The days of colorful and creative advertising for VSU student organizations could come to an end–at least for some areas around campus.
Last spring, a professor showed concern about the sheet signs damaging the life of pine trees around campus.
Areas around the P.E. Complex and fraternity houses are just some of the areas around campus where pine trees grow rampant.
These are popular areas that various student organizations use to hang sheet signs.
“The palm trees are fine, it’s the pine trees that we are concerned about,” Dr. Aubrey Fowler, chair for the Environmental Issues Committee (EIC), said. “The sheet signs strip the bark off the trees, exposing them to sickness and beetles that could ultimately damage the tree.”
SGA members agreed that sheet signs are one of the best ways to market student organizations.
The issue was brought to SGA towards the end of spring semester and was unanimously shot down.
“Limiting where the students can hang sheet signs, completely puts a damper on how visible our student life is,” Ryan Baerwalde, SGA president, said. “Having sheet signs up not only helps organizations attract attention but also makes VSU look more active and more open to helping out student organizations.”
Despite SGA’s opposition, the faculty senate was for it, and as a result passed the resolution last spring.
The resolution was a one sentence amendment to the current tree policy.
Because this occurred at the end of spring semester, a solid decision has yet to be made.
Since then, VSU has experienced a dramatic executive change. Dr. William McKinney started as VSU president this semester, replacing former interim president Dr. Louis Levy. McKinney has not confirmed his stance on the issue.
“Having a say or a decision on this issue would be premature at this point, it is still going through the approval process,” Dr. McKinney said. “Trees are a vital part of our campus, but the students are as well.”
Dr. Fowler plans to work with SGA on possible alternatives that everyone can agree on. An alternative such as placing posts up around campus.
“An issue with this alternative is finding funding or someone to pay for these posts,” Dr. Fowler said
There will be a Faculty Senate meeting later this semester and Baerwalde stated that he will definitely be there to voice the students’ opinion.