Senate suggests illuminating fund proposal

The Associated Students of Linfield College Senate began fielding ideas for the use of its discretionary fund on Feb. 28. Most of the discussion focused on helping the college purchase lighting for the path from the Miller Fine Arts Center to Albertsons — a concern that’s caused student anxiety for a long time.

President senior Colin Jones said the path’s safety has been brought up in Senate for at least four years, and Vice President junior Katie Patterson said the issue has been mentioned in reports by the board of trustees for the same amount of time.

The estimated cost of the project, however, was too expensive for the college to pursue above other budget items in the past. But construction prices have declined alongside the economy, Director of College Activities Dan Fergueson said, and the new estimate is more feasible.

“The college is asking us as students to put our money where our mouth is,” Jones said.

Senate will vote on what to do with its discretionary fund during its next meeting March 7.

If Senate were to dedicate it’s approximately $2,000 fund to the lighting project, the college would pay the rest, Jones said. He met with Glen Ford, vice president for finance and administration/chief financial officer, on March 3 to confirm this arrangement. Jones said in an e-mail that Ford anticipates a final project cost of $23,000.

ASLC Cabinet is also willing to put what’s left of its $2,000 fund toward the lighting, too.

In past years, senators proposed such solutions as installing solar lighting or path lights (as opposed to lampposts), and one year a senator recommended buying every student a keychain flashlight to carry on the pitch-black path.

“While folks who brought [those solutions] may have been serious, I don’t think any of them were viable, long-term solutions,” Fergueson said.

He said the path doesn’t receive enough sunshine to charge solar lights and path lights would inevitably be stolen because they aren’t bolted down. Any lighting installed should be lampposts similar to the ones on the path to Nicholson Library. These also fit in with the style and standards of the college, Fergueson said at the Feb. 28 Senate meeting.

Some senators mentioned that students could take the longer, lit route along Highway 99-W to go to the grocery store, but Jones said the safety of students on campus property should be addressed despite this.

“Essentially this is our home for four years, and students should feel safe in their home,” Jones said.

One senator proposed at the meeting that a Jacuzzi be installed near the school’s pool. Ideas listed on the meeting’s agenda include using the money to expand the Community Garden, build a rock climbing wall or establish a campus Frisbee golf course.
The Senate Discretionary Fund exists for Senate committees to undertake various projects, Fergueson said. Untouched money goes toward a project voted on by the Senate. Past funds have purchased bike racks, ASLC election VOTE T-shirts and disaster relief.

Kelley Hungerford, editor-in-chief,

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