Brokeback Fountain

Lissy Black, senior class president, is asking the student Senate tonight for the remaining $14,000 needed to replace the broken fountain outside the Student Services Building with a student gathering area.

The fountain only worked for its first three years and has been broken for almost 20 years. When the structure settled, it cracked the pipes underneath, causing water to leak into computer system wiring.

The reconstruction will cost an estimated $44,000.

“The project is to replace the fountain and create a student gathering place instead,” said Archie Phillips, U architect.

Black developed the idea after last year’s senior class president, Sara Hogan, looked into the project but chose to explore another option, which later fell through.

Replacing rather than repairing the fountain was a matter of both funding and maintenance. Phillips said that there is no staff available to maintain the fountain, and a student gathering area would be easier and less expensive to maintain.

To obtain the extra funds, Black decided to approach the Assembly and Senate to get the money from the student government general reserve rather than going the traditional route-raising money from the students.

The general reserve is a lump sum of funds that is not already assigned to student government functions. Most of the money in the reserve is given to student groups.

“That’s students’ fees, so students have already paid, and they are expecting some sort of benefit for it. So rather than asking for and letting that money sit there, I’m going through that process to get it out,” Black said.

The classes of 2004 and 2005 did not give a gift and chose instead to let the money roll over into the student government general reserve.

The art at the South Campus TRAX station was the last gift given and was donated by the class of 2003.

The motion to give $14,000 to the project passed an Assembly subcommittee on Feb. 21. If it passes the student Senate tonight, it will still go before the entire student Assembly for final approval.

If the project is approved, construction is expected to begin in April.