It is difficult to imagine Kirksville without the presence of Truman State University’s campus or the thousands of students who live, study and work in the city for nine months or more every year. Conversely, it is hard to imagine Truman not being surrounded by the streets of Kirksville or its 17,505 citizens. Kirksville and Truman are intertwined, with each making important contributions to the other. However, a number of members of the Truman community, namely professors and administrators, have decided to make and keep their homes outside of Kirksville — in other communities.
We, the Truman Media Network Editorial Board, urge members of the Truman community to also become members of the Kirksville community. The long-standing link between the two cannot be ignored, and someone who wishes to have significant impact on one of these communities cannot write the other off. It is undesirable for someone who works for Truman to live far away and not contribute to the town and community where this institution resides. Truman employees are bound to the Kirksville economy, where they earn their income, and for a person to take these earnings to another city sends a message — intentional or not — that the person is uninterested in bettering the town that surrounds the University, and, by extension, the University itself.
These instances also make Truman seem insignificant and subpar. They give the appearance that Truman is merely a stepping stone — a temporary and expendable stop on the route to bigger and better things. Truman, like Kirksville, is a tight-knit community in need of strong and committed members. Especially in this time of transition and relative uncertainty at Truman, with budget reductions and changes in high-level leadership, it is imperative members of the Truman community are members of the Kirksville community as well. This can come in many forms. The obvious form is financial support — spending money locally to support the city’s economy — but community action and participation can be just as valuable. Even if someone associated with Truman does not live in Kirksville, they can still be committed to the community by joining local organizations and participating in community events. A commitment to Kirksville is a commitment to Truman, and vice versa.
Some of the key qualities of Truman are its relatively small size, its close-knit and supportive community, and its location among the fields of Northeast Missouri. Truman and Kirksville are inseparable, and an active member of one community should be an active member of the other. Even though many Truman faculty and administration choose to live outside of Kirksville, everybody associated with Truman has an obligation to support the town so integral to the identity of our University.