Students who weren’t in or near Fort Collins over the summer will be returning to some changes on campus and in the region. Here are some major events you might have missed.
NEW BUS STATION
Architectural changes will confront students as they step onto campus this fall. The biggest change is the relocation of the Transfort Transit Center to the north side of the Lory Student Center, near metered parking. Returning students will remember the transit center on the west side of the library. The relocation will bring buses nearer to the LSC, and made possible a larger transit center and quicker routes. Buses will be running only from the new transit center when classes begin today.
An increase in tuition was implemented over the summer after it was approved by the Board of Governors of the CSU System. Undergraduate in-state students will see a tuition hike of 6.2 percent, or $182 per semester, for full-time students, while out-of-sate students will see a 9 percent, or a $505, rate hike.
RIOT BILL PASSES
Rep. Don Lee’s House bill entitled “Students Riot Higher Education,” better known as the “riot bill,” passed and was signed by Gov. Bill Owens at the end of the Colorado legislative session in late May. The bill places tough restrictions on students who are caught rioting. Under the bill, if students are caught in a riot and are arrested, they will not be able to attend school for one year. Those who oppose the bill claim the bill is biased toward students and places a double jeopardy on students since many schools already have procedures in place to deal with students who riot.
DROUGHT AND WILDFIRES
The severe drought that attacked Colorado and many western states resulted in numerous massive wildfires. This summer’s drought was a result of the lowest recorded snow pack accumulations last winter. The current water shortage is the worst experienced in 25 years, and has resulted in watering restrictions throughout Fort Collins and metropolitan Denver.
The Hayman fire that ignited on June 8 in the pike National Forest, southwest of Denver, resulted in the largest wildfire Colorado has ever seen.
Hayman consumed 137,000 acres — equivalent to more than Denver County — and jeopardized hundreds of homes.
With an continuing enormous drought in Colorado, water restrictions were adopted throughout the state.
The Fort Collins City Council adopted lawn-watering restrictions on July 22. These restrictions designated watering days according to the last digit of the homeowners’ address and permits watering only between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. Addresses ending in 0 through 2 can water on Wednesdays and Saturdays; those ending in 3 through 6 on Thursdays and Sundays; and those ending in 7 through 9 can water on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Multiple violations of water restrictions may result in a fine that can vary from $50 to $1000 per violation.
GRAVES GETS LIFE SENTANCE
Troy Graves, the man who admitted to six sexual assaults and two attempted assaults that occurred in Fort Collins between May 2001 and April 2002, is now behind bars for the rest of his life. Graves also pleaded guilty to a rape/murder and five additional sexual assaults that occurred in Philadelphia.
Graves was arrested on April 23 after writing an anonymous letter to Fort Collins Police Services admitting to the assaults. To prevent a possible death sentence in Pennsylvania, Graves pleaded guilty to the Fort Collins assaults as well as the Philadelphia crimes. He is serving a maximum life sentence in Canon City, Colorado.