Illinois Student Senate

Illinois Student Senate is the representative body for the students at the University of Illinois. This blog allows members to discuss a variety of aspects about their lives, including but not limited to their involvement in ISS. ANY OPINIONS EXPRESSED HERE DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THAT OF ILLINOIS STUDENT SENATE AS A WHOLE.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Speed Limit Sticks

The Daily Illini is reporting today that the Champaign City Council unanimously voted to keep the speed limit on campus at 25 miles per hour. This is an enormously surprising turn of events given that before the meeting there had been only 2 solid "no" votes on the recommendation to lower the speed limit to 20 and several supposedly solid "yes" votes. ISS had encouraged senators to attend the city council meeting to speak out against lowering the speed limit, but without much hope of success. That can sometimes seem to be a common pattern in the student senate. We often times urge the university or community to do pursue a policy that will help the student body without high expectations that anybody will listen.

This proves that pattern wrong.

Thanks to several members of ISS (including co-President Ryan Ruzic, Sens. Joe Danavi and Sophie Doroba, and Governmental Affairs Committee chair Justin Cajindos), the city council was convinced that pursuing a lowered speed limit would do nothing to increase safety and would neglect more concrete, effective pedestrian safety measures like eliminating right turns at red lights and implementing countdown signals at crosswalks.

The good intentions of university officials in this case could not be outweighed by the thoughtful, nuanced position taken by student senators speaking at the city council meeting. ISS, and in turn the student body as a whole, won a significant battle last night and surpassed the expecation that students are too lazy to participate in policy changes on campus. The student voice was heard, and what's most encouraging is that others listened.


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