KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 24, 2003 -- The University of Rhode Island Student Senate Wednesday night agreed to pay $2,500 to replace a bench commemorating Sept. 11, 2001, which was destroyed during a riot earlier this month.
The Senate voted during its meeting to replace the bench, which is located near Edwards Hall. It was destroyed and tossed into a bonfire on URIs Quadrangle after the Red Sox beat the Yankees in a playoff game on Oct. 8.
Evan Duggan-Lever, of Warwick, one of the longest serving members of the Senate, said he wrote the legislation seeking the payment for the bench because of his anger over the destruction.
"What annoyed me was the idiocy that took place," said Duggan-Lever. "People were hurt and property was destroyed. The fact that someone was willing to burn a memorial bench just infuriated me.
"I wanted the Senate to show that we are not going to give in to this kind of behavior," Duggan-Lever said. "If we find out who was responsible, we will ask them to reimburse the Senate for the cost. We may actually seek donations."
The legislation calls for a bench that is similar in appearance to the original, "but with the distinction of having its rebirth marked somewhere on the memorial."
This will "allow the bench to stand as a testimony to the standard of honor and maturity, (that) we as students hold ourselves and each other to."
Eddy Pacheco, chairman of the senates external affairs committee, said because the Senate represents the entire student body, it had a responsibility to pay for the damage. "This was not just any bench; it was a memorial that marked the events of Sept. 11. We believed that this was important not just for todays students but for students in generations to come.
"By taking this action, we are also saying that we wont stand for such actions in the future," said Pacheco, of Burrillville.