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Bowling and Billiards to close Aug. 13

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Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 12:45 am | Updated: 3:30 pm, Fri Jul 26, 2013.

Bowling and Billiards, located in the University Center, will officially close Aug. 13 to make way for a new location to house Student Affairs departments, according to David Albart, director of University Center Operations.

The decision came after months of deliberation and consideration from Frank Lamas, vice president for Student Affairs. Lamas said he isn’t happy about closing down the center, but the numbers did not justify keeping it open with the 15,000 square feet room it utilized.

The space will be used to expand the Career Development Center, Leadership Center and other offices to be named later, Lamas said. There are more than 15,000 people in student organizations, Lamas added.

Lamas said the attendance numbers did not tell the whole story. 

“When you looked at the number of people, there were more people coming in the summer than there were throughout the academic year,” Lamas said. “The numbers did not sustain using the 15,000 square feet.”

At a Student Congress forum in February, Albart said approximately 52,640 people walked through the doors of Bowling and Billiards in 2012. The amount does not indicate the amount of times bowling and billiards equipment was used, solely the amount of traffic that passed through the doors.

The Shorthorn reported in February that 3,552 games pool were paid for and 2,022 games of bowling were paid for from Sept. 1 to Jan. 26.

The changes being done to Bowling and Billiards means the pool tables will be moved to the Maverick Activities Center, while the bowling equipment will be auctioned off, Albart said in an email.

Bowling and Billiards has been open since 1964. Toby Bush, Bowling and Billiards games supervisor, did not wish to comment on the closure.

Billiards will open in the MAC a day after Bowling and Billiards closes, but there may be some painting and odd jobs that are not finished by that time, Lamas said.

Some students voiced their concerns at the forum stating that there weren’t enough activities on campus, and there were some emotional ties to the facility.

“I’ve been opposed to this from the start,” criminal justice major Tony Cantu said at the public forum in February. “Lamas mentioned the 15,000 students who would benefit from this plan, but where are they? They don’t feel the need to be here to support.”

Student Congress representatives were not available to comment by press time.

As of now, renovations will take place once demolition and planning with an architect have been made. There have not been any cost projections yet.

The final project should be completed by late summer or early fall 2014.

“I couldn’t be more pleased and excited for our students,” Lamas said. “Because I firmly believe this is going to be a game changer for our student body.”

@GusContreras21

gcontreras@mavs.uta.edu

Clarification: The original version of this story said 52,640 people walked into Bowling and Billiards, but it was for the entire year of 2012. Also, the original version said 3,552 and 2,022 people paid for bowling, but the numbers are for paid games not the amount of people.

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37 comments:

  • Shorthorn Editor-in-Chief posted at 6:07 pm on Thu, Aug 1, 2013.

    Shorthorn Editor-in-Chief Posts: 5 Staff

    Please note:

    The decision didn't only come from Dr. Lamas.
    The decision came after multiple forums.

    Please look at further coverage in the links below:

    http://www.theshorthorn.com/news/campus/uta-may-repurpose-bowling-and-billiards/article_c0888ea6-64fc-11e2-b53d-0019bb30f31a.html

    http://www.theshorthorn.com/news/school-officials-to-discuss-possibility-of-repurposing-bowling-and-billiards/article_785c3d22-6aa0-11e2-a44e-001a4bcf6878.html

    http://www.theshorthorn.com/news/bowling-and-billiards-meeting-to-be-held-town-hall-style/article_00ebd9f8-6f0c-11e2-aba5-0019bb30f31a.html

    http://www.theshorthorn.com/news/plans-to-move-bowling-and-billiards-faces-strong-opinions/article_f9975b90-700b-11e2-8406-001a4bcf6878.html

     
  • Shorthorn Editor-in-Chief posted at 6:04 pm on Thu, Aug 1, 2013.

    Shorthorn Editor-in-Chief Posts: 5 Staff

    Please note:

    The decision to close Bowling and Billiards started back in early spring.
    Several people played a role in making the decision.

    Please see the links below.

    http://www.theshorthorn.com/news/campus/uta-may-repurpose-bowling-and-billiards/article_c0888ea6-64fc-11e2-b53d-0019bb30f31a.html

    http://www.theshorthorn.com/news/campus-organizations-to-be-asked-for-feedback-about-bowling-and/article_b65098f0-7174-11e2-9e5a-0019bb30f31a.html

     
  • Shorthorn Editor-in-Chief posted at 5:40 pm on Thu, Aug 1, 2013.

    Shorthorn Editor-in-Chief Posts: 5 Staff

    Please note:

    Student congress did have a voice. Please see the links provided below.

    http://www.theshorthorn.com/news/sc-discusses-bowling-and-billiards-resolutions/article_78132992-967f-11e2-9099-0019bb30f31a.html


    http://www.theshorthorn.com/news/plans-to-move-bowling-and-billiards-faces-strong-opinions/article_f9975b90-700b-11e2-8406-001a4bcf6878.html

     
  • nanfield16 posted at 10:27 am on Tue, Jul 30, 2013.

    nanfield16 Posts: 1

    This reminds me of what happened in Oak Cliff a long time ago. They decided to tear down the Bronco Bowl to build a stupid Home Depot and so that's what they did. Bronco Bowl was the ONLY place in Oak Cliff to go have fun. The only reason Texas Theater is still there is because it is a historical landmark or there would be no movies either. It is sad what they are doing, they already have career fairs and such and most students prefer to go online or they find a job through their own connections. They have a lot of get togethers for a lot of groups in B&B and fundraisers. Lots of students have no or limited transportation and/or time. They need to have B&B whether or not it makes money or not, and it's not a matter of growing up, EVERYONE of EVERY AGE needs a break and some fun. Looks like ALL WORK & NO PLAY= UTA [thumbdown] [sad]

     
  • Toki posted at 6:56 pm on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    Toki Posts: 1

    Signed up to say something, but I just can't even phrase words to express my disappointment in Dr. Lamas and this decision. I would've totally signed the petition, but to hear it dismissed so easily, so much for voice of the students....

     
  • Common Sense posted at 3:33 pm on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    I've; never lived on campus, never been to a campus event. No concerts or movies, never been in the MAC, no orientation, I transferred in and didn't need it. Not Greek (UTA Greek is kinda useless it seems anyway IMO), never been to a game, nope on bed races, block parties and oozeball.

    What part of "besides the point" did you not understand Bob? (mean I wish your name was Richard instead...) It wasn't an argument. My argument was what about to people who live on campus?

    Regardless, like I said before, all of these services are served ALREADY, what are they hoping to add that would require cannibalizing 15k sqft?

    Oh... a Career development center you say? What is this?
    http://hireamaverick.uta.edu/students_alumni.html

    Can you please tell me how utilizing 15k sqft is magically going to help students get jobs? We already have big big rooms that can hold events on the second floor in Hereford.

    Oh, and never used the career development service either. B&B, 5 - SA, 0.

     
  • Robert Preston posted at 3:00 pm on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    Robert Preston Posts: 19

    Common Sense.... outside the actual bowling and billiards, you do realize that almost any program that was in there was provided by...uh... student affairs?! They are giving up a programming space that they use a lot, too.

    If you ever lived on campus... student affairs. If you ever ate free food at an event... probably student affairs. If you went to a concert or a movie... student affairs. If you stepped foot in the MAC... student affairs. If you went to orientation... student affairs. If you are Greek... student affairs. If you have been to a Movin Mavs' game... student affairs. If you've done bed races or block party or oozeball.. student affairs was part of them, too.

    One of the services the article mentions going in is Career Development. To argue that making it convenient for you not to have to drive 5 minutes (or even 20 to bowl so that the university can help students GET JOBS...uh, the reason they are in college... is pretty myopic.

     
  • TXScubaDiver posted at 2:35 pm on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    TXScubaDiver Posts: 9

    Dr. Lamas blew off the petition after "4 or 5 " people said they did not know what they were signing or were forced to sign it, though there was never any proof provided on this allegation. So you take off 4 or 5 signatures, there were still more than 2400 signatures, or approximately 10% of the student body that actually come to campus. That is a 33% increase over the amount of students that voted for Student Body President (1800). I would call that a mandate from the students that was ignored.

     
  • Common Sense posted at 12:18 pm on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    Not to mention he said bowling alleys (2 of them) were 5 minutes away.... Obviously Lamas has never driven anywhere in Arlington. There is one over by Whole Foods and one over by Mayfield and Cooper. I might be able to see getting to the Mayfield one in 5 minutes if you catch all the green lights and the people are actually going the speed limit. I've never made it to Whole Foods in under 20 minutes though, but that's beside the point. What about the student's living on campus?

    And what needs do these "other students" have that aren't being fulfilled currently? What services are being added? Because, frankly, during my tenure at UTA, I have B&B, 5 times compared to using Student Affairs, 0.... I couldn't even tell you where SA is.

    Does anyone actually know what the intent is once this space is cannibalized? Or is it just another, "we'll just have to pass this to see what comes out of it" situation?

     
  • Common Sense posted at 12:07 pm on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    He will come out and say he, "isn't benefiting, and that this is being done to help students." Be ready for that.

     
  • lori1520 posted at 11:11 am on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    lori1520 Posts: 1

    So much for a petition. That was a cool place to go on campus that was fun to help take the stress load off during the semester. Not cool...

     
  • Robertmartin03 posted at 11:10 am on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    Robertmartin03 Posts: 103

    Very interesting details. So, you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. I will give you a paid position if you sway the decision to repatriate the space.

    I watched the video of the Feb. meeting. There were some great questions asked, but it seemed that the questions were not fully answered. Also, there was quite a bit of hypothetical conjecture. Seems like it will cost the students more than help. Bowling is pretty expensive for a student, not to mention the distance to the nearest bowling alley. Also ride sharing is not always going to work for the over 50k people/yr that visit the center. No hard facts or detailed reasons were presented to support the proposal. It was more of "yeah we need the space, because its good for you and that is how it is in our opinion". Student congress should have some type of voice, otherwise what is their purpose?

     
  • TXScubaDiver posted at 10:47 am on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    TXScubaDiver Posts: 9

    Student Congress had no official say in this decision. They chose not to vote for or against the proposition. The February meeting was held in conjunction with a SC meeting, but there was no other discussion or vote on the matter. Jennifer Fox was the SC President during this issue and was the student representative on the committee researching the closure of B&B. Oh, and she just happened to be appointed Asst Director of Student Governance and Organizations (a position in the school administration) about a month before the February meeting. Coincidence?

     
  • Robertmartin03 posted at 8:55 am on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    Robertmartin03 Posts: 103

    Letter sent to student congress. Bullets not showing here.

    Hello,

    I am writing because some students have become concerned with the decision making process, regarding the Bowling and Billiards on Campus. Apparently there were meetings regarding the closure, but people seem stunned at the announcement. The recent shorthorn article "Bowling and Billiards to Close Aug. 13" brought up some serious concerns. The way it is being read, is that a member of the Student Affairs pushed the issue and benefited from the outcome, with little to substantiate the decision. The questions people have raised are as follows:

    Why does Student Affairs need a new office?
    Who is paying for the renovation/construction?
    Who is paying for the Architect?
    What are the reasons behind the closure, specifically?
    Cost Analysis?
    Does this include the cost of renovation and removal of equipment?
    Will new office furniture be purchased?Patronage Projections?
    Student Disapproval?
    How was the decision to close the Bowling and Billiards made?
    Who suggested to close Bowling and Billiards?
    What are their reasons for Closure?
    What will happen to the old Student Affairs Space?
    How many square feet is the old vs. the new?
    How will this Benefit Students, specifically?
    Why is the person in a decision making position benefiting from the decision?
    Is this a violation of an ethics policy?
    If an independent investigation determines wrongdoing, will the Student Congress hear the evidence?
    Below is the link to the article, the comment section is where discussion is happening. If you start from the bottom of the page and read upwards, you can see the conversation develop.

    http://www.theshorthorn.com/news/bowling-and-billiards-to-close-aug/article_55c1681e-f3f3-11e2-869b-001a4bcf6878.html?utm_source=The+Shorthorn+Newsletter+%5B7-25-13%5D&utm_campaign=Google+Analytics&utm_medium=email

    Thank you for considering the concerns of your fellow students and taking the time to hear our voices. I will be forwarding this message to approprate departments to foment discussion and follow up with the student congress as appropriate.

    Regards,

    Robert Martin

     
  • Robert Preston posted at 8:26 am on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    Robert Preston Posts: 19

    What Lamas is saying is that yes, he acknowledges that B&B is fun for a lot of students and he regrets that part of this decision. But some of you need to grow up and realize that the big boy and girl world is full of tough decisions. While this may be hard for students who use it, it's going to be great for lots of other students who have needs, too. The spaces mentioned that are going in there are mostly student services spaces, not a "lair" for Dr. Lamas. It's not as though he's a dictator that gets to make decisions in a vaccuum. He has supervisors, and they've clearly seen the plan and weighed in, and have agreed that this is in balance a good move. As to the silly comments like "there are open offices on campus not being used" or "just build another building", get a clue. Every space on this campus is "claimed" by someone, you don't just move into it like some squatter. Plus, it's necessary to have certain spaces together. You can't run a career center out of random offices you piece together all over campus, for example. And as for building an entirely new building... fine. How much do you want your tuition to go up to pay for that? Where do you find the land for it? Geez. Dr. Lamas is charged to look out for ALL students. In his and others judgements, 40 students a day do not trump the needs of those who will be served by the new offices there. Oh, and last point, who do you think puts on and promotes a majority of the programs that come through Bowling and Billiards? Probably STUDENT AFFAIRS. Geez.

     
  • Common Sense posted at 8:12 am on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    After Video..
    Yup. He definitely already had everything fixed. "No concrete plans" my arse. My favorite part is where he talks about making sure students have more to do on campus and how he would like to have multiple places for students to go [besides just the MAC] but it isn't feasible because of space.... my question is WTH do you think B&B is Lamas? YOU ALREADY HAVE TWO PLACES all your ignorant butt has to do is add some stuff to it. Do you really expect us to buy that load of BS?

    The dude's a snake in the grass is what he is, no doubt multiple people are getting greased in this deal.

     
  • jaxxie12 posted at 11:53 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    jaxxie12 Posts: 1

    The B&B is fun. Not exactly the most eloquent of phrases but sometimes simple works. The B&B is the only entertainment site on the east side of campus. It's an excellent place for students who as a small break in between classes to relax and have some fun. It's also a place where several organizations have mixers. On top of that, there has never been a night in which the B&B has not be busy when I've passed by it. If they remove the B&B where will the students go for fun? The MAC? Not everyone in interested in exercise or sports. Where would clubs have their mixers? The conference rooms? After a while those would become increasingly insipid. Mixers at the B&B allow people in engage in conversation, while enjoy something other than "party games".

     
  • melodytheangel posted at 6:44 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    melodytheangel Posts: 1

    For a guy who's supposedly not happy with Bowling Billiards closing, Lamas seemed pretty pleased with the outcome. Besides, Bowling and Billiards hosted events too. Are they still going to have those events? If so, where? My next question is: how badly did Student Affairs need the room? Besides, like someone else mentioned in the comments, aren't there empty offices they can use? Is there a way that we can vote on this? I think it's weird that we're only just now getting to know that it's being closed. And really, if they're anyways planning on doing renovations and demolition like they said in the article, can't they just build a place on campus for their offices?

     
  • Robertmartin03 posted at 5:59 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Robertmartin03 Posts: 103

    Haha, that Jennifer Fox has a history with Dr. Frank as well. Look at this controversy.

    http://www.theshorthorn.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-sc-president-may-be-in-conflict-of-interest/article_ecf7a33a-75fc-11e2-9508-001a4bcf6878.html

    There was a conflict of interest issue raised with her earlier this year. Being a Student Council Rep and also working for the university. Wow, I bet there is an entire hoard of corrupt employees, ready and willing to bend the rules for self benefit.

     
  • TXScubaDiver posted at 5:20 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    TXScubaDiver Posts: 9

    Two of the three people on the investigating committee, Jennifer Fox and Dr. Frank Lamas, will get new offices out of this deal. Jennifer, who was the student representative on this committee, was also appointed shortly after with an administrative position, Asst Director of Student Governance and Organizations.

     
  • Common Sense posted at 4:46 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    Thanks for the link, I'll watch when I get to the house. In the article RobertMartin posted where it shows him and his car, he looks like an arrogant donkey...

     
  • KR posted at 4:03 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    KR Posts: 15

    There is an YouTube video of the meeting they held last semester, Feb 5th, to discuss the B&B.
    Watch the video, my personal opinion of him is based off his mannerism during the meeting and how he completely brushed off the students.
    He made up his mind long ago to close B&B.
    While my calling him a "Bad person" may be a bit harsh (I am sure his family and friends believe him to be a wonderful person), his actions in this issue warrant expressing my disdain for his decision.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_92qpxiPvo

     
  • Robertmartin03 posted at 3:47 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Robertmartin03 Posts: 103

    One more thought,

    Has the need for a new student affairs office even been justified? What are the reasons a new office is necessary? How does the Student Affiars office justify removing safe entertainment, which is visited by more than 40 people a day according to their numbers?

     
  • Common Sense posted at 2:57 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    Yes, but it's up to the shorthorn staff to accept it. Go up top and click the "opinion" tab. On the bottom there is a link to submit a letter to the editor. You might be able to swing a guest column too.

     
  • Common Sense posted at 2:37 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    +1

     
  • Robertmartin03 posted at 2:23 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Robertmartin03 Posts: 103

    Yeah I bet if an investigation began, it would quickly be taken up by Student Affairs. . . Can people submit independent articles to the shorthorn?

     
  • ErinGonzales posted at 1:18 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    ErinGonzales Posts: 1

    The Education honor society has been using Bowling & Billiards for an annual charity tournament for 7 years. Now where will we go...?

     
  • Common Sense posted at 1:13 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    lol this whole thing had grease written all over it. I doubt an "internal investigation" will come up with anything that isn't already clearly visible. I was hesitant at first because I didn't know much about Lamas. I now know all I need to..

     
  • Common Sense posted at 1:09 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    Muahah! Can that POS.

     
  • alltern8ive posted at 11:52 am on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    alltern8ive Posts: 13

    I find it fascinating that this news is coming out only 2 and 1/2 weeks before closure - not enough time for anyone to disagree or stop it. Lamas is not representing the student body. As for Toby? He may not have wanted to comment in the article, but he had something to say to the student led tours that include a visit to the B&B - students continue to use the B&B as a selling point to entice students that will NEVER get to use the area, and Toby popped his head out and said, "But it's closing August 13, so don't get excited." People are bitterly angry over this closure, and they have every right to be. Empty rooms are CONSTANTLY visible all over this campus. Need office space? Take it. But not from me.

     
  • Robertmartin03 posted at 11:22 am on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Robertmartin03 Posts: 103

    I call for the investigation into the decision making process in eliminating entertainment from UTA. In addition I am calling for an investigation into Lamas himself. The motive is clear, he is gaining from the decision he made. That is unethical for starters.

    Lamas is definitly pulling strings for personal gain. He is the guy arguing against the Bowling, and gets an office out of it, designed and paid for. Using an architect to design the lair.

    Any investigative Journalist should be on this. When obvious deception is shown, that means there is much more to find. Hire a private investigator if you need to. Ask people from closed door meetings. Watch him, see who dislikes his attitude and get the inside scoop. This is a goldmine for an upcoming Journalism Major.

    I'm putting my money on him being involved in some nefarious activities.

     
  • TXScubaDiver posted at 10:51 am on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    TXScubaDiver Posts: 9

    Much disinformation has been put out by the administration as an excuse to close it. Saying last fall that only a handful of organizations used it when there were actually 35. Claiming the 52,000 that have gone through its doors isn't an accurate depiction of usage because someone can go in 5 times and they're counted five times, yet when saying that student organizations membership has grown from 10,000 to 15,000 doesn't take into consideration that alot of students are in multiple organizations and they are counted multiple times(almost 1/3 of the school population is online only, so you're telling me nearly 2/3 of those who come to campus are involved in an organization?). Saying more people utilize it during the summer is because every tour and every orientation group is taken to it and its used a selling point to come here, and neglecting to tell them it won't be open in the fall (I sat in there Monday, and not one tour mentioned it was closing). Saying its not sustainable is nonsense, because it made enough to pay all the student employees and has for years. If it was intended to bring in large sums of money, they would be selling real food items (like they do in real bowling alleys) and arcade games to draw people in. They (one administrator in particular) have been trying to get rid of it for the past ten years. The B&B manager said back in February the decision had already been made and they would close it before the Fall semester, so there would be no spectacle or recourse by the student body.

     
  • Common Sense posted at 9:55 am on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Common Sense Posts: 350

    This would explain a lot.

    Past experience speaking? Proof? Other?

    FYI, I am inclined to believe you, I'm just wondering whether it can be substantiated.

     
  • KR posted at 9:38 am on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    KR Posts: 15

    "The decision came after months of deliberation and consideration from Frank Lamas, vice president for Student Affairs. Lamas said he isn’t happy about closing down the center,"

    That is total BS, this arrogant "piece of work" had decided long before they had the forum last semester that HE was going to close Billiards and Bowling regardless of what anyone else had to say.
    Lamas needs to be removed from office, he DOES NOT represent the student body, he only represents himself and an extreme fringe minority.
    This was done during the summer semester when the campus population is down, his way of sneaking his agenda through with minimal objection.

    He needs to be removed and this decision reversed.
    Bad choice, Bad Student Affairs VP, Bad Person.

     
  • coleoguy posted at 8:50 am on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    coleoguy Posts: 1

    “I couldn’t be more pleased and excited for our students,”...Total disconnect between this guy; this decision; and every single student I have spoken to. To me it sounds like the people who want the space got to decide to close the center... Really makes me glad I don't have that much longer at UTA. If you wanted to increase use you should have expanded hours and allowed people to bring family..(kids were not allowed to bowl). Really lame UTA[sad]

     
  • Anthony Madrid posted at 12:48 pm on Wed, Jul 24, 2013.

    Anthony Madrid Posts: 9

    It'll be a game changer alright, a change in the wrong direction for the school. The next nearest bowling alley is on Cooper and Mayfield, not exactly a short walk. In reality, there isn't a whole lot to do with in walking distance from the campus. Yes, the campus provides events for students and there is the MAC, but those events are not every day things and not everyone wants to work out all the time. Couple that with the fact that UTA does not have a convenient shuttle service to any form of entertainment (the only one that goes off campus runs only on Saturday, has five runs in that day at odd hours, costs 4 dollars, and only goes to the Parks Mall), and you have a campus that requires having a car at all times. If UTA was trying to move away from its commuter campus image, it didn't just shoot itself in the foot with this decision, it blew its whole leg off. While enrollment is not likely to slump off, if UTA doesn't start adding either forms of entertainment or access to entertainment, it is very likely they will see a drop in students living on campus.

     
  • Hugh_Manatee posted at 10:21 am on Wed, Jul 24, 2013.

    Hugh_Manatee Posts: 120

    Sad...I bowled my first and (so far) only 200 game there, way back in 1988.

     

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