Faculty Senate raises concerns over limited available parking

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Parking issues on the UW-Whitewater campus never seem to go away.

Jensen

Professors James Hartwick and Elizabeth Kim brought concerns to the Faculty Senate Dec. 13 about faculty and staff having to walk long distances to the buildings they work in.

As a possible solution, the Facutly Senate included in their agenda that they would want a separate parking lot just for faculty at no extra charge.

Professor Hephzibah Kumpaty, who is the Faculty Senate chair, said the committee was selected last night and that they would work with Parking Services Director Bob Brecklin on a proposal for the Faculty Senate to vote on.

Kumpaty said the Faculty Senate will work with the staff assembly and Whitewater Student Government on the issue as well.

“All three groups get a say as to how the parking should be and there are issues that should be agreed upon by the three parties,” Kumpaty said. “You can’t just go to only one group.”

According to Kumpaty, securing a parking space within reasonable distance of academic buildings during peak teaching times presents a problem for many faculty members.

“If you look at any private place, all the employees have designated parking,” Kumpaty said. “Here, even though you pay, if you come during peak time you are hardly able to find parking. If there are papers or books for them to carry from one building to the other, it is getting difficult for them to carry.”

Other parking issues mentioned in the Faculty Senate agenda from Dec. 13 include the overselling of parking spaces. The agenda said 845 faculty/staff parking permits and 2,023 commuter parking permits were sold for the 2011-2012 academic year as of Oct. 31, 2011. Only 1,182 parking spaces are available to commuting students, faculty and staff.

Some of the commuter permits were sold to students who might already have a resident dorm parking permit.

“I think the Faculty Senate brought up an issue that we all can relate to,” WSG Vice President John Jensen said. “Obviously there’s not enough [parking].”

The Faculty Senate agenda said students purchasing both a residential parking pass and a commuter parking pass goes against the Climate Action Plan, which was adopted in June 2011. The Climate Action Plan focuses on greenhouse gas emission mitigation projects to help the campus move toward the goal of climate neutrality, the agenda said.

Jensen agreed that on-campus residents with commuter parking permits is an issue that should be fixed.

“I think if you’re a student living on campus, you have every right to purchase a residential parking permit,” Jensen said. “But if you’re living on campus, you shouldn’t be buying a commuting pass. I think you’re taking up parking spots that could be put to better use.”

Jensen said WSG will look into the issue and current parking policies to find a loophole to go through instead of building a whole new parking lot.

At least four other UW System schools currently have parking lots designated for faculty and staff only, the agenda said.

Kumpaty said the committee will simply look into this issue and propose a resolution to the Faculty Senate. The committee will conclude its work sometime in April, she added.

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