USG addresses housing plan, approves resolution

Matt Liasse and Matt Liasse

The demolition plans for Rodgers Quadrangle and the housing for the Sigma Phi Epsilon and Phi Kappa Tau fraternities were discussed at the Undergraduate Student Government meeting last night.

USG approved a resolution to show unwillingness to accept the administration making the decisions to demolish the residence halls without the consent of the group.

Rodgers Senator Brandon Double presented the resolution that stated USG ‘believes the building of new residence halls to be important’ but they do not agree that the ‘plan was considered by the administration to be too complex and ‘frustrating’ for students to play a role in discussions of immediate change.’

Double said the plans to demolish the residence halls had left several students with only four weeks to relocate, although the fraternities had been located in these buildings since the ’60s.

‘[USG] is highly disapproving of the administrative decision to keep students out of the desicion-making,’ the resolution stated.

‘We’re here for the students,’ Double said, after working closely with President Sundeep Mutgi this week to draw up the resolution. Double also said he will be working closely with the University administration in the future, and was told he and the other fraternity members will be living in the Harshman Quadrangle next semester.

Vice President of Student Affairs Joe Oravecz, Director of Residence Life Michael Griffel and Associate Vice President of Capital Planning Steve Krakoff addressed the members of USG with details on the Housing and Dinning Master Plan. Their presentation highlighted what the three have been working on and what will be happening by their goal for fall semester 2011.

The presentation addressed plans to demolish the Rodgers Quadrangle, the two fraternity houses and the commuter parking lot located behind the Offenhauer Towers, which began almost 12 months ago. They said the plans are to help enrollment since the University has experienced a two-year dip. Another goal is to put the residence halls more in the center of campus.

The three administrators also described their plans to ‘create a living and learning environment unique for BGSU’ and more appealing housing on campus.

Construction is set to begin in late spring on creating new community, semi-suite and suite-styled residence halls.

They also plan to create a new Greek Village with less beds and bigger community spaces. New places to replace the parking lot by Offenhauer are still being considered, while new and renovated food services are being planned as well.

The men also said they are planning to add security cameras near these residence halls.

‘Change is good,’ Oravecz said. ‘Dirt on campus is a good thing.’

Many of the USG members addressed the administrators with questions on what the construction will hold for students.

At-Large Senator Clayton Stewart pointed out that the company the University is working with will then own all of the buildings being built, while the University will own the land. When he asked if this means the institution’s room and board rates will increase, Oravecz said it would, but the rates would increase whether or not the construction was completed.

Arts ‘amp; Sciences Senator Danielle McConnell asked if the employees who are currently working in the dining halls will be laid off, and Oravecz assured the audience that would not happen. He said nothing will be completely shut down until it is replaced.