The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Light-up crosswalk resolution passes unanimously

Senators unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday encouraging the administration to urge University Park officials to install a light-up crosswalk on Airline Road at Daniel Avenue, near sorority row.

“In terms of promoting students’ safety, this issue is common sense,” said Michael Goodman, co-author of the bill.

Senator Sarah Acosta was prompted to co-write the resolution after learning “from personal experience and by many complaints of others, [that] cars don’t yield to pedestrians on a consistent basis.”

“Usually the only way to cross the street is to step out in front of cars, hoping that they will yield,” she said.

Senators are confident that Tuesday’s legislation will help decrease the chances of another serious accident occurring at the intersection.

In 2001, two SMU sophomores were involved in a hit-and-run accident at the crosswalk. Last Wednesday, University Park police and fire departments responded to an accident at the intersection that resulted from one vehicle’s inability to stop for a crossing pedestrian.

The student crossing the intersection was not injured, but the driver who nearly struck the pedestrian was rear-ended by another vehicle, after braking too late.

The installation of a light-up crosswalk would dramatically increase the safety of students who use it because “the lights give cars a fair warning that pedestrians are crossing, especially at night and when a car is far away,” Acosta said.

A third author of the bill, Whitney Stenger, agreed that the crosswalk lights are essential to the safety of both SMU students and visitors to campus.

“When senate passed the legislation unanimously today, that sent a message to the public that we all want this light-up crosswalk at Airline and Daniel to be installed as soon as possible,” she said.

Stenger and co-author Taylor Thornley visited the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council meetings last week to gain further support for the initiative. Both senators said that everyone they have talked to is on board.

“Our hope would be that they would do it this summer so it would be up and running beginning in the fall,” Thornley said. “We’re trying to go at this full force.”

“We just need to get University Park to be on the same page,” Stenger added.

One problem that could delay or prevent the light-up crosswalk’s installation is funding.

Stenger remains optimistic that “the city will cooperatively work with SMU and get the installation project started. From what I have been told, SMU is working on a budget plan for the project.”

“Hopefully the dispute over finances won’t impede the project’s development,” she said.

The senate bill will be submitted immediately to members of the administration for consideration.

In other business, senators continued to rework portions of a resolution recommending that any new withdrawal policy adopted by the administration allow for a reasonable number of withdrawals.

Though it does not specify a number, the report of SMU’s President’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention recommends limiting the number of career drops allowed for each student. The current policy allows unlimited number of withdrawals.

Student Body President Katherine Tullos expressed concern that the administration would impose a cap on the number of classes a student can drop during his or her time at SMU if senators do not include an agreeable number they feel is fair to students.

“I have heard [a cap by the administration] is what will happen no matter what,” she said.

A vote on the amended resolution is expected next week.

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