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The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

N.C. A&T art student advocates for bike racks installation near Dudley building

Rosegalie Cineus

The arts and music department sits atop a small hill along Bluford Street. For senior student, Iiana Gailliard, who rides a scooter, that journey to class became much more difficult when all of a sudden, two bike racks that used to be near the Frazier and Dudley buildings were removed. 

Gailliard, a junior visual arts and design student from Greensboro, noticed the removal of the bike racks last semester. 

“I used to park at the student bike rack all the time,” Gailliard said. “But, when I go there [one day] it’s not there. I’m like ‘OK so now there is no bike rack over here.’ And then I have to park my bike [at the] stairs.” 

Realizing the importance of these bike racks, not only for herself but for other students like her who do not have cars to get to class, Gailliard felt that it “sparked something in her,” kickstarting the whole process.

“You’re assuming that people have cars [and] that no one has a bike, like no,” Gailliard said. “This was the only place on campus where there was no bike rack, and keep in mind this is where the music and arts students are; [it] has a hill, and [we] have to carry up supplies and musical instruments, everyone else has flat ground and bike racks.”

Iiana Gailliard and Lisa Phillips smile wide in a photo together. (Iiana Gailliard)

Gailliard went to Lisa Phillips, the building representative for Dudley,  and asked her for help resolving the issue.

“About six months ago, she came into my office and she expressed concern about riding her bicycle to school and not having anywhere on campus [to put her bike]…” Phillips said. “She would have to take her bike into the building [to] make sure that her bike is not stolen or damaged or anything.”

At first, Galliard had sent an email to parking services but received no response.

Hearing her concern, Phillips assured Gailliard that she would put in a work request to facilities in hopes that they would honor it.

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Then on Oct. 12, Galliard went to the facilities office and followed up with an email. Again, she received no response.

“It just seemed like it was taking too much time,” Phillips said. “[So], I called over there and asked them about my work order.”

Phillips said that when she called facilities for an update, they confirmed that the work order was received and was being reviewed. Upon hearing that, Phillips believed that “hopefully we would have a bike rack.” 

Then, about four months later, while going through a tough time mentally, Gailliard notices a freshly installed bike rack near the Dudley Memorial building, as she locks her electric scooter away at the stairs.

What started as a tough day for the Greensboro native, turned into a happier day when she noticed the new bike rack installed. For Gailliard, this new bike rack “literally made [her] day.”

Then, two days later, as she leaves class, Galliard finds a second bike rack reinstalled on the other side, near Speight Hall.

Gailliard, not hearing anything back for months about the progress of the work request, had thought that she had been ignored. 

“I’m just very passionate about my community and making changes,” Gailliard shared. “Especially on campus, who’s going to say anything? I feel like I have enough confidence to know that I can make a difference.”

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A bike rack was installed near Dudley and Frazier. (Iiana Gailliard)

She shared that Phillips was a huge part of making sure the bike rack installation happened. 

For Phillips, she saw this as doing what she was supposed to do, her job. She shared that she was glad the issue was resolved and wanted to “help in any way that [she] could.” 

“Anything I can do to make students’ journey here easier, I should do that,” Phillips said.

Gailliard’s impact was reflected in the students who used the bike racks. It was a happy moment for her when people would recognize her and ask her “Didn’t you put the bike rack?”

“They’re really grateful and thankful about it,” Gailliard said. “No one belittled it [and] I feel like people [saw] my vision of what I was trying to do; making school accessible.”

Aspen Watkins, a visual arts and media design student, from Nashville, Tennessee saw the installation of bike racks as an improvement for the A&T community.

“I appreciated the fact that it was coming back,” Watkins said. “Having bikes all over the gate wasn’t the best look. This is a small step in further improving the community around N.C. A&T.”

For Gailliard, the bike racks represent more than just the physical function. As a student present in her community and doing work that helps the people around her, she recognizes that these bike racks show others that change can come from them too.

“Some of the students think that our voices don’t matter because they don’t hear us, they don’t really take into consideration our feedback, so me doing that made space for someone to be like, you know what, ‘I can do this too. I can make a change too.’” 

With these new bike racks installed, Gailliard hopes others will see that change can happen if you try. The bike racks are a testament to that and a symbol of what can happen when one has the purpose of helping the community around them.

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