Western rethinks parking plan for HAF members

Joe Lord

The parking plan for Hilltopper Athletics Foundation members during men’s home basketball games this year has been revised after athletics, academic and parking officials held meetings last week.

The revision will open Mimosa lot for general use when men’s home basketball games are played, said Gene Tice, vice president for Student Affairs and Campus Services. When the plan was released last month, Mimosa lot had been reserved for HAF members on game nights.

Tice said representatives from the business and education colleges were also assured parking spots would be available for faculty teaching night classes in Grise and Tate Page halls.

Robert Jefferson, dean of Gordon Ford College of Business, said he will focus on communicating the parking plan to faculty and students attending night classes next semester.

The message could be sent by letter or e-mail, he said.

Night class faculty and HAF members will be treated the same for the preferred parking spaces on those game nights, Tice said. The spots will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

Athletics Director Wood Selig said faculty were allotted spots in the original plan.

“We’ve given out fewer (passes) than the maximum capacity because we know we have to make room for faculty,” he said.

The Parking and Transportation Committee, with input from athletics officials, set aside spots last month for HAF members in Tate Page, Grise and Mimosa lots, among others, for men’s home basketball games this season.

Those three lots are usually used by night class students.

Selig said Mimosa lot was underused by HAF members during the Nov. 9 men’s basketball exhibition game against the Harlem Globetrotters.

“We weren’t thrilled to give up any spaces, but due to the demands of the whole university community, we made the recommended changes,” HAF executive director Jim Clark said.

Parking committee co-chairman Randy Deere said Mimosa has about 125 parking spots.

Barbara Kacer, middle grades and secondary associate professor, said she’s concerned about finding a parking spot in Tate Page lot. Kacer will teach night classes in Tate Page next semester.

Tice said any HAF member who cannot park in Grise or Tate Page lots will be diverted to Egypt or the gravel SKyPAC lots.

“That’s not what they would like, but that’s their compromise,” Tice said.

An expansion of Egypt lot may add about 370 new spots by the beginning of next semester, Tice said.

“We’ve increased HAF members, we’ve increased students, and that’s a wonderful problem to have,” Deere said.

Reach Joseph Lord at [email protected]