Some trees that were knocked over by the severe storms that Long Island experienced over the summer have not been cleared from the sides of Chipmunk Trail yet. The trail extends from Post Residence Hall all the way to Hillwood Commons. It is the main shortcut to class for many students.
“It’s just a matter of manpower,” William Kirker, Director of the Facilities Department, answered in response to the Pioneer’s inquiry about why the tree limbs have not yet been removed. He explained that they are trying to maintain important areas of the campus first, and the trees are not an immediate danger to anyone. The campus Facilities Department prioritizes other projects that are time consuming, like maintaining the facilities for fall athletics, residence halls, and keeping the different lawns around campus short and green. The fall is always chaotic with multiple events happening at once, but winter is just around the corner, and that will give the Facilities staff free hands to focus on other facilities as the lawns and other fall-related tasks become less important. Then the snowfall arrives, and their hands will be tied up with snow removal and similar maintenance again.
To maintain a campus as large as Post, about 350 acres, costs both time and money, and the more expenses one puts out there, the more the tuition will rise, which is something Kirker does not think they should put the students through. “Money is always a challenge,” said Kirker. Money and manpower seem to be the main reasons why we are currently witnessing an untidy Chipmunk Trail. He believes the trees will be removed by December, although he does not promise anything.
“I wondered why the trees were still there,” said Nicole Urbonas, a Junior marketing major. She passes the trees every day when she walks to class. She does not think that the trees are a huge issue. They are not in her way, and she believes that most students do not care. “I don’t think the trees bother anyone.”
Gine Soerboe, junior chemistry major, did not know about the trees. “I haven’t noticed that at all, and I walk there every day!”
Katy Cheung, junior chemistry and forensic science dual major, has a different take on the fallen trees. Cheung thinks that the cam¬pus should be more environmentally oriented. “The fallen trees have been left to naturally decompose and bring its nutrients back into the soil for future growth,” she thought. When Cheung was told the reason why they have not been removed, she changed her opinion. “Money and manpower are necessary to remove these trees, but with the debt, LIU Post has to take it slow.” She agreed that the trail has been cluttered for the past weeks.
The purpose of the fallen trees on Chipmunk Trail is not to go green, as Cheung hypothesized, even though it may sound interesting. The Facilities Department is working as hard and as quickly as possible, according to Kirker. Many students think the campus looks appealing in general, and it is something for students to be proud of. The trees by Chipmunk Trail are a minor detail compared to the rest, but it is important to address the issue, especially when students start questioning it.