” she said. “You aren’t in the habit of looking at the class updates and due dates all the time, so it is easy to miss things.”
Now that Hicks has half a summer in Warrensburg under her belt, she had some advice for future summer residents.
“Get a pool pass, go to the Rec Center because it is empty so no one can judge you while working out, and invest in a Netflix account.”
The Townie
Unlike Hicks, Jamie DeBacker didn’t have much of an option when it came to staying in Warrensburg or going home – they’re one in the same.
“Sadly, I am stuck,” she said. “That’s a downfall of being a townie. It makes a trip to the city a mini vacation.”
DeBacker has made trips out of Warrensburg almost every weekend to try to make the best of her summer vacation.
“Sometimes I go to the lake for a relaxing day or go to the city to shop or go play laser tag,” she said. “The only thing to do in Warrensburg is go to the movies and eat your sorrows away.”
The Applebee’s waitress decided to take the summer off from school and opted out of taking summer classes. Instead, she spends most of her time working, and the occasional trip to the pool.
As a seasoned veteran at spending summers in Warrensburg, she had some advice for those who may be considering taking the plunge next summer.
“Join the co-ed softball teams through the community center. It’s a lot of fun and you meet a lot of people,” she said. “There are also fun classes through the community center such as kick boxing and river walking. And if that doesn’t satisfy your boredom, get a hold of some townies. We love bonfires and country road cruising!”
The Student
Jon Kamp wanted to take his human anatomy class this summer, and when he found out it wasn’t offered anywhere near home that would transfer, he made the decision to stay in Warrensburg.
His other option was working at a factory back home “making some pretty good money every week.” So, his final decision wasn’t his first choice.
Kamp was fortunate enough to find another job in Warrensburg, although it was a difficult process, and he plans to keep it once school is in session again.
He said there are about 25 students in his class, but he rarely sees anyone on campus, other than during orientation and Boys and Girls State. His class is also different from those offered during the school year.
“I think the feel of it is more relaxed, but it is a quicker speed,” he said. “I just had my final and it feels like syllabus day was just last week.”
After a couple months as a summer Warrensburg resident, Kamp still hasn’t decided if he’ll do it again next year.
“I might stay again,” he said. “I have enjoyed the quiet time to study and work, but too much of it drives me crazy. So we will see how it goes next year.”
UCM in the summer
According to the UCM registrar’s office, there are 4,900 students enrolled in summer classes for a total of 25,000 credit hours. There are 900 students enrolled only in on-campus courses, 2,148 are enrolled only in online courses and 1,852 are enrolled in a mix of courses, including online, on-campus and hybrid.
This is a 10 percent increase from last summer, which is attributed to a number of reasons.
“First, there are more students attending UCM than at any time in its history,” said Richard Sluder, vice provost for enrollment management. “Second, for summer 2013, standard course start and stop dates were implemented, enabling students to avoid course conflicts.  Third, deans and chairs continue to methodically assess prior summer course offerings and enrollments and have done an exceptional job in planning for courses students need and want.”
About 900 courses are offered this summer, but the majority of students have chosen the online option, making for an empty UCM campus.
“When I came here 21 years ago, summer school looked different. There were a lot more students on campus,” Sluder said. “Over the last few years, students wanted an online or hybrid course for flexibility and to accommodate students. They’ll go back home and take an online course. They need to work, they have other commitments. It’s a different day and a new reality.”
While DeBacker has enjoyed her time off from school, she’s ready for August.
“It’s not the same without the Mule nation,” she said. “Warrensburg needs to come back to life.”