REGENT MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
Here are some highlights from today’s Regents meeting:
President Mary Sue Coleman opened the meeting with an update about campus efforts to address sexual assault and harassment on campus. Coleman said among the proposals a committee was considering was expanding mandatory sexual harassment training from freshman orientation to during the year for all residence hall residents. I assume she was referring to the popular ResReps, and I think her idea is a good one. She also mentioned Regent White was not present due to her service in the U.S. Army Reserve.
According to Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper, the security measures implemented last summer have been successful. She reported the number of breaking and entering cases in residence halls dropped from 99 to 35 incidents last year; and the number of peeping tom incidents dropped from 14 to 1. Also, upon questioning by Regent Andrea Fisher Newman, DPS head Bill Bess said the security cameras have proven helpful in identifying suspects.
In a presentation on the long-range planning for the Athletic Campus, campus planner Sue Gott said that the South State commuter lot would be expanded by 200 spaces to total 680 this fall since it is currently at capacity. Gott’s presentation reviewing potential locations for future growth was interrupted by Regent Newman who commented “You’re forgetting improved parking,” to which Gott responded she was getting to that issue. In my mind, filling south campus with parking garages would only have the result of turning it into another medical campus – a Blade Runner type landscape of monumental parking structures and monumental buildings whose only pedestrian life exists within air-conditioned hallways. I believe a parking structure should be constructed on the site of the South State commuter lot, and then the University should invest in a rail-based trolley service running the length of State Street, and also perhaps utilizing the old bed of the Ann Arbor Railroad to take visitors to the Stadium and the Main street area. Also, while administrators have discussed a light rail (or monorail) line connecting North and Central campus behind closed doors, I believe it’s an idea worth discussing seriously.
Finally, MSA president Angela Galardi told the Regents the assembly had begun planning for this year’s September 11 vigil, and that they would be making a room available for students seeking information and support after the Supreme Court Decision in the admissions lawsuit is announced. She also reported that the Michigan Union Ticket office would sell MSA Airbus tickets this fall.