Senior senator hopes to see parking meters

Ken Kennedy - Manager of the Department of Public Safety

Ken Kennedy – Manager of the Department of Public Safety

Nate Billings

Recently, one student senator has been pursuing his last contribution to campus before his graduation this May.

Senior outgoing senator Brandon Busick is working on a proposal to add parking meters to several spots on campus, particularly the parking lot behind the Spiva Library and Hearnes Hall.

“Basically, the reason that got me interested was that I was on the Traffic Appeals Committee,” he said. “A lot of a cases came in where students were complaining about getting tickets for parking in faculty/staff parking.”

Busick and the rest of the committee came together to discuss possible solutions. One was the idea to add parking meters to certain parking spaces.

“It would cost less instead of getting a traffic ticket,” Busick said.

Busick then took the idea to the Student Senate where it was passed as a resolution.

Afterward, Busick researched the idea and has tried to find the right way to go about getting the idea to the administration.

“If the administration decides that parking meters are the way to go, it would fall under the responsibility of the Department of Public Safety,” said Ken Kennedy, DPS manager.

Kennedy said the DPS officers would likely be the ones issuing the tickets for expired meters and collecting the money.

However, the plan had not been submitted to the administration as of the time of publication.

Dr. Terri Agee, vice-president for business affairs, said she is willing to look at any proposal the Senate sends to her.

“For the administration to consider the resolution, we need to see a proposal,” she said.

The proposal would need to include costs and plans of execution.

“We would be happy to consider it,” Agee said.

Busick has considered used parking meters and digital parking meters, but he said there are more options available.

He said he talked to several students who are in favor of the idea, but also talked to several students who disapproved.

Eric Norris, Senate president, has mixed thoughts about the idea.

“I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “I don’t think the student body would go for it.”

Norris said there is no problem with parking, but it would be more convenient for some. He said people should be willing to walk more.

Also, he said he is unsure of how the administration would handle the situation.

“I don’t think it’ll work and I don’t think it’ll go pass the administration,” he said.

Busick said he would like to see around 10 meters if the proposal passes.

Bob Harrington, director of the Physical Plant, said he is willing to do what the administration decides is the right thing to do in the situation.

However, he said he could not comment on the parking meters until there is an official decision and a reading of the proposal.

The student reaction is mixed.

Marci Johnson, junior biology major, said she would be in favor of the parking meters if they were placed in the limited-time parking spots near Hearnes Hall.

“It’s just so you have a chance to park and get your stuff done,” she said. “It would be cheaper than getting a ticket.”

She said the meters would prevent people from abusing the 10-minute parking spaces which are already available.

Another student disagrees.

Emily Cabrera, sophomore history education major, said she does not park near the proposed spots and thought students would not be in favor of the meters.

“I wouldn’t want to have to pay,” she said.

She did say, though, the idea has its good points.

“If you had to pick between a parking ticket and a parking meter, it (the meter) would be better,” she said.

Busick will graduate in May, but said he hopes to complete as much of the project as he can before then.

The Senate must bring the resolution back up before it is considered during the fall.

“We should have the right to park where we want,” Busick said. “I want to see parking meters on campus. A lot of things, I might not see through.”