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Ohio State to host town hall for on-campus development plan

Gerard Basalla, a fourth-year in political science and strategic communication and Undergraduate Student President, looks over plans for the off-campus 15th and High redevelopment plan and on-campus the One Ohio State Framework plan. Credit: Summer Cartwright | Lantern Reporter

Gerard Basalla, a fourth-year in political science and strategic communication and Undergraduate Student President, looks over plans for the off-campus 15th and High redevelopment plan and on-campus the One Ohio State Framework plan. Credit: Summer Cartwright | Lantern Reporter

Ohio State’s Undergraduate Student Government is holding a town-hall meeting on Thursday night to discuss the future plans of Framework 2.0, a physical and spatial plan for the university that has been updated since its creation in 2010.

This plan originates from the One Ohio State Framework plan, which was drafted under the leadership of former University President E. Gordon Gee.

The One Ohio State Framework plan was a outline of expansions and renovations throughout the university — projects that have continued to get updated since its finalization, including the newly completed North Residential District and the demolition of St. John Arena, although that demolition was postponed at the last Board of Trustees meeting.

The current plan, Framework 2.0, is a way for the university to continue its review of the 2010 works, as well inform and receive input from members of the university community of any updates and plans for the future.

USG is holding the town-hall meeting in order to involve students on campus in the discussion and make recommendations for Framework 2.0.

The town-hall meeting will begin with an overview of what Framework 2.0 is and why it is important for current students to get involved. It will then transition to an introduction of panelists that include: Jay Kasey, senior vice president of the Office of Administration and Planning; Keith Myers, the associate vice president of planning and real estate; Luanne Greene, the president and principal of the Planning Studio of Ayers Saint Gross; as well as Derek Whiddon and Timothy Villari, the Framework 2.0 student representatives.

A presentation will be shown by Greene and Leonard that will include information on the Framework 2.0 process date, themes, goals, strategies and potential next steps for students wishing to get involved.

To ensure that student voice is heard, the town hall will include questions from both an online form that students can fill out until the end of the day Wednesday, as well as an open Q-and-A with the panel.

The event will be moderated by Sam Whipple, a fourth-year in political science and economics and the USG chair of the Undergraduate Caucus. Whipple’s role in USG is to oversee the undergraduate university senators, and he has experience in facilitating frequent discussions on Framework 2.0 in caucus meetings.

Whipple said he is grateful that students have the opportunity to weigh in on the project because of the impact the plan will have on students’ futures not only as undergraduates, but also as alumni.

“Framework 2.0 will change the face of the campus we all return to as alumni, so students have a real stake,” Whipple said. “There are certainly tough questions left to ask, but this town hall shows that administrators are listening.”

USG decided it was necessary to include an unbiased moderator with experience in conversations on Framework 2.0 to ensure that the discussion at the town hall remain open and inclusive.

“With a town hall you don’t want to shape people’s opinions,” said Gerard Basalla, president of USG and a fourth-year in strategic communications and political science. “Whipple is not going to be saying his own opinion and we are not going to be pushing a USG opinion on students because it’s not just going to be USG students in the room.”

Basalla said that students concerned about Framework 2.0 should come to the town-hall meeting to speak their minds, or contact USG to facilitate conversations that include student voice.

“We’re not here to toot everyone’s own horns. We’re here for (students) to say their concerns and share any positives they think are going to come out of this,” Basalla said.

Mikayla Bodey, a fourth-year in public affairs and the deputy director of government relations and a USG senator for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, said she hopes the town-hall meeting will allow students to voice their desires, as well as allow for administrators to hear important feedback.

“If students say, ‘we need space to study or we really have a hard time accessing a dining commons on a particular part of campus,’ all of those valid thoughts will be shared with the administrators as they make Framework 2.0,” Bodey said.

Bodey said she thinks many students will express interest in West Campus, adding that she believes the project will dramatically affect them in the future.

The town-hall meeting will take place in the U.S. Bank Conference Theater at the Ohio Union from 6 to 8 p.m.

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