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Field Replacement, Tribute to Former UNA Chair Prod Laquian, Highlight October UNA Board Meeting

Monthly UNA directors meeting also included RCMP crime update and discussion on replacing plots at Hawthorne Community Garden

Amidst ongoing concerns over the use of microplastics, UNA Directors deferred making a decision on the type of materials to be used for the replacement of Wesbrook community field.

UNA directors made the decision after a lengthy discussion on the matter during the Oct. 17 meeting.

UNA director Murray McCutcheon said he had reservations about the materials that have been recommended by an operating committee composed of representative from the UNA, UBC, and the Vancouver School Board.

The committee had recommended using “a blended slit film/monofilament fibre turf system with a coated crumb rubber”, but McCutcheon expressed concern over potential environmental and health impacts.

“There’s a lot we don’t know, but there is emerging literature which suggests this is not suitable material for children and for the public to be essentially immersing themselves in, and I think we should go back to the drawing board and look for alternatives,” he said.

The board then directed staff to conduct further research into additional replacement options that include environmentally friendly options made with natural compounds.

A current timeline of the field replacement project has set a target of August 2024 for completion, in time for the commencement of the school year.

Tribute to Aprodicio “Prod” Laquian

Aprodicio Laquian, a former UNA director and chair, passed away on Oct. 7 at the age of 88.

Known by many as “Prod”, Laquian was honoured by UNA directors and attendees with a moment of silence.

Director Bill Holmes said Laquian served as a board member from 2008 to 2012 and again from 2013 to 2015, performing chair duties for two of those years. Prior to that, he held many roles as an academic, writer, and urban planning specialist.

“Prod was an amazing person … I could spend hours telling you what he achieved in his lifetime,” Holmes said.

In March 2021, The Campus Resident devoted two pages to Laquian and his wife Eleanor del Rio-Laquian, who herself has worked as an investigative journalist, international civil servant, researcher, and community activist.

The story can be found here (beginning on page 2).

Hawthorn community garden plots to be replaced

UNA Directors passed a motion to allocate $70,000 to replace aging plots at the Hawthorne community garden.

Built in 2008, the garden has 77 plots, many of which have required significant repairs, according to a UNA staff report.

Staff said repairs have become increasingly difficult due to the condition of the wood, with the plots reaching the end of their useful life. Issues with the plots have resulted in higher repair costs and increased problems for gardeners.

Director Jane Kang suggested that staff could seek out an additional quote for comparison. Chair Richard Watson said the motion would include any variances should an alternative quote yield better value for money.

RCMP begins school safety initiative

Staff Sgt. Chuck Lan, the UBC detachment commanding officer, provided a crime update to directors.

Lan said police have recorded an increase in stolen bikes on campus – a trend that typically coincides with the beginning of the school year and the return of thousands of students to campus. He said officers have arrested a number of “prolific offenders” recently.

Police have also begun to crack down on speeding around campus, particularly on West 16th and Southwest Marine Drive, with over 80 speeding tickets issued since July.

“We’ve started our school traffic initiative during the morning and afternoon school hours,” he said. “We’ve been in and around schools … being really visible issuing tickets and also warnings.”

Additional details on Lan’s presentation are included in The Campus Resident’s story about pedestrian safety on campus here. HYPERLINK


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