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Mayor of Athens presented future plans for the city at Student Senate meeting Wednesday night

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Mayor Patterson gives presentation to Student Senate. Photo by Sarah Donaldson

The city plans to fix the ongoing conflict between car and pedestrian traffic.

Mayor Steve Patterson gave a presentation about future plans for the city — including upcoming construction on Richland Avenue and the potential of using meal swipes at uptown restaurants — at Wednesday’s Student Senate meeting.

One of the main points of Patterson’s presentation was the Richland Avenue Pedestrian Passageway Project. The project aims to solve the ongoing problem of conflicting car and pedestrian traffic.

Construction will start in the summer of 2019, directly after graduation, and should be completed by move-in day at the end of summer. An increase in traffic is expected as a result of the construction.

Another topic of discussion at Wednesday’s meeting was a petition that has been circulating in favor of students having the ability to use their meal swipes at restaurants uptown. The petition has just under 1,600 signatures.

“I see it as a big benefit to the uptown businesses,” Patterson said. “I think it’s a win-win.”

Patterson also brought up the city’s sign ordinance. The city of Athens came under fire at the start of the academic year after one sorority was asked to remove its banner speaking out against sexual assault in order to comply with Athens Code Enforcement.

Patterson explained that although he supported the message of the signs, he wanted to remind students that there was still a sign ordinance and an application for students living off-campus to hang signs.

Student Senate President Maddie Sloat began the meeting with a statement in regards to former Senate Appropriations Commissioner Anna Ayers. Ayers was charged with three counts of making false alarms Monday after she allegedly planted false homophobic death threats directed toward herself last week.

“I am confident that Student Senate is going to come out of all of this even stronger and as better advocates for the students on this campus,” Sloat said. “Look around this room today. I consider each and everyone one of you an invaluable member of our senate team, our Bobcat family, and our student body.”

Ayers has since resigned from her position as SAC Commissioner and is set to appear in Athens County Municipal Court Thursday.

In other business:

  • Senate passed a resolution to fund a table for the Blackburn Spencer Pageant, to purchase Homecoming supplies, and to amend the budget to give the judicial panel a discretionary.
  • Senate also appointed a senator to the Women’s Affairs Commission and to the budget committee.  
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