Recently, the dangers of traversing Texas A&M’s College Station campus by foot have come into a new light. Students will not be warned of this danger through a “CRIME ALERT” email, nor will they read about it on the College Station Police Department’s Twitter. Who is putting students’ lives in danger? Sidewalks.
Last Friday on West Campus, senior animal sciences major, Trent Daniels, experienced a biking accident while riding over a drastically uneven patch of sidewalk. In this incident, Daniels, who may have been riding at excessive speeds, hit his front tire on the tall side of the crack, causing him to flip over the front of his handlebars. Daniels is still in rehab, recovering from fractures in his collarbone and left fibula, as well as a severe hip dislocation. His parents have brought a lawsuit against the University for its negligence in campus maintenance.
Many other minor sidewalk incidents like these have recently occurred on campus, with no attention from the University. Most incidents only resulted in skinned knees, and officials argue that the true danger is students texting and walking, not the poorly maintained sidewalks.
University officials have repeatedly declined to address the issue this semester, and many are suspicious that the University has been more than frivolous with its construction budget. Anna Bower, junior education major and recent victim of sidewalk paving negligence, commented on all of the new projects being completed on campus.
“Just when we thought Kyle Field couldn’t get any bigger— it did. And why are we building a hotel and convention center on campus? I just want to be able to walk to class without worrying about showing up covered in blood.” Bower said.
Others have acknowledged that old, unused buildings such as Francis Hall, near Evans Library, and Scoates Hall, near the Langford architecture complex, both received extensive renovations. Yet the sidewalks, perhaps the commodity most used by students, have yet to be considered.
Dr. Jerry R. Strawser, Vice President for Finance and Administration, who oversees campus construction, condescendingly spoke with us about the issue.
“We aren’t terribly concerned about this problem and definitely won’t consider it until next summer. Until then, have a nice trip, and just enjoy the fall!” Strawser said.