SA Assembly calls on need to address Heights, fills vacancy on rules committee
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:02
On Wednesday, the Student Association Assembly discussed urging the UB administration to take an active role in improving the conditions for students living in the University Heights.
The Assembly is organizing a cleanup around the Heights to demonstrate its presence as a force working to make South Campus a safe and hospitable environment for students.
Anthony Louis, a sophomore political science and economics major, believes the assembly’s role should be to encourage public dialogue over what needs to be done.
He advocated the need for higher police presence in the neighborhood and UB to pay for public infrastructure projects to revitalize the area.
“The administration needs to be put on the spotlight,” Louis said. “It’s because they are not doing anything and it’s ridiculous. Our students are dying, metaphorically.”
Louis lives on Lisbon Avenue and is enraged by the level of crime and heinous crimes that have been happening perpetually near his home.
“I hear gun shots all the time,” Louis said. “I’ve witnessed two robberies concurrently. I stepped out on my porch and some girl is running down the block screaming, ‘Somebody stole my f**king iPhone!’ and then another girl is running in the opposite direction, at the same moment, crying, ‘Someone pointed a gun to my head and took my bag!’ This was in September – my first month at the university.”
Steven Jackson, speaker of the Assembly, said the most important thing the Assembly can do is encourage community engagement.
“When you hear about the Heights, you hear the reports of crime, of gunshots, of the dirty streets,” Jackson said. “The Assembly wanted to be more involved in the community, and I think the cleanup is a good opportunity.”
The cleanup will consist of Assembly members “literally cleaning up” trash, Jackson said. It will take place some time in the coming months, but thus far the dates are undisclosed.
During the meeting a vote was called to address a vacancy on the Rules Committee.
Melissa Kathan, a freshman accounting major, was elected to the position and is excited to be an agent of positive change for the Assembly.
“I want to make sure that the SA constitution is withheld and that we are able to accomplish as much as we can this semester,” Kathan said.
She believes it’s important to have people involved in trying to further the community and urged anyone who is interested in the Assembly or university issues to join.
“All you need is 40 signatures and it’s an easy way to make a difference,” she said.
The next Assembly meeting is on March 27.