Focus on Rec. Center as petitions circulate
October 21, 2009 6:00 PM
The ongoing Recreation and Wellness Center process is facing more hurdles as volunteers canvass with petitions and a hard-to-plan town hall meeting finally goes ahead.
ASI board member Emily Switzer, 20, had planned an informational town hall meeting, with a debate on the issue today. Unable to secure a nonpartisan, well-informed moderator and her plans fell through.
"Hosting a town hall meeting was important to me, because I feel that it is my job as a student representative to listen to the opinions and concerns of the students I represent," Switzer said.
According to Switzer there was apprehension among ASI members about how constructive the meeting would be.
ASI president Natalie Franklin has always maintained the association is doing its best to remain open to comment and keep students informed, but at the Oct. 14 ASI meeting she said she would definitely not attend a town hall meeting because she doesn't see the need for it.
"The project will never die -- this is a fact," Franklin said. "The project will just be on pause until the next board decides to go to petition again."
"Whether people choose to believe it or not, this will eventually happen at SFSU. Change is inevitable, and change is what we need right now. So if this doesn't happen today, trust it will happen eventually. I don't see the college growing without it."
The Coalition Against the Rec. Center is going ahead with the meeting today from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Jack Adams Hall.
"We wanted to invite the ASI to participate in a debate but it appears that they won't be coming for fear of being 'attacked,'" said coalition member Sam Brown-Vasquez, 21, an environmental studies and Spanish senior.
ASI meetings, both public and private, have been interrupted by students protesting the recreation center and the Student Fee Advisory Committee's decision to continue with a petition instead of a student vote.
Petitioning started Oct. 12 and needs approval from 20 percent of the student population, roughly 6,000 signatures, for the project to move forward. It will continue through Nov. 6.
As of Oct. 19, 48 petitions, each with space for 100 signatures, were circulating campus; only one full of signatures has been completed.
The town hall meeting, which Switzer originally wanted as an ASI event, was not supported by many of the ASI board members and Switzer was organizing the event as an individual, not as a representative of ASI. Switzer's original plans were to address controversial issues such as the debate.
ASI graduate representative Frankie Griffen said in the that he was opposed to the idea of a debate because ASI has already voted in favor of the recreation center. He said Switzer would "need to do it as a private student, not under the ASI banner."
"We have comment boards at our open houses, we have e-mail addresses on the Rec and Wellness Web site, we have public comment at the meetings," Franklin said. "An opinion can always be stated and will always be heard, that's an advantage of the petition."
ASI has planned events, like a rock climbing wall, to promote the center while petitions are being circulated.
The idea of the recreation center has been around for at least two years but opposition to the project has been gaining momentum throughout the last year.
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University