The on-campus organization Strategies for Ecological Education Diversity is protesting the building of new FAU dorms on preserved land, but nothing is actually being built right now.
Innovation Village Phase II was approved in the 2009 FAU Master Plan and was proposed to be built on the FAU preserve, the area currently occupied by Tortuga Trail on the north side of campus.
Jessica Huffman, FAU alumna and former president of SEEDS is leading an on-campus campaign to inform people about these future plans by encouraging students to sign petitions and informing them about the negative impacts of Innovation Village Phase II.
“There are good and bad habitats for the tortoises and burrowing owls. FAU is choosing to build on the good habitat that these animals rely on,” Huffman said. “ If they build on the good land, the tortoises will have to be transferred to less desirable habitat and become crowded.”
According to Director of Marketing and Communications Dawn Howard the Master Plan provides an overview of campus development, which may occur, but doesn’t always.
“If the university decides to proceed with an individual project identified on the Master Plan, an extensive development process is undertaken and further approvals of the individual project are necessary. The University has made no decision to begin development of Phase II of Innovation Village, and no plans or proposals to do so exist at this time,” Howard wrote in an email.
When the University Press informed Huffman that the school had no intentions to build the new dorms at this time, she said that it wouldn’t stop her from protesting.
“We are trying to stop possible/potential development plans. Our petition is for the university to have no potential plans for the preserve even in the future. Whether is 5, 7, or 10 years away from happening, we don’t want them to build at all,” Huffman wrote in a text.