LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Main Hall green is not the Rubicon Trail

Nick Siegel

One day, while I was walking on the sidewalk in front of Main Hall, I was forced to step into a muddy puddle in order to allow an S.U.V. operated by Lawrence security to pass by. This had been a common occurrence since coming to Lawrence and until that point I had not given it much thought. But this time a small light bulb (light more light) appeared above my head and it occurred to me that it was completely ridiculous that Lawrence security drives huge sport utility vehicles around our campus.
The mud that I stepped in was wet, cold, and dirty, and in addition it was completely unattractive in front of Main Hall. I began to ask myself questions like, “where does the money for the annual installation of sod come from?” and “are there any more energy friendly transportation units for security?”
I believe that this is an important issue to the Lawrence community for the following reasons: (1) we spend money each year to re-sod our green before graduation. (2) The use of sport utility vehicles is not energy friendly, which equals more gas consumption, and thus this has an impact on the Lawrence budget and the environment. And finally (3) it sucks when the security vehicle forces students walking on the sidewalk to step into mud so that the vehicle may pass.
I began to think of alternatives. Maybe the persons in charge of security should walk around campus, but then I realized that it is often very cold during the winter months in Wisconsin, and in addition it may not be the most adequate means for keeping our campus safe. I came to the conclusion that security could drive smaller, more compact vehicles (similar to the mail car). This would yield less consumption of gasoline and less replacement of sod and thus saved money.
In addition to the change in vehicles, maybe the University should look into modifying our current sidewalks. A few rows of bricks could be used to widen the sidewalks if the university does not have the budget to replace all of the sidewalks (despite the four percent increase in tuition). The installation of bricks would match other brick walkways found behind Youngchild and Science Hall and in front of Coleman Hall.
Finally, with the money saved from the annual restoration of the Main Hall green, Lawrence could give more to student interest organizations, or to the addition of practice rooms in residence halls. I am extremely satisfied with the level of security at Lawrence and I feel very safe on our campus, but I feel that we may be able to avoid wasting money. Many students I have talked with agree that it seems unjust for the university to increase tuition each year while spending money each year on this easily solved problem.—Nick Siegel