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Our Opinion: Students are more important than sidewalks

The Editorial Board

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Most sidewalks in our area will be coated in ice for the next few weeks until winter passes. This would be bad news for most sidewalks, as someone would likely cover them in corrosive rock salt.

But not the stone sidewalks in Marywood’s Memorial Gardens. No, these sidewalks are lucky. These sidewalks are never touched by rock salt. Nor are they touched by human feet.

Myron Marcinek, assistant director of buildings and grounds, told The Wood Word that chains were installed across the paths leading to the Memorial Garden. The chains, he argues, protect the Memorial Gardens. With the chains in place, the paths don’t need to be salted nor walked upon by students with salty boots.

But this creates problems more problems than it solves. Students who need to cross through the Memorial Garden have two choices: they can either stay on paths that are not restricted and make their journey across campus longer, or they can step over the chains and walk across the unsalted sidewalks.

Anyone who looks at the footprints in the snow-covered Memorial Garden will know which of these choices is more popular.

The path across the Memorial Garden is shorter for students walking between the LAC and the Woodlands or the Nazareth parking lots. Low slung plastic yellow chains aren’t going to keep students from walking on the sidewalks. But if the purpose of the chains is to endanger students, then they are working well.

Students can easily trip over the chains or slip on the ice-covered stones. The chains don’t even do much to protect the stone sidewalks. Students are still tracking salt onto the sidewalks when they ignore the chains and track their salty feet across the shorter paths.

If the administration is concerned with protecting sidewalks, they should have picked stones with better durability. Northeastern Pennsylvania isn’t an area known for having warm winters where stones can bask in sunlight; it’s known for winters where the weather destroys the ground.

This is another example of the old administration’s lack of foresight. That administration made mistakes, but the new administration can do better.

The members of the current administration need to communicate with students and faculty and listen to their concerns. There was no communication from the administration to the students and faculty about the installation of the chains. This trend of silence cannot continue if they want Marywood to improve.

If the administration cooperates with the students and faculty, Marywood’s future can be much brighter.

The first thing the administration should do is take down the chains and salt the sidewalks. Let us walk to class without fear of breaking our necks. Everyone will be happier this way.

Well, everyone except the stone sidewalks.

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