MU’s Office of Student Conduct handles few sex offense cases

I’m enormously surprised and gratified by the impact of my story last month on sex offense reports at the University of Missouri. From the article’s syndication in the Associated Press, to the MU police department’s change in how it publicly address sex offenses, to my stint as a panelist on NPR, this story has garnered far more attention than any of my other investigations, and I’m still preening.

Hundreds of readers shared it on social media, making it the Missourian’s most-read story that month. I think that shows how much this issue – the lack of reports, and, subsequently, prosecutions, of sex offenses – touches a nerve and affects so many people. The most touching feedback came from a victim and a university official, who both told me how how my reporting elucidated problems they had personally experienced.

Besides the subject matter, this article was difficult due to the astonishing amount of pushback my editor and I received from university officials. I’m happy to say that after its publication, we’ve had no corrections or blowback from those officials. Thank you to everyone who read, commented, edited, supported, shared or critiqued!

Ryan Ferguson continues quest for freedom

These six court documents explain each side’s argument in the contentious Ryan Ferguson murder case. I’d suggest starting with Ferguson’s habeas corpus petition, filed in January 2013.

MU Student Activity Fee increases by 50 percent

The MU Student Activity Fee, a required payment for all students, has increased by 52 percent in the past five years. In fall 2012, it will cost $164.88 per semester for undergraduates.

Try out the interactive graphic on The Columbia Missourian website»

fee_graphic

Columbia’s blight debate: Old data used to examine poverty, population

Some citizens are concerned that 12-year-old demographic data might paint an inaccurate portrait of Columbia and Boone County. The city’s population has grown about 30 percent from 2000 to 2010.

This map shows the population change and poverty rate in the various parts of Boone County. Poverty data is from the 2006-2010 file of the American Community Survey, which is administered by the U.S. Census Bureau.

See the interactive graphic on columbiamissourian.com»

Sources: American Community Survey and the Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis