Ross, Wilkes react to Central Michigan Life stories on fire ordinance, SBX

Central Michigan University President George Ross and Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Barrie Wilkes shared their views on recent campus news stories in a press conference after Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

The two discussed the 300-foot city fire ordinance that will go into law in the next 30 days, as well as the closing of the Student Book Exchange.

“I think to the extent the ordinance deters people from doing stupid things, I think it’s appropriate," Ross said of the ordinance. "Dumpster fires are dangerous. I wish people wouldn’t do that, whoever they are. (Dumpster fires) are just dumb."

Ross said he couldn't fathom why someone would do something irresponsible like setting fire to couches or dumpsters. He said he doesn't think it's a growing culture among CMU students, though. Ross said safety is his priority for this situation.

"I want you all to be safe," Ross said. "I want them to be safe. I want the residents of the city to be safe. I have very little patience for something like that."

The ordinance will go into law just before students come back to campus for the fall semester. The Student Code of Conduct has also been changed to help streamline the process for how students are held accountable for arson.

When asked about the SBX closing, Wilkes was the only one in the room to answer.

"I’d say I feel bad for the employees that work there," he said. "I understand they had a number of full-time employees that worked there.”



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