Nature Preserve vote breeds distrust and disappointment



This editorial board is thoroughly disappointed with FIU.

Monday, March 21, FIUSM published the news that the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the construction of two practice fields atop one-third of the Nature Preserve.

This decision came about in the midst of student protest, petition and controversy.

As students of this university, we wonder if this institution has our best interests at heart – or whether our desires fall on deaf ears.

This entire process was, from the start, a losing battle. Students and faculty were informed too late to properly address the issue, and President Rosenberg tried too late to quell resentment from student protesters.

Although there can be value found in the new practice fields for student athletes, it seems to us more evidence of FIU’s prioritization of sports over education, conservation and other forms of life-enrichment. This editorial board wonders if all athletes will benefit from these new fields, as well, especially the FIU track team, which still has no place on campus to call their own.

Understanding that the Preserve will eventually be expanded to the south in order to replace the reallocated land, we have concerns regarding the potential approach for quantity over quality. The Nature Preserve has an established ecosystem of diverse wildlife. Any construction could disrupt current systems to the detriment of the entire Preserve.

Wildlife relocation, especially when regarding the relocation of a major water source, is complex. We can only hope that there are plans in place to mitigate the change to the environment so that there is not too much stress on the ecology of the Preserve.

These kinds of occurrences are cause for distrust in a university by its students. We can only hope that FIU can rebuild that trust.

Until then, FIUSM will continue to keep readers updated on the progress of the construction, as well as other pressing matters in the university community.


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