An ice rink is being constructed on the Fraternity Quad for WinterFest Weekend 2005. While an on-campus ice rink is a unique concept, sufficient consideration has not been given to safety, advertisement, necessity and cost.

The ice rink presents an unwelcome safety hazard for the Fraternity Quad. The ice rink is neither covered nor surrounded by any type of protective barrier to indicate its presence on the quad. Students have already fallen on the ice. While students must take responsibility for their actions, precautions should have been taken to warn students of the slippery surface. A noticeable sign or large barrier could have helped prevent such incidents.

The Fraternity Quad is also frequented by students who have used the ice rink as a trash repository – they have embedded aluminum cans into the surface of the rink, raising safety questions about the structural integrity of the rink.

Although the administration’s response has been enthusiastic, there has been limited feedback from students due to simple ignorance of the ice rink’s construction. If this is to be a tradition, there should be better advertising of the event.

It is understandable that the ice rink is located in a low-traffic area, but the administration should make efforts to advertise its presence. The only mention of the ice rink is on WinterFest posters, denoted ambiguously as “ice skating,” without details.

This lack of knowledge is one possible reason no one has raised question about the necessity of an on-campus ice rink. Genesee Valley Park Skating Rink is a five-minute walk down the road. UR regularly holds skate nights there and it should be no great trouble to reserve the rink for this weekend’s events.

The cost of the rink is reported at $1,200, which seems low, as it disregards the cost of Facilities employees’ wages. But regardless of the omissions, $1,200 could be used elsewhere to increase or better the activities for WinterFest. For instance, $600 could be spent subsidizing skate rentals at nearby GVP Skating Rink, with $600 remaining for other activities.

While the project is an exciting undertaking, important details about planning should not have been overlooked.

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