Skip to content

Through the Hole to Class They Go

April 30, 2010

by Abbey Bull

ALBANY– Extra minutes are a valuable commodity in the busy, fast-paced lives of the

The hole, just big enough for a college student (Abbey Bull)

college students that swarm the Pine Hills. They hit the snooze button repeatedly, skip their morning showers and cut through fences to get to class quicker. The College of Saint Rose’s facilities department, however, will have the last laugh this summer.

Morris Residence hall sits between South Main and Partridge Street and its back fence, complete with a student-sized hole, runs along Myrtle Avenue. The fence was put up a few years back and ever since a battle has raged.

“Every now and then Saint Rose tries to patch it back up and it will last for maybe a week but then someone toughens up and takes one for the Myrtle team and tears it back down,” said Kiera Garvey, a Saint Rose senior.

A walk along the chain-link fence reveals numerous holes, most of which have been repaired, some patched five layers thick. It seems as fast as the holes are mended, new ones are made and the newest one is the biggest yet.

“There’s a project plan to replace it with a wrought iron fence so kids can’t cut through,” said Meaghan Warner, the department’s service response manager. Contractors have been frequenting the site recently to give the college quotes on different types of fences. There aren’t any bids yet.

Carolyn Scanlon is a Saint Rose senior who uses the fence to shorten her walk to campus from her apartment on Myrtle and to get to Madison Avenue in general, faster. She remembers seeing students walking through the hole in the fence when she moved there last year and followed their lead. “It saves time when I’m already running late to class and I can avoid a solo walk down Partridge,” she said. She thinks the hole should stay.

Layers of chain-link fencing (Abbey Bull)

“I think the whole idea of the fence is for security in the parking lot,” said Warner. “I’m sure for the student’s accessibility it’s better to not have [the fence] but for student’s safety it has to be there.” The front of Morris Hall, with two car-wide entrances open at all times, sits on Morris Street.

Warner mentioned some vandalism involving graffiti that went down in the lot recently.

Corey Polesel is the midnight shift supervisor and sergeant to Saint Rose security. He said there was an incident this past fall where security cameras caught a few kids tagging but they were found to have lived on Morris, so they entered the lot through the front.

“It’s not like we have a bunch of hoodlums running through there,” said Polesel. He said 99.9% of the time it’s the College’s own students walking through and he personally has dropped off many students on Myrtle right by the fence. “I’m at a loss for why it’s been such a big problem.”

Scott Sidoli is a University at Albany student and Myrtle Avenue resident who walks though the hole when he parks his car on Morris Street. “My driveway is bad so I usually bottom out,” he said. “Parking on Morris is a viable option.” He went on to say parking can get crazy on Myrtle so leaving his car on Morris is roughly just as close as it would be to parking in front of his house.

“It is definitely more convenient ,” said Garvey. “I guess you can say it is pure laziness, but why go out of your way when you can take the short cut.  During the winter that hole in the fence is like heaven on earth. Having to wake up early in the morning and face the winter chill is bad enough, but than having to walk to class is even worse. The fence easily cuts five minutes out of your walk to campus, and makes the walk seem shorter than it is.”

No one has ever been caught actually cutting the fence but Warner assumed it is done with bolt cutters. Polesel said the four security cameras were not yet installed at the time the fence was last cut. He isn’t sure what the consequences would be if someone were caught.

“It’s up to students on how they act when they get caught,” said Polesel. “That’s not

Temporary solution (Abbey Bull)

only true for here but for the criminal justice system in general.” A student would most likely have to go through the College’s judicial system and end up paying a fine to repair the damage.

Scanlon said it’s always the worst day when she makes it to the fence to find the hole has been patched. “I immediately have to text my room mates because you have to plan another five minutes into your walk.”

Garvey agreed it’s going to be a bad day when she finds out the fence has been fixed. “At first I try to find another opening, and when that doesn’t work,” she said she gets upset and then starts “trekking towards Partridge Street.” She admits students have become so accustomed to using the shortcut that they can unfairly get mad at the College.

Sidoli is glad that whoever has been cutting the holes keeps doing so. “They should probably just put a gate there,” he said. The students have been adamant about keeping the hole in place.

Scanlon said, “Saint Rose could take down part of the fence around Morris parking lot and build a walkway for off-campus students. It seems to be a battle between the people repairing the fence and the students who are quick to take it down and it seems the students are winning.”

Although plans for summer construction are in place, Warner said the College would definitely listen to and consider people’s opinions on the fence. “They won’t just flat out say ‘no’,” she said. The Saint Rose facilities department can be reached at (518)454-2800.

“It kind of sounds like my father’s battle with the squirrels and his bird feeder,” said Polesel.


From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: