Student senate dives into carpool debate

Johan Hammerby, Managing Editor

 

A spirited discussion over allowing faculty and staff to take student carpool spots highlighted the Student Senate’s first meeting of the semester last Friday.

“Ridiculous” and “disrespectful” were just two of the words used by Senators to describe the action, which the Senate said should have involved student representation.

“It is important to talk to the students,” said Eve Charbonneau, the Student Senate Public Relations Officer.

“Something like this has to be discussed before action,” she said. “We have just as much of a right to parking.”

Apparently, some faculty and staff complained about how hard it was to find a spot in the morning and that they would often have to circle around more than once to find one.

They brought the issue to the attention of the President’s office.

So Superintendent-President Andreea Serban, executive vice president of educational programsDr. Jack Friedlander and Joe Sullivan, VP of Business Services, came up with a solution.

They decided that for the first two weeks of each semester, faculty and staff should be allowed to park their cars in the West Campus car pool area, even if there’s only one person in the car.

But administration didn’t consult with the Student Senate, even though it was a decision affecting students.

The period in which faculty and staff could use this option lasted until Feb. 4.

In order to avoid a ticket, employees were instructed to get a car pool pass, even if they were travelling alone.

And they were told to use the pass only if they couldn’t find any other parking.

Since she green-lit the measure, Serban said she hasn’t heard any more complaints from employees.

Furthermore, she doesn’t think faculty has misused the opportunity.

“You have to trust that people honor the system,” Serban said.

“If you start seeing a pattern among certain faculty members, we have to look it over.”

Serban said she doesn’t think that this is something that needed to go through any of the governing bodies of school, including the student senate.

The same priority parking, with a valid pass, is being planned for the first two weeks of next semester as well.

The student senate will re-visit the issue at its next regular meeting, scheduled for 10 a.m. this Friday in room 223 of the Campus Center.