Syracuse University community members protest University Place promenade
Rachel Gilbert | Feature Editor
Syracuse University faculty, staff and students gathered on University Place at noon on Tuesday to protest the construction of the University Place promenade.
About 40 people expressed their thoughts against the promenade, which will run from College Place to South Crouse Avenue — in front of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Schine Student Center and Bird Library. SU professors, students and alumni began in front of the Hall of Languages and made a slow procession toward Crouse-Hinds Hall to present a petition to Chancellor Kent Syverud.
Syverud was not on campus to receive the petition, but protestors were met by Kevin Quinn, senior vice president for public affairs. Quinn said the administration has been open to feedback over the last 18 months.
Students and staff members in the crowd replied that they hadn’t received a survey or update regarding the promenade project and have been unable to deliver feedback.
Quinn said the concerns of the protesters would be taken into consideration, but the project will be moving forward.
Construction has started on University Place, blocking large parts of the walkway between the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Schine Student Center, and completely closing down sections of University Place.
A construction worker at the site said the building of the promenade was just a job for him. He would build it if he was told to, but he would pack up and go home if the project was shut down.
Eileen Schell, a University Senate member and speaker at the protest, said the $6 million promenade was not discussed on the senate floor and there is a lack of shared governance at the university. Schell, along with many of the other protesters in attendance, said there should be more investment in academics rather than the beautification of campus.
“Where’s the academic mission?” Schell said. “I mean yes it’s important to maintain the campus infrastructure, at the same time, there’s no campus unless there’s an adequate investment in instruction and in academic departments.”
Quinn said the promenade was discussed and presented by Michael Speaks, dean of the School of Architecture, at the end of March in a public forum and the administration has been available for feedback. More information regarding the promenade and other projects on campus will be detailed in the Campus Framework, which he said will be released in June.
Published on May 31, 2016 at 11:08 pm
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