The Student Government Association Senate met for their first legislative meeting of the year Aug. 28 to pass a resolution that will change over 200 parking spots from residential status to open-zone.
The meeting began with an inspiring speech from Wynde Fitts, associate dean of students. “Are y’all ready to take action?” she said, evoking an emphatic “Yes!” from the Senate. SGA Vice President and Chairman of the Senate Kyle Stoner wasted no time taking the Senate through the usual business and straight to the resolution.
Resolution One was the bill proposing that the residential parking area on Champion Lane (the road running parallel to Highway 49, in front of Wilber Hall) be permanently changed to open-zoned parking to accommodate the loss of commuter parking due to the construction of Asbury Hall by the Theatre and Dance Building. This idea was proposed after the observation that, despite the critical parking situation around the rest of campus, this area remained relatively not crowded.
The bill, which had the majority support from the Senate, raised some questions from some of the more hesitant members. “Do you think that this (bill) is the most effective way we can handle parking management at this time?” said Senator Lakelyn Taylor. Senator Ava Wolf questioned the permanence of the solution. “This can’t be a temporary fix,” she said.
Senator Matthew Bennett, one of the writers of the bill, assured the Senate that the rightful users of the parking spots would be able to use them. “Residents will have first priority if they are returning to their (residence) at night,” he said. “If they go out to the movies or something at night, they will have first priority when they return (at night).” He also addressed the issue of the faculty parking over by the Ogletree House. “We’re not touching faculty spots,” he said. “Everything we’re changing is just residential to open.”
Stoner added to the clarification of first priority. “If you move your car (during the day), you will lose your spot. Think of that street as being equal to the parking garage.”
After the debate, the vote fell to the majority, with 22 members of the Senate voting “Aye,” effectively passing the resolution and upon approval from administration, permanently rezoning Championship Lane to open-zone parking.
After the smoke cleared, many senators walked out of the meeting feeling pleased with their efforts to help fellow students.
“I think it’ll help them out a lot, honestly,” said Senator Matthew Dubuisson. “With the way parking is now and all the new buildings being built, I think it will definitely benefit the students.”
This new resolution, though passed by the Senate, will not be active until university President Rodney Bennett signs it into policy.