SG Update 1/17
by Eli Wolfe | published Feb. 21st, 2020
Parking Issues Revisited
Kate Mason, director of RIT Parking, Transportation and Facilities, gave a follow-up presentation regarding parking issues. The $745,000 parking cost deficit motivated the organization to create two proposals to decrease this shortage.
The first proposal called for a 12 percent increase in the cost of permits across the board. The 12 percent increase would manifest as a three percent annual increase over the next five years. Added to the proposal is that level one employees, who currently do not pay for parking, would pay $12 for parking per year.
The second proposal called for an additional $50 fee for the advanced renewal of current reserve permits. Advanced renewal for current reserve permits is a $50 fee to opt-out of the first-come-first-serve frenzy in mid-August. In response to faculty feedback, the advanced renewal was created to not interfere with their summer.
These proposed changes are to lessen the organization's reliance on tuition dollars for parking, as well as to maintain similar permit rates to comparable schools. The proposal went to the university council on Jan. 29, 2020.
Mason urged senators to convey to their constituents that B-Lot is not a terrible lot to park in. Mason ran the B-Lot shuttle statistics and found that the B-lot shuttle has a 94 percent reliability to arrive on schedule.
Mason made it clear that there are no immediate plans to construct a parking garage. The cost estimate for the smallest parking garage would be $37 million, with a cost of $30,000 per parking space, not including maintenance.
Gabriela Castillo, director of Finance, gave a brief report on the budget. The budget sits with most of the allocated funds remaining unused for the upcoming semester. Castillo focused on the committee heads and senators' reluctance to spend allocated funds. Each committee head has $500 allocated, but they only used $168 out of the $3,000 assigned thus far. Each senator also has $500 allocated. The senators have spent $142 on average per senator, yet senators still only used $1,420 out of their $7,500 assigned.
Student Government (SG) adviser and assistant vice president of Student Affairs, Dave Bagley, gave a speech regarding the opportunities of senators and committee heads to engage with their constituents. He urged SG to be mindful of how they spend the allocated money, but also not to lose the opportunity that they have to engage their constituents.
SG voted in Alex Kruger as the new first year senator. Kruger is a Software Engineering major.
Soon after, SG voted in Lauren Trumpore as the new College of Science senator. Trumpore is a Biotechnology and Molecular Bioscience major.
After the confirmations, Josephine Bensa, director of Student Relations, went over the charges from PawPrints petitions.
The first charge regarded professors reading course evaluations similar to the Jimmy Kimmel Live segment "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets." SG discussed the merits of such a video and concluded that the marketing team would be the best place to delegate that idea.
The second charge concerned the addition of screens to dining locations to help Deaf and hard-of-hearing students identify their orders. SG gave this charge to the Housing and Dining committee.