Resolved ? Students get Do Not Enter signs removed

Amy Poppinga

Amy Poppinga

Students may not always feel like their concerns are heard, but the removal of a pair of contentious signs last week proved that someone was listening.

A pair of Do Not Enter signs went up in the east lot of The Union at the beginning of the semester to streamline traffic. The signs were unpopular with most students who were either concerned about pedestrian safety or annoyed that they had to drive all the way around the lot before they could park.

The Students’ Association passed a resolution unanimously on Sept. 21 to encourage administrators to remove the two signs. Less than two days later, the signs were down.

“It felt like a good step for the university and student relations,” said Tim Goldammer, a co-sponsor of the SA resolution. “So many times the students say we want something done, and the university does its best to adhere to it, but numerous times we want one thing and get a completely different thing.”

Jennifer Novotny, director of The Union, had heard concerns about the signs, but the Senate resolution was almost a wake-up call, she said.

“When it went to the Senate, we knew it was a much bigger concern than just a few people,” she said.

Goldammer, a senator from the College of Family and Consumer Affairs, talked with officials in Facilities and Services and The Union several times on Sept. 22. From his conversations, he determined that the signs were put up due to miscommunication.

Once each office found out the other was okay with removing the signs, they were taken down, Goldammer said.

Originally, officials said the removal decision would have to go through the Parking and Traffic Committee. But the committee didn’t approve the signs in the first place, and so officials took down the signs on Sept. 23.

The Do Not Enter signs were first put up to maintain the lot for Union visitors, especially during large events, when part or even all of the lot is blocked off for visitor parking. Shutting down one of the entrances makes that lot easier to control, said Novotny.

Now that the signs are gone, The Union staff and university officials will be looking at different solutions for visitor parking. Novotny said officials will talk to students before adding signs.

“We welcome feedback on what problems people have entering and exiting that lot,” she said.