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Front lawn draft policy retracted

Due to strong student feedback, the Space and Facilities Committee made the decision not to add regulations on Front Lawn usage.

The proposed policy was drafted on Aug. 30 and would regulate use of the lawn. The draft was made because of complaints from the Valdosta community and the appearance of worn spots in the lawn, John Crawford, co-chair of the Space and Facilities Committee, said.

“The main points of the draft policy would be that regularly occurring events involving large numbers of participants would have to be scheduled through the Office of Event Services. Crawford said. “Their role would not be to inhibit groups from using the lawn but rather to help groups find more suitable facilities if appropriate; that the use of athletic cleats on the front lawn would not be allowed; and that activities on the lawn would be suspended during inclement weather.”

The point of a draft policy was to have student feedback and generate conversation about the issue.

“The process worked like it’s supposed to,” Crawford said. “We got the feedback. We heard it loud and clear. [It] shows there is no sentiment at all for further regulation. ”

Though no policy will exist, students and others using the lawn are urged to be mindful of ways to preserve the lawn. Groups can contact Event Services or Campus Recreation for more options to have events that may not put as much stress on the lawn.

“We weren’t trying to take the front lawn, and I feel badly that students felt that way,” Crawford said. “At no time was it our intent to tell students they couldn’t have events.”

Students expressed their opinions on the decision to regulate Front Lawn usage.

“Well they’re not going to make students any happier by restricting the Front Lawn.” Melanie Hendley, junior psychology major, said,
Crawford said the committee is open to suggestions about different policies for the issue.

“If there is another organization on campus that would like to bring a policy forward, maybe SGA would like to discuss it and bring the policy forward, they certainly have the right to,” Crawford said.

Crawford and Sage Archer, Director of Event Services, will meet with SGA Monday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. in the Union to discuss what steps could be taken to preserve the lawn.

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