By NICCO BARATTO
Students this semester may have noticed something different about Ball Circle. A post-and- chain fence, which now wraps the outer edges of the lawn, was reinstalled by Facilities Services as a preventative measure to protect the lawn from damage the circle underwent last semester.
According to John Wiltenmuth, associate vice president for Facilities Services, he and Facilities Services made the decision to build the fence due to damage on Ball Circle’s lawn. This damage was attributed to vehicles driving through the area a few months before.
“The decision to reinstall the post and chain was based upon the need to reduce the significant vehicular damage that was occurring to Ball Circle during the fall semester,” Wiltenmuth said.
Wiltenmuth also stated that a post-and-chain fence had surrounded Ball Circle before in previous semesters. It was only removed during the fall 2015 semester while construction was taking place in the area.
“Posts and chain are not new to our campus and were used around Ball Circle prior to the construction activities of the University Center,” Wiltenmuth said.
The post-and-chain fence begins near Madison Hall and stretches across the circle, stopping near the entrance to Custis Hall. The fence appears to be incomplete at the entrance of Virginia Hall, where there are posts, but not chains.
As the fence continues to be assembled around Ball Circle, students gave their thoughts on the fence returning. Charbel Marche, a sophomore who is currently studying computer science, believed the chain will be inconvenient for students who often use Ball Circle to get to the University Center or their residence halls. “I think it’s ridiculous that there isn’t an opening where students can walk through,” Marche said.
Drew Mesa, a sophomore who is currently studying history, had a similar sentiment about the post-and-chain fence.
“It’s an inconvenience for people to have to walk around Ball Circle instead of cutting through,” Mesa said.
These are not the only students upset about this decision. Others on social network sites such as Yik Yak also expressed their displeasure at the fence, because they seem to believe that the fence represents a barrier, and they do not feel like they should have to cross over the fence to reach residence halls or the University Center.
However, there are also students who do not think the fence will be an issue for them. Noah Zoroya, also a sophomore studying history, does not believe the fence will interfere with his schedule. “It doesn’t really make a difference to me. I don’t mind walking on the path instead of the grass,” Zoroya said.
As students and staff acclimate to the post-and-chain fence, the protective measure around Ball Circle may act to prevent damage to the lawn in the future, allowing students to use either the brick pathway to walk to the University Center or reach the lawn where chains have not been assembled, particularly in front of Virginia Hall.