Topic

universities

19 petitions

Started 1 month ago

Petition to Gregory L. Fenves

We Want Bike Lanes on Speedway (and a Bicycle Master Plan)

We, the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of Texas at Austin, petition UT President Gregory L. Fenves to direct the appropriate department to add a separated bike lane along the Speedway Mall from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Dean Keeton Street. A separated bike lane will reduce conflicts between students. UT’s 1999 Campus Master Plan, in which the pedestrian mall was first formally proposed, calls for a separated bike lane along the entire length of Speedway. The plan observes that “conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists will be resolved by creating separate bicycle lanes.” This language, and the bike lane itself, disappeared from subsequent iterations of the campus plan. The recent redesign of the mall has proven the wisdom of the original plan as both students on bikes and students walking find the shared space frustrating. A separated bike lane will improve mobility for all students. As the university has expanded beyond the “40 acres,” travel time between classrooms, dorms, and other destinations has also expanded. With classes scheduled as closely as ten minutes apart, walking speed is often not fast enough. By creating a bike lane on Speedway, the university will enable students to cross campus in as little as two minutes. The twelve-minute walk from Jester West to Kinsolving is reduced to a mere three minutes when biking at a leisurely ten miles per hour. The university has taken a step in the right direction with free membership in the city’s docked bikeshare system, B-cycle; now it needs to follow through with proper infrastructure. A separated bike lane will make students safer. Without a bike lane, students may be pushed to bike on San Jacinto Boulevard or Guadalupe Street, increasing the risk of a deadly collision with a motor vehicle. A separated bike lane will also establish greater predictability and clear expectations, making the Speedway corridor safer for walking students — particularly students with disabilities. A separated bike lane will serve all students, even those who do not use a bicycle. A bike lane will better accommodate students using boosted skateboards, electric scooters, and other innovative transportation devices than the current shared space. More students biking means less demand for the university’s limited parking. A separated bike lane will demonstrate the university’s commitment to a sustainable future. The university has promised, through its official Campus Sustainability Policy, to “improve the long-term quality and regenerative capacity of the environmental, social and economic systems that support the University’s activities and needs.” As transportation makes up a significant share of students’ expenses and their ecological footprint, the university should be doing all it can to reduce automobile dependence.   THE UNIVERSITY NEEDS A BICYCLE MASTER PLAN Additionally, the university must address the policy shortcomings that led to the lack of bike lanes on Speedway. We call on the university to commission a Bicycle Master Plan that lays out a campus-wide vision for bicycling, provides a blueprint for incorporating bike facilities into future construction, and includes a timeline for specific infrastructure improvements.   For more information on the Campus Bike Alliance, visit facebook.com/campusbikealliance or email campusbikealliance@gmail.com

Campus Bike Alliance
165 supporters
Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, Michael Bernstein, Dr. Sacha Kopp

To Retain the Adjunct Faculty at Stony Brook University

The Dire Situation at Stony Brook In addition to the budget cuts already enacted at Stony Brook University, the administration is now indiscriminately eliminating adjuncts campus wide. As a result of reduced teaching staff, full-time faculty will be forced to teach courses outside of their disciplines. President Stanley recently stated “we will not do across the board cuts,” a promise that he has now gone back on.  Despite Stanley's support for HeForShe, these cuts would disproportionately impact women, who make up a significant number of the adjuncts.   Why This Matters Such cuts punish our exceptional adjunct faculty–many of whom have been teaching at Stony Brook for years–and many of whom have done extra service beyond their job description (mentorship of students, university service and committee work, etc.). This action directly contradicts the university’s purported claim to “offer all students a world-class education.” TAs and full-time faculty from other departments are being forced to teach classes in unrelated fields. For example, full-time lecturers in history, Asian-American studies, and even pharmacology and geology, will teach writing courses. Similar situations will be put in place across campus. The administration's proposal to bring in lecturers from other departments means that programs and departments will not retain many adjuncts. This is an academically flawed strategy that will cripple the quality of education for students and risk Stony Brook's reputation. Furthermore, these measures are in direct opposition to what President Stanley himself announced to faculty in his summary of this year’s State of Stony Brook University message, where he assured that “we will not do across the board cuts and weaken strong programs.” These cuts will do exactly that, crumbling highly successful programs while preying on the most vulnerable among us, and undermining Stanley's other stated claim of doing better “in the area of faculty diversity.” In addition, Stanley, as a "HeForShe Impact Champion," emphasizes: "The gender equality issues we face on a daily basis could not be more important or timely. We know that Stony Brook University is not free of these issues. It is the willingness to address these questions and improve ourselves in the process that will create that change." Yet a disproportionate number of those who will lose their jobs are women and minorities.   These job cuts are not necessary. Chairs around campus have offered to keep vacant faculty spots open or to suspend searches to help with the budget issues in the College of Arts and Sciences but these, and other offers, have been declined.   What We Can Do We need your help. Our plan is to get enough support and testimonials to demonstrate the very real value that our adjuncts provide–to highlight how the administration’s shortsighted maneuvering will adversely affect faculty, the students we serve, and the larger campus community. In addition to signing to voice your support, we encourage you to please contact the President, Provost, and others to demand that they reverse these cuts: President Stanley’s Office: (631) 632-6265, samuel.stanley@stonybrook.edu Office of the Provost, Michael Bernstein: (631) 632-7000, provost@stonybrook.edu Governor Cuomo’s Office: contact information, phone: 1-518-474-8390 Contact SUNY directly: Contact information Whether you are a student, an alum, a faculty member, or a fellow New Yorker who values some of the most dedicated workers in your state university system, please sign, comment, and spread this message to all friends, family, and colleagues through whatever networks are available to you! [NOTE: We are not asking for money only for your signature and support. Any request for donations is an automated response from Change.org.] 

Adjunct Professors At Stony Brook University
3,047 supporters