Student garden is causing debate

By Brooke Kelley - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - They just wanted to spruce things up around the residence hall by turning a dirt patch into a garden, but those green thumbs have Armstrong Atlantic University officials seeing red.

At least nine different kinds of flowers, and a variety of vegetables sit right outside Tyler Duddy and his roommates', Weldon and Kurt, residence hall.

But just a few weeks ago, it was just a pile of dirt.

So Tyler and his roommates decided to do something about it.

"We think when we signed up for housing, we signed up for the same as everyone else and everyone else has bushes or plants and we have nothing," said Duddy.

"We bought all the top soil and we bought all the plants, all the seeds, we started them all and we got it going and it looks great, and everybody is complimenting us," said Duddy.

At the beginning of the school year, all students living on campus signed an agreement outlining what they can and can not do and modifying the outside is against the rules.

Duddy said that last week the University told him his garden had to go.

"We just decorated the outside, and I don't see anything wrong with that," said Duddy.

WTOC spoke with the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Bill Kelso who said he plans to meet with the students.

"It's probably not the best place for students to pursue their horticulture interests, but it's the university's responsibility to maintain that area," said Kelso.

"So what I will be telling them is let's find a way in which it becomes a win-win. You pursue it more formally, and we'll help you pursue that student organization and create an opportunity to continuing a horticultural passion they have. I've seen the garden. It does look great," said Kelso.

Duddy and his roommates think so too and they just hope it gets to stay that way.

Armstrong is not going to rip out the garden right away and it does plan to meet with the student gardners to talk about their options. We'll let you know what happens.

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