By Bryan K. Alfaro | THE EASTERN ECHO
Added June 27, 2011 at 11:27 pm
Several changes to the parking system at Eastern Michigan University are expected for the fall semester, including construction and hang tag prices.
Students and faculty can expect the cost of parking hang tags to rise from $75 to $100 per semester starting next fall.
The price change was figured to create revenue for updating and restructuring campus parking lots, but certain members of the Student Government and Student Body said they have had enough.
EMU Student Body President Jelani McGadney was strongly opposed to the increase and voiced his objections in a letter from the Student Government to university Regents.
“Students continue to be asked to bear the costs of budget shortfalls that reach from the State Capitol to Welch Hall,” McGadney said. “We cannot afford this burden.”
Both McGadney and Vice President Jeffrey Chicoine met with the Director of Student Business Services to discuss the proposed $25 increase; a fee they argued is not the best way students’ dollars could be used.
“Students do not underestimate the power of $25,” their letter to the Regents said. “Twenty-five dollars can be the difference between textbooks for the semester, rent for the next month or bags filled with fruits and vegetables over Easy Mac and Ramen Noodles.”
“The primary complaint made by students is the lack of parking on campus,” McGadney said. “Student Government will not ask students to accept a $25 rise in the cost of parking when they will find it harder than before to find a place to park.”
With EMU’s current student enrollment on the rise, another concern has been raised: Will there be even fewer available spaces on campus?
Rekira Wells, 21, a commuting sophomore at EMU, said she feels the increase is ridiculous.
“We already have to share parking with grad students, faculty and residents,” she said. “There is barely any parking now for the students. The only way I would even agree with the increase [is] if there was going to be another structure for us to park.”
According to McGadney, the Bowen parking lot, which is currently under construction, is likely going to change from a student lot to an exclusive faculty lot. The change is part of a plan to allow for better traffic flow through campus, particularly around Halle Library and Bowen.
“There will be a shuffling of parking lot spaces, but the space for students and professors should approximately be the same,” he said.
In another attempt to alleviate the scarcity of parking on campus, the Student Government has also proposed a university subsidized AATA bus pass to President Susan Martin.
“Dr. Martin and the Regents have been very receptive to the idea and we will continue to work with them on this issue,” McGadney said.
Currently, EMU offers students a free shuttle service on the AATA’s Route 33, with stops at the main campus and the Owen College of Business from September through April, with buses departing from the College of Business every 20 minutes. Check the AATA website www.theride.org for additional information.
Students will also have the option to take an AATA shuttle bus from EMU’s Rynearson Stadium lot on Hewitt Road to the main campus this fall as in past semesters.
Eastern Echo article archive: Student Government Unhappy with Increase in Hang Tag Prices