Administration decides to retain bollards behind Bell Center

After the master planning meeting on Feb. 5, Dennis Ahlburg, president of Trinity University, and Gary Logan, associate vice president for finance and administration, made the final decision to maintain the bollards blocking traffic behind the William H. Bell Center erect.

The Association of Student Representatives issued a resolution in October requesting the removal of the bollards blocking vehicle traffic behind the Bell Center, sparking campus discussion. This was the first time ASR had issued a resolution in three years.

“ASR had initially passed a resolution at the end of October [requesting the removal of the bollards] and that resolution went to the traffic and parking committee and was unanimously passed,” said Sean Solis, vice president of ASR. “The traffic and parking committee is composed of three ASR senators, three faculty senators and three administrators.”

After passing through the traffic and parking committee, the resolution went on to the university’s master planning committee, composed of Trinity faculty and staff.

“That committee unanimously voted to keep the bollards in place, and their reasoning was that it provided a more pedestrian-friendly campus,” Solis said. “My counter-argument was that it would be better to have speed bumps and/or stop signs in that area to slow down cars but to not entirely keep cars out of that area.”

The Trinitonian also conducted an online poll, asking site visitors, “Do you think Trinity should remove the poles blocking the Bell Center?” 264 viewers voted “yes,” 17 voted “no” and 19 voted “I don’t care.”

According to Logan, keeping the bollards permanently in place is a small step toward a larger change of the campus environment.

“The administration has developed guiding principles for developing our facilities master plan in conjunction with our current strategic planning efforts,” Logan said in an email correspondence. “One of those guiding principles is a desire to make lower campus more pedestrian friendly. The bollards were added as a first step in that direction.”

At the master planning meeting, administration discussed the future of Trinity’s campus pertaining to the physical landscape on both upper and lower campus. Although there has been student opposition to the bollards, Logan believes that their placement is beneficial to the campus community.

“There was a time when the central mall area on upper campus was a road and parking lot.  We believe overall campus life was substantially improved by the changes in upper campus and believe, over time, the changes in lower campus can have a similarly positive impact on campus life,” Logan said. “ But such changes are often not seen as positive changes at the time they are made.”

Logan and John Greene, director of facilities services, are set to attend the ASR meeting at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Mar. 5 in upstairs Coates. All ASR meetings are open to the public, and students are encouraged to attend. “I greatly appreciate ASR’s input and process,” Logan said. “It sparked a healthy debate which is always good for our campus community.”