Downhill students petition for University ski lift

Kathleen McGivern, Contributing Writer

Students living downhill in Vedder Hall, Smith Hall, the Gateways, and the various Affinity Houses and downtown houses gathered together this past Sunday night to submit a petition for a ski lift along 7th Street that would transport them uphill towards the academic buildings. After years of coming to class tired from trudging up the street and running perpetually late, downhill students have finally united to demand an easier route to the rest of campus.

The petition currently has over 1,000 signatures, including many alumni who lived downhill when they attended the University. The petition’s blueprint showcases the ski lift placed alongside the 7th Street sidewalk, directly across from the Elaine Langone Center. The lift would be about 15 feet tall and stretch from 7th Street Cafe to Carnegie Building. The petition also included risk management precautions and a five year plan detailing the construction of the lift.

Alex Gnarf ’20, a resident of Martin House on St. George Street, authored and spearheaded the petition.

“Students have limited options to get from their downhill residencies to the Malesardi Quad,” Gnarf said. “They can struggle up the hill along 7th Street, go through the Elaine Langone Center, or climb the endless steps in the Grove. All of those choices leave students exhausted by the time they arrive to class. Installing a ski lift will minimize the number of tardy students and allow for a few extra minutes of sleep, a highly-coveted benefit for college kids.”

Jordan Rasor ’19, a resident of the Malesardi Gateway, created the ski lift blueprint.

“Installing a ski lift is both a sustainable and cost-efficient solution,” Rasor said. “Furthermore, the University could use this as an opportunity for Engineering Senior Designs. The ski lift will work in any weather, educate our student body on engineering practices, and save countless students from injuries on their morning treks uphill.”

The University administration has not yet decided if the ski lift will be constructed, but based on the overwhelmingly positive community feedback, downhill students should feel confident that their uphill struggle may soon be over.

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