Elected officers on SBCC Student Senate get staff parking passes

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JULIA PIZZA, News Editor

A number of City College staff and faculty were dismayed to learn Tuesday that six officers on the student senate will be receiving faculty-staff parking passes this semester.

Giving spaces to student senators before resolving the faculty parking problem is unfair, at the least,” wrote English Professor Michele Peterson in an email response to The Channels.

Dr. Raeanne Napoleon, assistant professor of chemistry and academic senator for the Sciences Division
MICHAELA WAHLSTROEM
Dr. Raeanne Napoleon, academic senator for the Sciences Division

Faculty and staff can’t stand to lose a single [parking space],” added Dr. Raeanne Napoleon, assistant professor of chemistry and academic senator for the Sciences Division. “It’s a gross overstep by the student government to ask for these spots.”

Student officers counter that they spend many hours on campus attending meetings and working to represent the student body. Providing parking passes will allow them to use their time more efficiently.

Dylan Raiman, student senate president
MICHAELA WAHLSTROEM
Dylan Raiman, student senate president

“I have probably gained at least three or four hours a week that I can spend on the student government, not having to look for parking,” Dylan Raiman, student senate president, has said.

The Channels conducted numerous interviews with the involved parties, and the following appears to be the timeline for the parking pass debate.

At the end of last semester, student officers voted to “grant equality” to everyone on the senate. They got rid of the divide between executive officers, who are elected, and other members, who are appointed.

They amended their bylaws to reflect this change.

At the Jan. 27 senate meeting, Raiman announced to the group that “all officers” would have access to a faculty pass because of the “equity” change in the bylaws.

After The Channels published an editorial Monday questioning the passes, Raiman said he was

informed by his advisers that only the six elected officers would be eligible for passes. Last semester, nine officers were eligible, he said.

The eligible officers must first purchase a student parking pass, and then exchange that for a faculty parking pass.

Dr. Ben Partee, dean of student affairs and an adviser to the student senate, told The Channels Tuesday that all the college presidents prior to Dr. Anthony Beebe allowed every student officer to get faculty-staff permits. He added, though, that few student officers took advantage of the benefit.

Partee stressed that the faculty pass incentive “can be revoked at any time.”

Few—if any—faculty or staff were aware of this situation. After learning about it, they argued that it does not make it any easier for them to find a spot. Some professors circle the lot for hours, they said, which causes them to be late to work.

Professors routinely communicate with each other and the administration through email, trying to resolve the shortage of parking spaces for a while now.

Dr. Cornelia Alsheimer, division representative of business education.
MICHAELA WAHLSTROEM
Dr. Cornelia Alsheimer, division representative of business education.

At least one professor said she believes that the student president should have a pass, but none of the other officers should.

“I believe that the president of the Student Senate probably has a significant number of college governance meetings to go to (CPC, Academic Senate etc.) where his or her attendance and input is desired,” Dr. Cornelia Alsheimer wrote in an email response to The Channels. “And the college should make an effort to support this work.”

“I am also suggesting {we} search for other creative solutions. So, if the students feel that their senate officers need priority parking, they might want to vote for reserving one or two spaces within the student parking lots (not staff!) for Student Senate officers. Another option would be to allow the student senate to use one of the college owned electric bikes etc.”