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SGA questions CMUPD ahead of parking reform vote, police don't budge


cmu-police-chief-addresses-sga-on-parking-lot-reform-feb-3-2020

CMU Police Chief Larry Klaus addresses SGA about parking lot reform Feb. 3 in Bovee University Center.

An effort to spur a reform of some parking lots on campus passed in the House but was pushed to next week in the Senate of Central Michigan University’s Student Government Association at their Feb. 3 meetings.

The legislation seeks to make the following changes to parking policy:

SGA meetings take place 7 p.m. every Monday in Bovee University Center Auditorium. Meetings are free for all students to attend.

  • Change five parking spots in Lot 29, near Foust Hall, where the student health clinic is located, to patient-only parking spots.
  • Allow students to park at North Art Studio, Lot 16, past 2 a.m. When the lot must be plowed, students registered in classes that use the North Art Studio would receive a text message to move their vehicle.
  • Allow student employees to park in the non-faculty, non-handicap lot nearest their place of work.

Co-authored by senator Max Ranger and former House representative Josh Wright, the resolution was first presented to SGA in November, but has been repeatedly pushed back and revised. 

The House passed the resolution by a vote of 36-20, with 18 abstentions. The Senate opted to wait until next week to vote because the document they’d been reviewing for the week prior was out of date.

CMU Police Chief Larry Klaus and manager of police business operations Stephanie Williams visited both chambers of SGA to answer questions from representatives.

Klaus and Williams told the Senate they have a line of communication with art professors to know which students should be allowed to park at North Art Studio.

“As long as we’re contacted, we have no problem working with any department and having their students parking late or early,” Williams said.

Senate leader Josh Moody questioned whether information about the appeals process for parking tickets could be printed on the tickets themselves.

“We don’t print them ourselves,” Williams said. “We get thousands and thousands of tickets at one time, and the cost is enormous, so that would not be something we could do.”

Senator Taylor Dibble asked whether there could be any solution for students who are comfortable walking during the daytime, but feel safer driving at night, and for whom a full-price parking pass holds less value.

“Right now I don’t see a workaround on that,” Klaus said. “I’m just trying to be up front with you.”

Another piece of parking legislation authored by Ranger and Wright, targeted at lowering the cost of a student's first parking ticket, was shut down by Parking Services, who refused to back down on the fees. Likewise, as senators questioned Klaus and Williams, their responses tended to explain why policies must be the way they are and cannot be changed.

Other business

Before they left, Klaus showed the Senate a picture of a rescue dog his wife will be picking up in about two weeks. He said that it may come on ride-alongs and be a "parking pooch."

The House tabled discussion on a resolution which would cement SGA’s support for a “green study space” where Barnes Hall formerly stood. The Senate passed the resolution in November, but it must pass in the House for it to come into effect.

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