SGA debates possible funding for a new parking structure

Cameron Koch

Student Government Association hosted an open forum on priority registration as part of their regular weekly meeting on Tuesday, also discussing two pieces of legislation.

Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, along with University Registrar Freida Eggleton, attended the meeting to answer any questions SGA or students had.

The new policy has already gone into effect for registration for spring classes.

The new system breaks priority registration into two categories, on determined by need and another based on benefit, referred to as Tier 1 and Tier 2.

Students who qualify for priority registration can only register for up to 16 credit hours. They will then have the option to add more credit hours during open registration.

Seniors and graduate students still register before those with priority registration and are not subject to the 16 credit hour limit.

Emslie spoke on why the changes to the system were made, as well as addressing concerns about Honors registration and registration for all students with disabilities.

A bill calling for a study into the feasibility of a new parking structure on campus by Parking and Transportation Services was also debated.

The bill in its current form also states the new structure would be funded by raising the price of Housing parking permits by 50 percent, from the current $90 to $135, with the revenue going directly towards the new structures construction. The price change would only occur after a new parking structure is deemed a possibility.

“This is the main concern of all the freshman study body have voiced to us over and over again, is the lack of convenient parking on campus,” resolution author Jody Dahmer said.

“This is the one issue that every student has experienced, every student has had a problem with parking in the past,” he said.

Dahmer said he and the two other senators who drafted the bill, Josh Knight and Jay Todd Richey, did not want to raise tuition for all students, as not all students have a car on campus.

“This is only raising parking permits for students who wish to buy the Housing permits…this is mainly for Housing students who want a place to store their cars on campus, to have a place that is convenient to access at all times.”

Dahmer said the $135 is below that of other larger universities in Kentucky, saying housing permits at the University of Louisville are $140, and $248 at the University of Kentucky.

Senator Chris Costa voiced his concerns on the language of the resolution.

“Until a feasibility study is done all the money and the parking permits…I see the argument you are trying to make but I feel like it is a couple steps ahead and a too soon to even be talking about that,” Costa said. “Let’s focus on getting them [PTS] to do a feasibility study and then looking at the results.”

Costa said he supported the resolution for the study, bud didn’t want the permit pricing to be set in stone.

“I don’t want Student Government backed into a corner, I don’t want students backed into a corner with $135 floating around out there,” Costa said. “I don’t want some hard and fast number. A feasibility study could take six months, eight months. A lot can change in that time. I don’t feel comfortable setting numbers in anything that is semi-concrete.”

The resolution was tabled as a result of the debate.

A bill to fund two of four KwikBoost charging stations for the purpose of students being able to charge their electronics such as iPhones or laptops was also discussed, altered slightly, and ultimately tabled.

The bill states one of the stations would be located at the Glasgow campus. The other three are to be put in Helms-Craven Libraries.

SGA previously decided to change the location of one of the charing stations to the Commons at Cravens, but decided to veto the bill to consult with their partner, WKU Libraries.

An older version of a bill was presented to the Senate at the meeting, prompting Costa to recommend the bill be tabled until the Senate could be presented with the up to date and edited version, as to vote on the bill then would be in violation of the constitution.