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Front lawn policy proposed

Complaints from the City of Valdosta and the appearance of worn-out spots of grass on the Front Lawn have caused the Space and Facilities Committee to create a draft policy placing restrictions on the use of the Front Lawn.

“[This issue] has been pressed upon us quickly by members of the community, the campus community and the local community,” said John Crawford, co-chair of the space and Facilities Committee and vice president for advancement.

VSU President Dr. Patrick Schloss said that many try to blame the budget on the changed appearance of the Front Lawn.

Crawford also agrees with Schloss and said the appearance of more brown spots in the grass is due to the use of the lawn by more students, not the loss in budget. An increase of enrollment means an increase in the use of the front lawn.

This has caused the Space and Facilities Committee to draft a Front Lawn Usage Policy. The Space and Facilities Committee is looking to the VSU community for suggestions and the best way to approach the policy.

“We want to preserve the beauty of the front lawn, but we don’t want to dictate this policy. What we want to know is if students have other ideas on how to preserve the lawn. We want that feed back. And if the theory is that the events that happen out there outweigh the need to keep the lawn looking good, we want to hear that feedback too,” Crawford said.

The main changes of the proposed policy will be a cleats ban on the front lawn, scheduling events and activities through event services, and the suspension of activities due to inclement weather. The full draft of the Front Lawn Usage Policy is on page 2.

Parts of the proposed policy are currently in place by Events Services.

“It (the policy) favors sunbathers, gatherers, Frisbee players. It doesn’t favor 50 people playing soccer regularly,” Dr. Schloss said.

The proposed policy will be presented to the Student Government Association in its next meeting by Sage Archer, director of event services.

“We’ll adjust the guidelines to what SGA decides,” Archer said. “We want students to tell us how they want the space used.”
Crawford said, “No action will be taken until we get student feedback.”

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  1. I dont understand why the community is so concerned with brown spots in the first place. I mean, sont brown spots show up on everyones lawn from time to time? All this tells me is that it is being used regularly, which in my eyes is a good thing. The front lawn is like our front yard at school. It is one of the big pulls to get students to come to school here. I have worked as a peer advisor and with housing and never once have I heard a potential student say, “Man I would love to come to school here, but that front lawn has all these brown spots. I dont want to go to a school that doesnt have emmaculate front lawns!”. Students like that it is accessible and that they can go out there and throw around a football, or kick a soccer ball, or play volleyball without having to plan it a day in advance, go ask someone if they can, and then fillout a form saying its okay, but only for this amount of time, etc. As students we should be able to use OUR front yard as often and however we choose. The idea of placing restraints on it just because some local valdosta people think it is an eyesore is sad. This is our campus and we should say how its is used and what is doen to it, not the people who dont pay good money to go here.

  2. I believe this is crazy! Putting limitations to the front lawn I mean really come on. If they decide to say no cleats what are they going to do a shoe check before you can step foot on the lawn. And as far as the brown marks on the lawn are concerned wasn’t it the university who dug up a straight line through the lawn to put something in? So really the biggest brown spot can be pointed back at the university. If the campus is going to kick soccer off the lawn the the band needs to go as well. Send them to north campus to practice. Maybe then people in the community will stop complaining. This is a college town people. You chose to live near the campus so yes it will be a little louder. Could people turn down the noise, yes. But from someone who lives near the campus I hear more noise coming from other houses and churches not campus. I enjoy hearing things from campus because it shows that students are being an active part of their campus not just sitting in their dorm room.

  3. What are these people thinking? By taking away the front lawn it is taking away from one of the few escapes we have from class and work. The Front Lawn is like a second home to many of us and to limit us in our own home is crazy. I love the front lawn and spend many hours both day and night just relaxing or playing games with friends to relax and escape the busy day. I can understand a little bit the argument about cleats on the front lawn but at the same time the band is a prime example of over usage of the lawn but no comment was made about that and I am sure that since it is school organized that they would get approved by Event Services. But wait, let us think here. Doesn’t the band cover the same area remarching over the same spots day after day. Wouldn’t that make a lot more “brown spots” than a bunch of soccer players running in random non-repetitive patterns in a day? I think it is also very interesting that the picture on the cover of the Spectator is of the marked area where the band performs and it even appears that the brown spots are only in certain locations such as where certain band members would march over and over again in practice. This is just my two cents but VSU if you take away the usage of the front lawn like this you are going to lose lots of incoming students and many might transfer. This probably would not be the best option for you after all the budgeting and salary cuts. I know I would choose to leave and finder a student oriented school for less rather than a school that is worried about the rant and rave section in some paper. Thank you to all those that work at the Spectator for providing us with this information. Everyone please get the word out to all your friends and class mates and Alum so that we can stop this from happening.

  4. “It (the policy) favors sunbathers, gatherers, Frisbee players. It doesn’t favor 50 people playing soccer regularly,” Dr. Schloss said.

    Exactly the inability of the school to realize that what they are doing is discrimination. If the school plans on kicking just soccer players off then the real thing to do is to kick everyone off. Including the band who cause just as much damage to the fields as the field soccer players.

    Robin Lawrence

  5. If students can no longer play sports that have more than 8 people and no cleats…..then then band should not be allowed to practice on the front lawn either. It is not fair that all of this is being blamed on the students “regular” students. The band is out of the lawn longer and more often than any other group of people so why should they not be restricted as well. Let them practice on the intramural fields like everyone else has to do. And about the complaints from the “community” they need to understand that Valdosta is a college town and that there are going to be activities just like anyone would expect. Yes, there are many times that some organizations turn the music up WAY too loudly, but that can be controlled. There is no need for restricting us students from taking advantage of the beautiful campus we have. The front lawn is supposed to be the “heart” of our campus, so why is it such a crime that we want to enjoy it?

  6. What! Restrict front lawn usage – what kind of b******t is that – no way jose, not on my watch

  7. It’s hard to believe that the University is attempting to limit social interaction and recreation while on the webpage they boast: “Outside the academic setting, campus organizations encourage
    leadership, social interaction, recreation, cultural and religious
    development and community service.” ( http://www.valdosta.edu/vsu/about/
    ). Ironic huh?

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