SA Senate talks parking at its meeting Wednesday

Senators express concern with

shuttles, evening access to gated lots

By Lisa M. Chmiola

Features Editor

On the eve of the end of open parking for the semester, the Students' Association Senate Wednesday discussed parking.

Associate Chancellor/ Associate Vice President for Administration and Finance John Martin addressed the Senate to obtain feedback on several issues and ended up fielding several questions about the present and future parking situations.

"If there's one thing I've heard in the short time I've been here, it's, 'What are you going to do about parking?'" Martin told the Senate.

When asked about potential parking garages, Martin said surface lots will be maximized before garages are constructed. He also announced that Student Lot 16D at Cullen Boulevard and Elgin Street will be extended in the Spring, adding 175 to 200 spaces to the University's current total of about 14,500.

Once State Highway 35 construction is completed at the end of 1999, Calhoun Road will become an interior two-lane road. About 400 to 500 spaces will be created from the old lanes, Martin said.

Concerns about the present parking situation were raised regarding the shuttles to outlying lots. Several senators mentioned the service is unreliable, and it is often quicker to walk across campus than wait for the buses.

"Let me say this about the shuttle routes: I don't understand them," Martin responded. He said he would prefers routes that circled the campus as opposed to the three existing point-to-point routes.

Also on the parking topic, legislation was introduced to the Senate by Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication Sen. Calvin Pollard II regarding after-hours parking in gated visitor lots.

The resolution calls for the gates on all paid parking lots to be raised by 6 p.m. each business weekday and to remain open on weekends, since meter parking and gated faculty lots are open during these times. The resolution excludes the paid visitor lot directly in front of the Athletic/Alumni Center.

Senators voted to move the resolution to the Senate's Student Life Committee for further review.

In other business, the 1998-1999 SA budget was presented to the Senate for review before its next meeting. At $94,212, the budget reflects an approximate 2 percent decrease over last year's.

Joel Rodriguez filled an empty Senate seat when he was sworn in as a senator from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

However, Speaker of the Senate Jose Soto said the Graduate School of Social Work position is now open for applications. Interested students can inquire at the SA office, Room 57 in the University Center Underground, or by calling (713) 743-5220.

In addition, some Senate positions may open soon since the senators-elect who were supposed to fill the seats have not attended any meetings since their election in the Spring.

These senators include James Stringfellow from Hotel and Restaurant Management, Adam Taylor from NSM and Ted Tvong from Engineering.

These senators-elect have not yet been sworn in and no procedure exists presently to remove them from the Senate.

However, Soto said the Senate is working on legislation to amend the SA Constitution and Code to provide a limit for the number of meetings a senator-elect can miss before losing his or her seat.

The Senate will hold its next meeting Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Atlantic Room, UC Underground.

All students are invited to attend.

Reach Chmiola at

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