policy documents

16 03 2010

We got word back from both Pratt’s security office as well as CK who manages student policy violations/disciplinary actions and were able to clarify the current bike policies on campus.  It is still surprising to me that there is no clear document that states what the policies are and how they are executed and we are finally able to put something like this together.  It’s all about the baby steps.

I’m currently working on the design so we can get it out to print in time for Green Week and then I will post all of the information on the site.  I will then try and have the Office of Student Affairs as well as the Security Office update their websites with the completed document with all of the necessary action.  Oh yeah–and I have to make a map of all the bike racks on campus.  That shouldn’t take too long but I do need to carve out the time to get that done.  Hopefully there will be some nice weather in the coming weeks so I can go do some field surveys and documentation.

I’m also hoping to draft up an email to the Prez to try and arrange for a meeting.  I’d still like to swing the campus area bike ride for later in the year (maybe even set it up for next fall if we can’t do it in time for my graduation) and that way I know this project won’t just stop once I leave Pratt.

In addition to the letter to the Prez, I’ve now got to start bringing all of the work I’ve done over the past year together and start design my final document.  I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want it structured and still have no set ideas however I’m using the work I did with the Office of Long Term Planning as well as their PlaNYC document as inspiration for what it could be.

I’ve got a lot of work to get done in the next month or so and I have no time to slack.

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the good

5 03 2010

Right now, there is a lot of confusion regarding Pratt’s bike policies–Example:  In a printed student handbook, it says that you can not ride a bike on campus however as EL explained, that statement is incorrect.  This policy doesn’t actually exist.

On the Pratt website, if you’re looking for policies on bikes, good luck finding them easily.  It took a couple of searches and deep down on Security’s page, there is a blurb about biking and a couple of good/useful links   (check it out here).  If you go through other campus websites such as Columbia, or US Davis, you can easily find clear and concise policy information.  There is no grey area when it comes to their policies.

That is why I have been working with some key people (AG-K from NYPIRG, CW from SGA, my advisor CJ and EL with Student Affairs) to clarifying the current campus bike policies.  Once we have a clear understanding of the current policy, we can modify, add policies that are more effective and beneficial to everyone.  We’ve put together a draft and we’re planning to send it off to the Security Office so they can fill in the blanks (literally) to the policy.

Example:

Abandoned Bike Policy

If a bike is continuously parked in the same place for two weeks without being moved, Security considers it abandoned. If a bike is deemed abandoned, a tag with a timestamped warning will be attached to the bike. If the bike is not relocated to an appropriate bike rack within__________minutes/hours/days of being tagged, if will be removed and confiscated. In the process of removing and confiscating a bike, Security will, if necessary, cut and discard the lock, chain or security device. Pratt Institute is not responsible or liable in any manner for lost, stolen, or damaged bicycles, or for the replacement cost of locks, chains, or other security devices.

The black is what currently exists on the website, the red is the information that needs clarification.  These are simple modifications but they would greatly improve the current policy.

The goal is to have this information printed and available on Green Week’s “Transportation Tuesday” (see the events page for details). And I will also have the policy information posted on this site.  Eventually, we hope the Security Office will replace their existing text with what we’ve put together.  If that happens, it would be huge.  It would mean that we (those who attended the design jam and those who have provided significant input into this process) worked with the administration to provide students with accurate, useful, and transparent policy information.  That is what I would call “collaborative planning” and at Pratt–that would be a Campus Area Biking success!