Campus parking crisis remains for concerned faculty

By Lesley Rogers

Another chapter in the campus parking crisis unfolded as concerned faculty questioned members of the Campus Parking Services at Wednesday’s Faculty Senate meeting.

Campus Parking Chair Gary VanderMeer addressed the FS about the recent concerns and explained the goals of the organization.

“Campus Parking Services is a $1.3 million revenue bond enterprise funded entirely by the users of the system. No state funds are appropriated for any phase of operations,” he said.

VanderMeer noted the hostility often felt by faculty toward CPS. “Campus parking is an ongoing, and at present, critical problem on campus. It is also a frequent target for venting aggravations about other campus situations over which it has little or no control,” he said.

Richard Dowen, associate professor of finance, said he was unsure why Graduate Assistants have what he called “superior parking rights,” over the faculty.

Graduate Assistants were given yellow commuter permits, with a temporary blue faculty sticker, so they can park in two different lots, Dowen said.

VanderMeer agreed there was extra value for the assistants, but said many of them do not park in the blue lot anyway.

Dowen also commented on the new price of permits. “This year, with the decrease in the number of lot spaces and with the increase in the sale of red stickers, you greatly decreased the value of a blue sticker, yet increased the price,” he said.

VanderMeer said although the lot space was decreased, the situation is only temporary and problems will be solved with the opening of the parking structure next year.

Mike Salovesh, associate professor of anthropology, asked VanderMeer to comment on a Wednesday Northern Star article.

The article reported on a Student Association resolution which called for students to have at least 50 percent of the parking spaces in the new structure.

VanderMeer said he has no problem with students parking in the structure and said the decision has not been made about how the permit spaces will be divided.

Gordon Dorn, art professor, said he was concerned about the lack of communication from CPS.

“Better communication that explains the rationale for this kind of situation is necessary. All the problems won’t go away, but the problems need to be talked about sooner,” Dorn said.

Joanne Fox, professor of theater arts, agreed with Dorn. “If someone had come to the senate, a great deal of this could have been avoided,” she said.

The Campus Parking Committee is meeting at 1:30 p.m. today in the Holmes Student Center, room 306. Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend to further discuss parking issues.