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February 16, 1993

                                 DRAFT

 

                  PARKING/TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE

 

                               Minutes

 

                          February 16, 1993

 

 

  Meeting was called to order at 10:18 AM.

 

  Members in attendance were Richard Alvarez, Pat Ballard, Wayne

  Bishop, Chris French, George Lux, Gail McMillan, Valerie Myers

  (Minutes), Dave Nicks, Carl Polan, Widget Shannon, and J. B.

  Sutphin.

 

  Absent:  Ben Dichoso and Curtis Lynch.

 

  Announcements: Polan welcomed the numerous visitors in attendance

  and stated that while it was an open meeting, if a visitor desired

  to raise a question or make a point, it should be through a

  Committee member.

 

  A motion was made to approve the Minutes of the January 19 meeting.

  Motion was seconded and carried.

 

  Polan opened the floor to Dave Nicks to present introductory

  remarks and present the motion.  Nicks stated that graduate student

  parking is an issue that has been looked at for several years.  The

  resolution by GSA requests that graduate students on assistantship

  be included in the faculty/staff classification for parking.

  Nicks stated the several services that graduate students on

  assistantship perform for the University-teaching, research,

  service to undergraduates and professors. He then introduced Tonya

  Higgins and Patricia Summers, each who stated how graduate/staff

  parking privileges would help them fulfill their teaching

  obligations.  This was followed by some discussion of parking

  spaces and the accuracy of numbers.

 

  Nicks then read aloud the GSA resolution and indicated that two

  Commissions, Student Affairs and Graduate Studies, had supported

  the resolution.  The motion by Nicks was "that graduate students on

  assistantship have the option of obtaining faculty/staff parking

  privileges and that an appropriate number of commuter student

  parking spaces in Commuter lot B, Litton-Reaves lot and Cassell

  Coliseum be redesignated to accomodate graduate students." Motion

  was seconded by Chris French and opened for further discussion.

 

  Committee Chair Polan read a statement that gave some perspective

  of information collected two years ago, when the Committee last

  voted on the issue for privileged parking for graduate students.

  A survey of peer institutions revealed that Michigan State did

  permit graduate students to park in faculty/staff areas.  Four or

  five other institutions had set aside an area for graduate students

  better than for undergraduates.  Polan also conducted a survey

  directed towards either department heads or graduate program

  directors - in those Departments that have large numbers of

  graduate students.  Question 1 - "Would it benefit your

  Departmental effort if graduate students were permitted

  faculty/staff parking privileges?"  The answer was no, especially

  if it meant displacing faculty and staff. 

  Question 2 - "Is it a burden on graduate students because of where

  they park?"

  The answer was usually no, or probably not.  Some felt a third

  category of parking might be advantageous if it could be allocated

  and managed.

  Ballard stated that the major problem is the geographic location of

  parking spots. Lux added that the comments he has heard indicate

  that there is a desire on the part of graduate students to be able

  to move from location to location on campus during the course of

  the day.  There are faculty who desire to do the same thing.

  Shannon stated that she has worked on campus for 13 years in the

  Graduate School.  The Graduate School has done two separate surveys

  to determine the reasons that were given for liking, hating, or not

  attending Virginia Tech at all.

  Parking was mentioned only once.

  McMillan emphasized the parking problem around the library and

  expected it would be worse even if we alloted enough additional

  space for graduate students.

 

  Nicks stated that he is not trying to say that we should set aside

  a certain number of parking spaces for graduate students, he would

  just like for this Committee to recognize that there are certain

  types of students who deserve this privilege.  He proposed 3

  possible options as follows:  1 - that we give privileges to

  students on assistantship; 2 - there are over 355 who teach classes

  unassisted - why shouldn't they have that privilege; 3 - create a

  third tier in the commuter lots for graduate students (front row).

 

  Alvarez stated that future construction includes an addition to the

  back of Cowgill, a new infill is being added to Biochemistry

  building, a new boiler is being planned that will take part of

  Stanger lot, the Major Williams building is being converted, there

  are plans for a 45,000 square foot services building over near the

  CEC.  These will all be a factor in this Committees plans for

  parking.

  Polan stated that there are a lot of options that can be considered

  that current meeting time will not allow.  Lux called for question.

  Vote was taken on motion.

  Motion failed.

 

  Nicks then moved that the Committee support the principle that some

  number of students on assistantship be afforded some sort of

  privileged parking.  Ballard seconded.  Alvarez wanted to make sure

  that we understand the various other categories of students on

  campus and would want more information on demographics.  Nicks

  stated that the reason graduate students on assistantship were

  singled out is because of the mission of the University.

 

  Polan stated that in his Department, there is nothing clear cut.

  There are GRA'S, GTA's, some foreign students.  It seems to him that

  this would be a very discriminatory issue.  Shannon added that the

  fourth category of student are those students that are not on

  assistantship but are on wage for any number of reasons. A lot of

  students that are on wage are doing the same things that they were

  doing when they were on assistantship.

 

  Nicks stated that this Committee, by history, has been

  categorically opposed to any type of privileges for graduate

  students.  Ballard stated that she can understand where the

  perception comes from and added that no one on this Committee

  opposes, in theory, but in reality it is not feasible at this time.

 

  Nicks stated that is why he proposed a third tier in the commuter

  lots.  McMillan said that maybe a broader resolution should be

  considered; to limit it to graduate students on assistantship is

  unfeasible.  Alvarez added that he deals with the reality of having

  to park everyone and control existing spaces and dealing with the

  unpleasantries; if parking were adequate on campus, he would agree

  that all graduate students should have special parking privileges.

 

  Nicks offered an amendment stating that this Committee supports a

  third tier of parking for graduate students on assistantship.

  Polan called for a second to the amendment.  No second was made and

  amendment died.  Question called for on original motion.  Vote was

  taken and motion was defeated.

 

  Polan stated that there are alternatives that should be discussed

  at a later time. Nicks requested that if any member of the

  Committee would like to make statements to him, that they did not

  feel they could share openly at the meeting, to please contact him.

 

  Subcommittee Update on Outlying Areas -  McMillan distributed a

  recommendation from the ad hoc Subcommittee.  She read the

  recommendation aloud to the Committee.   Lux made a motion that

  this be tabled until the next meeting.  Motion was seconded and

  carried.

 

  Meeting adjourned at 12:03 PM.

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