By Maria Kanso, News Editor
The University of Michigan-Dearborn Student Government recently proposed the initiation of a Campus Parking Advisory Committee to focus on student concerns and educate them on rules related to parking.
The president of Student Government, Thomas Wolsek, said that having a formal body that gathers feedback and concerns from students regarding parking will strengthen the response to their concerns.
“What this committee is going to do is help, as we intend to grow, incorporate some of the ways to utilize what we already have better,” he said.
“People don’t like to hear this, but we still do, in some capacities, have enough stuff right now.”
Wolsek is referring to the amount of parking spaces offered, which includes a large amount of available spaces in the parking structure on the campus’ north end.
“We just have to utilize it better and put people in different places and facilitate the movement of people a lot better.”
The committee will be composed of three students, one public safety officer, three faculty members, four staff members and a representative from Business Affairs.
A student representative chosen by Student Government will co-chair the committee with one of the faculty representatives.
According to Wolsek, the biggest voice in the committee is intended to be for students.
Part of the committee’s duty is to examine the parking structure and items related to it to facilitate improvement. These include the physical infrastructure for parking, the implementation and education of parking rules and other resources related to parking like the campus shuttle service.
Other duties include receiving feedback from the Dearborn campus community through campus-wide surveys and town hall meetings while advising on short and long term plans created by Facilities Operations for parking improvements.
They will meet once every semester and write a report on the committee’s work which will be presented to the Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs and the Director of Facilities Operations with all recommendations by the end of the Winter Semester.
Students’ concerns have been rising ever since visitor parking spots were added to the campus parking structure last year, causing more difficulty for students to find parking spots near their desired building.
The vice president of Student Government, Sara Alqaragholy, said students have been complaining about having to drive for long periods of time in the lots, especially in the library parking lot.
Alqaragholy said that students have voiced concerns that high school students are taking parking spots that are reserved for UM-Dearborn students.
“Public safety has not been able to enforce their laws, their rules, for ticketing non-students, because they haven’t had enough budget to pay for that enforcement,” Alqaragholy.
“It’s layered–it’s not just one problem, but it’s not an easy fix, and that’s something the committee can definitely talk about.”