Skate park closing without attendant

Lydia Moneir

The skate park will remain empty until Campus Recreation gets funding for an attendant. Photo by Randy Rataj
The skate park will remain empty until Campus Recreation gets funding for an attendant.
Photo by Randy Rataj

July 1 will mark the first day the skate park closes and the first day of the fiscal year.

That day is when the budget Student Government (SG) passed, which cut funding for a skate park attendant, comes into effect.

Everett J. Malcolm, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs (SA), said leaving the park open with no attendant could make UNF liable for any injuries.

Malcolm said students wanting to use the park will sign liability waivers as a temporary measure until it closes.

Mitchell Moore is the SG senator who proposed the amendment to the Activity and Service Fee (A&S) budget Feb. 10 that would completely cut funding for the attendant.

In a Feb. 14 interview, Moore told the Spinnaker he was aware of the park liability issue and there is an easy solution for the problem: Campus Recreation can ask for money from the Special Request fund balance.

Moore’s amendment allocated the funds left over after cutting the attendant to Athletics equipment and Spinnaker TV.

Moore said, of the indexes SG could have funded, he deemed Athletics equipment and Spinnaker TV more important because they have higher student usage.

Moore said the park attendant was paid for 28 hours per week for the 2013-14 fiscal and this was the only fund index that did not have student attendance numbers.

Becky Purser, director of Campus Recreation, said they would be happy to do a special request if SG is willing to fund it and if they indicate that they would like to fund the position again.

Moore said there was never a possibility SG couldn’t fund attendant hours if it needed. He said it would be easier to fund attendant hours with money from the Special Request funds than the other two indexes.

Originally, the position was funded for 28 work hours. The 2014-15 A&S budget proposed cutting that to 14 hours before Moore’s amendment adjusting it passed 24 to eight.

Malcolm said in a Feb. 18 interview that the real issue concerning the park’s future is a matter of safety.

Previous SG President Carlo Fassi recommended the funding attendant. In a Feb. 14 interview, Fassi said he wouldn’t have made the recommendation if he didn’t think safety was an issue having no one whatsoever monitoring the park.

Fassi said it was the attendant who notified SA that the park’s ramp coating was cracked, making it unsafe.

He said the park has sentimental value to him because the Red Party was started with that initiative, but this is how a representative democracy works.

Fassi said there was a lot of consensus in Senate that the attendant hours should be cut.

Malcolm said the skatepark is funded for the remainder of this fiscal year, which means from now until June 30.

The last time the park was closed and locked Purser said that the fence nearly came down because of skaters climbing over to get into the park.

Malcolm said Trespassers will receive a warning and student trespassers will potentially get a referral based on the interaction with police personnel.

Email Lydia Moneir at [email protected]

Email Jason Howard at [email protected]

Email Haidy D. Andrada at [email protected]