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The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

What’s up with the fence by the library?

The+fence+project+taking+place+in+between+the+Library+and+Commons.
Jocelyn Jackson
The fence project taking place in between the Library and Commons.

You may have noticed that a wire fence has replaced one of the benches on the walkway between the library and Commons. It seemed to appear with no explanation a few weeks back. However, at Monday’s Student Senate meeting, Dr. John King, Vice President for Student Life, provided some context for the new installment. 

The fence is going to be RWU’s attempt at replicating the Pont des Arts, a bridge in Paris, France. Also known as the Paris “lock bridge,” the Pont des Arts has attracted lovers near and far so that they can write their initials on a lock, close it on the bridge, and throw the key into the river below, signifying an unbreakable bond. King credited the idea to President Ionnis Miaoulis, who had traveled to Paris and left a lock on the Pont des Arts with his wife.

The fence project, which is currently without a name, is a place for any students, faculty, staff, and alumni in a relationship at RWU, “to lock up their love for each other and put it on this fence with a message, their name and perhaps a date on it,” said King. He later elaborated that the locks can be for both romantic and platonic relationships: “We should remain totally open and inclusive to whatever people want to signify.” 

The University would like the locks to be uniform, so when the project kicks off next semester, the locks will be available for purchase in the bookstore. There was discussion within the Student Senate meeting of the profits from the locks being donated to charities, which King was open to, but there was no confirmation. 

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When choosing the location for this project, the University decided to take over one of the benches because it was in a high-visibility location and not many students sit on those benches anyway, according to King. Other options were considered, including the Sailing Center, but were ultimately turned down. “The President’s vision is to have this opportunity in a place that a lot of people walk by, and can observe and see, and the Sailing Center is just not that location for us, even though it’s a gorgeous place.” Concerns were also raised by Student Senators about the dangers of having the installment near the water because it could encourage people to throw the locks’ keys into the bay, which the University does not want to promote. 

At the end of the day, the project is simply a new way to bring the campus population together. “We’re all focused on having more ideas not only for student engagement, but also for alumni engagement, and more reasons for alumni to come back to campus – and when they come back to campus, to have something that signifies that they were here,” King said. 

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About the Contributors
Emily Rosen, Managing Editor
Emily is the Managing Editor of The Hawks' Herald, and previously served as the Sports Editor. She is a senior journalism major and political science minor at RWU, with hopes to go into photography or writing after graduation. When she's not in class or in the newsroom, she's either hosting her WQRI Radio show "It's A Metaphor For Life" with her roommates, playing video games, or listening to music or podcasts.
Jocelyn Jackson, Editor in Chief
Jocelyn was previously the Opinions Editor for the Hawks' Herald and is currently the Editor in Chief for the fall semester. She will be graduating in December with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Film Studies. Jocelyn has co-hosted the podcast EcoTalk in previous semesters and is a multimedia reporting intern at the Rhode Island Current.

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