USG bridge resolution collapses

By Gus Bode

USG voted down a resolution to build a new pedestrian bridge to replace the old one

The Undergraduate Student Government voted against a resolution to replace the decaying north pedestrian bridge Wednesday.

The bridge that carries students across Route 51 and the railroad tracks between the Free Forum area to University Park has suffered damage from flier posting, fires and rusting rebar, said USG Senator Peter Normand.

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“I think it is obvious it needs to be replaced,” said USG Vice President Neal Young before the meeting.

The resolution included that a new bridge would be twice as wide as the current bridge, have stairways down to parking lots on both sides of the railroad tracks and be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Paul Ray, Brush Towers senator and submitter of the resolution, said people had been hit by bicycles because of the extreme congestion during class changes.

Several senators voiced concerns about funding for the project during the meeting. Normand said senators voted against the resolution because it was not built around a particular design with an established price tag.

“Some members of the Senate are not digesting entire items,” he said after the meeting.

Senators also agreed USG needs to get the ball rolling for positive Halloween activities this fall. Wallace requested that a committee be formed to come up with ideas and approach Registered Student Organizations to take part.

USG President Michael Jarard said the administration has put USG on the spot to kick-start a project for non-destructive activities. Senators suggested that the committee be made up of three USG senators, three administrators and three students at large.

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The awaited discussion of the Mandate to the Finance Committee was pulled off the agenda altogether. The mandate was for 75 percent of general RSO funding to be reserved for spring 2003. No comments were made indicating that any form of the mandate would be brought back to USG.

Other items were discussed, including a resolution to assume control of the Fine Arts Fee, which was tabled until next meeting. The resolution attempts to give USG more control over the Fine Arts Fee, which is part of the Student Activity Fee for the first time this year.

Historically, USG and the Graduate and Professional Student Council have controlled allocation of Student Activity Fee money for events that are free to students.

Mary Wallace, submitter and College of Liberal Arts senator, said $750,000 of student money has already been allocated with no student constituency regulation.

“Faculty members are allocating money that should be allocated by students,” Wallace said.

Normand added that various departments had already spent some of that money.

Reporter Evan Rau can be reached at [email protected]

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