Canan asks SGA to work with Muncie

Mayor praises Rector for attempting to bridge gap between communities.

As Student Government Association begins to combine the forces of Ball State and Muncie, Mayor Dan Canan said student initiative is needed to help fuse the communities.

According to Canan, president Tommy Rector is the first SGA president to work to bridge the gap between the two entities.

"Tommy is the first president to ever come to city council meetings," Canan said. "He is the first to cross that bridge."

Discussion centered on street conditions and making downtown Muncie more appealing to students.

Senator Nick Loving said Muncie roads were in unacceptable condition. Canan, however, told senators road conditions are better than they have been in years.

"When I took office in 1995, the streets were atrocious," Canan said. "In our plan to aggressively repair streets, our main thoroughfares are in good shape."

Since then, Canan said, Indiana has stopped putting money into road repairs, though Muncie is still planning to redo the campus' busiest roads.

The improvements will start with Neely Avenue, which will be repaved from Wheeling Street to Irving Gym. Canan said repaving McKinley Avenue may occur next year.

He also encouraged senators who know of side streets that need work to call the city and put the streets on a current list Muncie residents have suggested need work.

"Anything not on the Ball State campus is the City of Muncie's problem," he said.

Throughout his speech, Canan reminded students that part of working as one community involved their initiative. He said he feels Ball State students are a resource the city wants to tap into for suggestions on improvement.

"I know there isn't a whole lot to do here," Canan admitted. "We want to change downtown, and that is possible with the thoughts and ideas of Ball State students."

Canan said Muncie should be reaching out to Ball State as well, and a hand has already been extended, he said. Canan referred to plans to run a trolley from the Village to downtown on Tuesdays. He said the city wanted to expand such services to make it easier for students to travel between the two communities.

"One of our next steps is to possibly poll Ball State about the venues in place and what they want in the city," Canan said.

Canan said a group of six to eight students who are willing to work on any issue can help begin an active Ball State-Muncie partnership.

Executing an ideal relationship is only possible by the joint effort of both forces, according to Canan.

"People on both the city side and the student side both have a lot to do," Canan said. "Both need to take time to sit down and look at options."

During caucus and committee meetings, senators approached Canan with additional questions and ideas.


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