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RHA, McPherson meet to discuss greenhouse plans with students

September 27, 2000

The Residence Halls Association will hear both sides of a debate about plans for a proposed student greenhouse at its general assembly meeting today.

The meeting will be in the Essex Underground of Wilson Hall at 7 p.m.

RHA pledged support for a student project last year in an effort to replace a greenhouse taken down in 1998.

The project received approval from the university, but was amended later. University officials continue to debate the amended proposal.

Phil Lamoureux, a spokesman for the student greenhouse project, will attend the meeting along with Rocky Beckett, who’s representing the university’s Vision 20/20 plan. Beckett is the assistant director for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources development office.

RHA spokesman John Kreger said the debate centers around the two groups’ different structural ideas.

He said the student group wants to build a dome-shaped structure, while university officials prefer a traditional, square-shaped greenhouse.

RHA will hear short presentations from both groups, and then discuss the issue to determine the organization’s official position.

“What we hope to come of it is a clearer picture of what the current situation with the student greenhouse is,” Internal Vice President Jim McEvoy said. “To make an educated decision, we need to hear both sides of the issue.”

The amended greenhouse plans would still have to be approved by the university, but RHA officials say they need to take a role in the debate.

“We recognize there are a number of students that want a greenhouse,” Kreger said.

“RHA wants to contribute in the best way it can for the students,” said McEvoy.

MSU President M. Peter McPherson also plans to speak at today’s meeting after postponing his visit originally scheduled for last week’s meeting.

McPherson will present what RHA officials call “a mini state of the university address” to outline his plans for students this year. His visit also gives RHA a chance to ask for his help with specific issues and goals.

Another item on the meeting agenda is an informative presentation about renovation and possible shutdown plans for Shaw Hall, which has already undergone some changes. The hall is scheduled to close down at the end of this academic year.

RHA officials said students who care to know more about this issue should attend the meeting. Shaw Hall Manager Carol Betcher Noud and architects involved with the renovations will be there to answer questions and hear student input.

“It’s one of the central and popular dorms on campus, so it’s something that could affect this campus,” Kreger said.


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