It is one thing to have water in fountains and ponds. It is an entirely different thing to have to walk through standing water to get to class when it rains.
A couple weeks ago, I woke up, looked outside and opted for skinny jeans and rainboots, only to walk outside, step in a puddle and feel water slosh into my boots. I looked down and saw a huge hole on the side. At first, I was mad at the boots; then I was mad at the lack of drainage systems on campus sidewalks.
At a university in Indiana, a state that averages more than 40 inches of precipitation a year, I would think a system would be in place to drain the sidewalks. However, at Butler University, our sidewalks not only collect puddles but also retain enough water to fill Star Fountain.
Butler needs to invest in some type of drainage system for campus sidewalks—or at least the ones traveled most.
In the article this week titled “Flooding poses problem for campus officials,” Gerald Carlson, interim vice president for operations, told The Collegian bulminite, the slippery-when-wet blue rocks on the sidewalks, could be creating the problem.
“That helps to retain the water and not let it go somewhere,” Carlson said.
If the bulminite is the problem, why not remove it? It does add beauty to our sidewalks, and as Carlson said, “it’s kind of unique to Butler,” but it is also a safety hazard. Not only do the rocks become a skating rink when wet, but they are also part of the reason the sidewalks retain so much water.
Renovations are expensive, and a campus-wide restructuring of all the sidewalks and drainage systems is sure to cost the university quite a sum. I would like Butler to consider spending less money on paw print-painted crosswalks and more money on fixing problems that affect the entire student body’s safety.
It’s unfortunate that students have to complete an obstacle course to avoid drenching themselves and others. It seems like a fixable problem that the Butler administration needs to look into further.
Our campus is beautiful, but it doesn’t need to forgo students’ safety to attain it.