So the Student Body President - K.C. Robertson and the Student Body President Elect - Jared Grant met with me yesterday. We had a good change over. We discussed the issues facing the community as we come to the end of 2018. One interesting issue was the closure of Mission Lane. So I took the opportunity to brief Jared on this hot topic.
Originally the designs envisaged the widening of Mission Lane in 2016. But there was a significant reaction to that proposal from the parents of the children in the apartments. (Jared shared that the memory of some was that the scale of the reaction was less than I recalled). My memory was that there was a "Town Hall" meeting where with a show of hands everyone except two people voted to close Mission Lane. The arguments in favor of closing were strong. All Quaker Lane traffic heading towards the apartments goes past the playground. It is a narrow lane. Cars drive too quickly around the campus. Uber drivers get lost in this part of the campus. And parents from Episcopal High School use the lane as a cut through to Quaker Lane. The risk of an injury to a child is real.
Some students think the decision should be revisited. Perhaps the current occupants would feel differently from the earlier classes. Herein lies one of the many challenges of leadership. With finely balanced decisions (and this is finely balanced), there are always good arguments on both sides. However, I am persuaded that safety is a higher priority than the inconvenience of a longer drive around the campus. The arguments of that Town Hall meeting in 2016 were good arguments. But do remember this moment in your formation. When you are in ministry (whether lay or ordained) and you make a call, don't be surprised that the decision generates strong feelings on both sides and don't be surprised that there is often a desire to revisit a decision.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President