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Opinion

Neglecting ‘keep off grass’ signs creates problems for landscapers

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November 19, 2009

Several weeks ago, I drew a comic for the voice depicting a man being held up by a police officer for crossing a section of turf with a “keep off the grass” sign. Obviously it was a satirical statement about those of you readers who might just happen to “not see” the signs (even though they are plastered across campus).

Now I’m not the type of guy who wants my comics to shape the very foundations of our readers’ minds, I mean lets face it, they pay me to draw pretty pictures, which is, by the way, a kick-ass deal. But to be honest, this comic was one that I had felt had a statement I hoped people would hear.

Two summers ago, I worked as a landscaper for a small local business based out of the Twin Cities. Doing this job, I did reseeding, mulching; the typical landscaping jobs. I have an idea of the pain our landscapers go through here on campus.

While enjoying my Friday morning people-watching session, I noticed a number of individuals looking at the sign that says “keep off the grass” and blatantly crossing anyway. I figured I’d do something constructive with my rage, so I composed this column. It got me to thinking; maybe we need moreeffective means of preventing this “destruction of greenery”.

I realized my idea of having armed guards preventing crossing was both expensive and as some might call it “the dumbest idea they’ve ever heard of.” My next thought was to print shirts that say “Prevent Grass Genocide,” and standing by the “Keep Off” signs, but a) I didn’t want to interfere with the current protest on campus, and b) I was my only supporter. Sometimes it’s hard to be an activist on campus.

Then I thought, maybe UWRF should invest in fences to surround these areas which are trampled so much. That idea quickly faded when I remembered that we students are not dogs, although I am pretty sure I saw a freshman peeing on a tree last week.

It seemed that all hope was lost, until suddenly, a revelation! This is an issue that starts with students; students too, can solve it. When you see someone crossing an area that has signage informing people to stay off, say something. Remember, part of your tuition goes toward landscaping.

The more that area gets trampled, the more the University has to spend on that patch of dirt, and the more they have to increase tuition to spot the bill. Think about the landscapers too.

They put in long hours and do back breaking work to keep this campus beautiful. Would you like it if they walked into your dorm while you were typing a paper and started slamming on your keyboard? Didn’t think so. Lastly, its your campus.

In the last few weeks we have heard a lot about Falcon pride; show it in all that you do.

Jon Lyksett is a student at UW-River Falls.