GV Student Senate passes parking legislation as concerns over violations, availability persist


GVL / Annabelle Robinson

Camryn Snider, Staff Writer

On Sept. 23 Grand Valley State University’s Student Senate passed legislation recommending that the university’s Parking Services clearly state policy changes and notify the campus community in a “visible” manner.

Student Senate Vice President of External Affairs, Zach Schmidt, wrote the legislation to ensure students are properly informed.

“My job is to bring the concerns that the students are having to the administration, and try to get those concerns addressed,” Schmidt said.

To further tackle parking concerns, Schmidt said he is working with Parking Services to get student representation on the Parking Committee. He also collaborated with the department to update its website to provide more clarification on the parking violation appeal process.

“We’ll be following through on oversight with the Parking Committee and making sure that Parking Services is being more transparent with the students on how they’re enforcing parking lots,” Schmidt said.

To stay up to date, Schmidt said students should attend the Student Senate’s general assemblies. Dates are listed on the Student Senate webpage.

“I think it’s extremely important for students to have a voice,” Schmidt said. “We’re one of the main sources of revenue for the university, and we’re also, in my opinion, what the university is built around.”

Looking ahead, Schmidt said he hopes to discuss the location of the GVSU Farmers Market to reduce its impact on parking.

“It takes up 27 spots in lot G, which there’s already a lot of competition for spots as it is, and the farmers market takes up those spots during peak hours,” Schmidt said. “I think it would be prudent for the university to move the Farmers Market out of the student lot to where it would be less of a nuisance for students and commuters.”

GVSU senior Jillian Greene said she opted out of purchasing a parking pass after hearing about the limited parking availability on campus.

“I’ve never commuted to campus because I’ve had roommates and classmates who did and they always said that there are no parking spots, so they have to drive around a lot to find one,” Greene said.

Greene chooses to park near a stop and take the bus to get from her home in Grand Rapids to classes in Allendale.

“Parking passes are too expensive, and there are limited-to-no commuter spots anyways,” Greene said. “I didn’t want to pay over $200 for a parking pass and then be annoyed with the limited spaces.”

Greene said increasing parking capacity would likely need to also be addressed, along with the cost of parking permits.

“I think passes are too much, but obviously there’s already not enough parking as is, so if they made it cheaper then that problem would just get worse,” Greene said.

The most recent Parking Services policy change was implemented Jan. 5, increasing violation fees for parking on a sidewalk or in a fire lane from $35 to $100. Parking Operations Coordinator Stephen King said he has seen a decrease in these violations since the fee was increased.

“That was purely a safety concern,” King said. “I’d much rather direct someone to the proper parking lot than give them a ticket.”

King recommended students review the Parking Services website and contact their office if they have any further questions regarding potential violations.