SGA Senate Meeting Highlights Sustainability and Passes Rowan Boulevard Pedestrian Access Resolution

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On Monday, April 5, the Student Government Association (SGA) met for their second-to-last meeting of the spring semester, discussing new resolutions and committee updates.

Student Trustee Kyle Perez announced the formation of five University Sustainability Sub-Committees which individually target several areas of the Sustainability Master Plan:

Implementation
Technical & Environmental
Education
Community
Strategy & Leadership

The subcommittees include SGA members, the Rowan Environmental Action League (REAL), faculty members and experts in sustainable engineering.

“We are thankful to have such a broad cross-section of the university. We have everyone from Provost Lowman to the president of facilities and operations. I believe there are people from almost every administration and department, around 40 people in total,” Liam Cutri-French, assistant vice president (AVP) of facilities and operations and member of the Sustainability Committee, said.

Cutri-French stated that these groups are necessary to facilitate the projects laid out by the university to create a greener campus, like the construction of a net-zero carbon emission fossil park, which according to Cutri-French, could be one of the largest net-zero emissions buildings in the state of New Jersey upon its completion.

Other projects the sub-committees will be working on include green stormwater infrastructure, green renovations of existing buildings and creating high-performing landscapes that serve essential ecological functions and offset carbon footprints, to name a few.

Chief Financial Officer Fiona Hughes announced that the 2021-2022 proposed budget would be presented at the next senate meeting on April 19.

“If your organization didn’t participate in the budget hearing, it’s too late; you will receive a zero dollar budget. If your club was recently chartered in the last three months, please make sure your treasurers have filled [out] a form to open an extra account. It’s important to have an extra account; it avoids problems when clubs want to deposit more money,” Hughes said.

AVP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Ayala Gedeon announced that the Division of DEI has a blog that provides students and faculty with diverse perspectives on academics.

The SGA senate passed the Rowan Boulevard Pedestrian Access Resolution, which officially advocates the Glassboro Town Council to permanently or seasonally turn Rowan Boulevard into a pedestrian-only zone.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary to expand outdoor dining for pedestrians on Rowan Boulevard. As a result, Glassboro shut down the Boulevard to vehicle traffic from Redmond Ave. to Victoria St. and from Victoria St. to North Main St.

“It was a very popular amenity for students and gave them the ability to access the various restaurants on the Boulevard. It’s been an important area, even before the pandemic, because it consists of student housing, Glassboro residents’ apartments, dining and healthcare,” Cutri-French said. “Glassboro should reopen the street to pedestrians and outdoor dining. Besides the benefits to dining facilities, it would be a good initiative considering the traffic noise affects many students in the boulevard apartments. It also makes it safer for all the pedestrians who move through the Boulevard’s high traffic.”

The ultimate decision to cut traffic on the Boulevard will come from Glassboro City Council, but with support from the SGA, they will likely consider the needs of the thousands of students who call the Boulevard home for most of the year.

“We want to be able to work with the businesses and restaurants on the Boulevard to ensure it’s as beneficial as possible for all stakeholders involved,” Cutri-French said. “Some businesses shared concerns over parking which should be taken into account. I don’t want to speak for [those businesses], but it seems the consensus is that it would be beneficial to restaurants considering the increase in seating.”

Cutri-French stated that allowing vehicles the proper access to the parking garages could supplement any parking loss from the parallel spots on the Boulevard, which would mean that the new pedestrian zone would be smaller than what community members saw during the summer.

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