Story by Shelbey Hernandez
The Lance – News Editor
Photos by Chris Mailloux
The Lance – Staff Photographer
Although the opening of a gate may not seem like much to some people, it is the purpose of the gate that was officially unveiled Wednesday that is so important.
Over the years, UWindsor has actively tried to make its campus more pedestrian-friendly. Four years ago, if students were dropped off by their parents, it was expected they would drive through areas like Patricia and Sunset Avenue. The result would be a rather anxious and frustrating drive for the parent with only a slight amount of convenience for the student. Since then, many changes have been implemented to make the university separate from the outside world. These streets now have benches, street lights and road blocks that keep outside traffic from getting in. The road blocks can be driven over but only access is granted to UWindsor campus officials.
The Sunset Avenue entry point has been completely pedestrianized and now, with the new gate at Patricia, the entire campus has become its own place separate from everything else.
“We wanted to make something that would be a distinctive signature piece,” said UWindsor president Alan Wildeman. “We also wanted something that tells cars they can’t come through here but also something very attractive, something that boldly says this is the university. This is the University of Windsor campus. We want people to have a memorable first impression.”
The stainless-steel gate is located right beside the Stephen and Vicki Adams Welcome Centre on Wyandotte Street. It closes most of the entrance off but there is a tiny gap that allows foot traffic.
One concern was the ability for emergency vehicles to get through. However, the gate is card-activated and only specific people are able to open it including campus security.
Aside from the gate, there was also the creation of a sign that said “University of Windsor” on it. Both the gate and the sign together help create the identity of the campus.
“I think the whole idea was to create an address for the campus and a welcoming area,” said Sandra Aversa, the chair for the steering committee of this project. “So the combination of the welcoming gate and our sign and the welcome centre provides all the community, the staff and the entire community, a place that is welcoming. So we’re really happy how it turned out.”
Both these pathways have been designated new names but their official name unveilings are expected to occur in the fall.