SGA-BBC lobbying for second access road

Alexi C. Cardona/Contributing Writer

The Student Government Association at Biscayne Bay Campus is taking a different approach in revamping its lobbying efforts for a second access road to the university, and they are confident their efforts will pay off this time.

Richard Azimov, vice president of SGA-BBC, said that a combination of better preparedness, community engagement and student involvement contributes greatly to what he hopes will be a victory in gaining second access to the university

While SGA-BBC has been petitioning for a second entrance road since 2011, Azimov said they weren’t adequately prepared back then to go before the City of North Miami and make such a request.

“We received a lot of negativity from the residents the night of the North Miami council meeting,” Azimov said.

Residents were not happy about FIU trying to build a road through their community because it would make property values decrease.

The difference between then and now, Azimov said, is that SGA-BBC is working closely with the Office of Governmental Relations. Student government actively seeks advising from Steve Sauls, vice president of Governmental Relations.

With the help of the office of Governmental Relations, SGA-BBC is strategizing when and how to approach the City of North Miami again.

Aside from better preparing themselves to approach the city council members, SGA-BBC is working on forming better relationships between the university and the city.

Student government received complaints from the city about students’ lack of involvement in community events and council meetings.

“We understand that we have to show our support and show that we are proud to be part of this community,” said Azimov.

He hopes that increased community involvement by students and student government will make the city of North Miami more receptive to the university’s need for another access road.

SGA-BBC’s optimism does not correspond with the North Miami council’s actions, however.

Scott Galvin, a member of the North Miami City Council, published a newsletter on the 5-0 vote for a resolution opposing opening Northeast 135th Street to the Biscayne Bay Campus.

FIU has another option, Northeast 143rd Street, which is the better and more functional long-term option, according to President Mark B. Rosenberg.

He said the University needs to operate short-term, however, and that Northeast 135th Street is a more viable short-term option.

President Rosenberg acknowledges that a single road used by three schools is a safety hazard, and he is committed to ensuring the safety and security of students.

“FIU is good at turning the impossible into the inevitable,” said Rosenberg.

Increased student participation would also contribute to future success, and Rosenberg encourages students to get involved by speaking to the mayor and council members of North Miami.

“It is important that the university community speaks with one voice,” said Rosenberg. Students are the stakeholders, he said, and the university is ours, not his.

SGA-BBC’s Second Road to Success petition now has over 2,100 signatures and expects more with the help of student government at the Modesto Maidique Campus. Azimov said they are still focusing on spreading the word about the campaign and collecting signatures for now.

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