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Mifflin Update

February 28, 2012

As reported by Freshman Representative Maria Giannapolous:

On Thursday February 23rd the Mifflin Neighborhood Association, along with city officials, Madison Police Department (MPD), and concerned student representatives met at the Senior Center to discuss the fate of the Mifflin Street Block Party. Although we went there with the assumption that the plans were to move forward in finding a sponsor for the event and determining a new focus, we were led in a different direction by MPD. The suggestion from MPD stated that they did not want any group to take out a street use permit for the 400 and 500 hundred blocks of Mifflin Street. The only way they would sign off on a permit is if we found a sponsor that would cover the city’s cost for the event, which totaled about 130,000 dollars last year. This means there would be no formalized way to block off the street from traffic, or to allow vendors to sell food to block party goers.

“As students, we worked to generate ideas for sponsors, but no sponsor is going to want to come in their first year and pay the astronomical sum of money to the city.”

Additionally, MPD also suggested moving the Mifflin Street block party to a different venue, such as a park. A lengthy discussion was had about how the block party is a tradition. Sentiments were shared that by moving it to a different location other than Mifflin, the tradition would be lost.

“I felt that a change from last year’s block party was necessary, but a change in location was not the way to do so. ”

Ways to institute change will happen with the repeal of open container on the street, and a no guest policy in the dorms. Although students may feel that a no guest policy in the dorm is unfair, it is seen as one viable way to deter out of town guests.

In order to facilitate ideas for more change to the block party, a committee was formed with student and community co-chairs who meet on Sunday nights at 6pm at the Senior Center.

“For now we are in the process of finding a sponsor and a theme for the event. Additionally, we are looking for more involvement from the students who reside on Mifflin Street. If anyone has any questions I would be happy to answer them in more detail. More updates to come. Happy Tuesday!”

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