More Parking for Residents
By ERIC STEIGLEDER
In accordance with a motion introduced by Student Senate, the first level of the student parking deck will now be reserved for residential students with yellow decals only. This change comes amidst continuing student concerns over UMW’s parking policy.
This change to parking deck policy was first suggested to the Student Senate on Sept. 30 by the Assistant Vice President for Public Safety and Community Support Services Susan Knick, following questions by student senators.
Knick had been invited by SGA Vice President Hassan Abdelhalim to speak to the Senate about current parking policy. Knick was also on hand to listen and respond to the other complaints and ideas of the legislative body.
According to Knick, if the Student Senate successfully brought forth a motion to change the first level of the parking deck to commuter students, an additional 82 spaces would become available.
Senior Senator Dahlia Ali, recently elected vice president of Senate, concurred with Knick’s assessment.
“Why was the bottom of the level of the parking deck never changed to commuter students?” Ali asked. “It’s never full, especially the bottom level.”
Knick said that the initial reasoning was that so many commuter spaces were taken away as a result of construction, that the administration felt the commuters would need additional spots elsewhere.
“But that’s why we’re here,” Knick said, “to offer a recommendation.”
Knick’s parking recommendation was later brought forth as an official motion by junior Senator Cara MacDonald, approved unanimously by the Student Senate, and passed by the SGA Executive Council.
“Parking is always an issue on this campus,” Knick said. “And will always be an issue. We’ve had a rough year this year.”
According to Knick, she has received a lot of questions this year from students regarding the possibility that parking decals had been oversold. And while Knick maintains the administration hasn’t oversold decals, they are getting close.
Knick said that, as of Sept. 30, of the 279 parking decals available for students living in the university apartments, 257 had been sold, and of the 522 parking decals available for on-campus student, 516 have been sold.
Knick said that the administration has also converted 12 faculty spots on Sunken Road into student parking.
Sophomore Senator James Sennett, chairman of the buildings and grounds committee, asked for clarification regarding the students living in West Village due to lack of on-campus housing. Sennett is one of the students that currently lives in the West Village complex.
“Now that we have the West Village Students,” Sennett asked, “How do we have limited commuter parking privileges, and full residential parking privileges at the same time?”
Knick said that it was a matter of facilitating the later movement of West Village students into on-campus housing.
“You were given the yellow decals because you can imagine the logistical nightmare in giving everyone commuter student decals,” Knick answered, “Then bringing everyone in December to give them new residential decals.”
Another issue that has been consistently raised in Student Senate is the status of student parking on College Avenue.
According to junior Senator Fez Casim, College Avenue isn’t being satisfactorily monitored for people parking without commuter decals.
“Why is parking on College Avenue parking not being enforced to just commuter students?” Casim asked. “There are no stickers on the cars.”
“I can’t answer for every possibility.” Knick responded. “There are always going to be cars parked on College Avenue that don’t have the stickers. But it’s a city residence. Anyone can park there.”
However, Knick also acknowledged the fact that students will always try to undermine the parking system.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Knick said she would take the Senate’s requests and questions to the proper administrators, but was quick to point out she couldn’t promise action on the part of the administration.
“Sometimes things that make sense to me don’t make sense to the bigger world.” she said.