Dear Gauchos,

The Associated Students’ Executive Board is writing to inform our fellow students about recent developments concerning on-campus parking. Since 2003, students have voted to reaffirm a $3.33 lock-in fee to subsidize the costs for night and weekend parking, providing this permit to all undergrads at no additional cost. Last year, Transportation and Parking Services (TPS) determined that this fee was insufficient to support the operating expenses for this service, and unsuccessfully attempted to be put on the spring ballot to create a new fee of $5.95. Because this new fee never made it on the 2010 ballot, students reaffirmed the original fee of $3.33.

Throughout summer, the current A.S. Executives continued negotiations with TPS regarding a reassessment of this fee and its inability to fully support increasing expenses for parking services. These negotiations, initiated by the 2009-2010 A.S. Executives, began with TPS’s desire to stop collection of the voter-approved $3.33 fee, and charge each student $144 for an annual night and weekend permit. We, the current A.S. Executives, felt that these hiked rates would place an unreasonable financial burden upon students who depend on this permit. In the interest of protecting students who utilize this service, we were able to compromise with TPS to find a temporary solution that will allow this permit to remain affordable, while addressing TPS’s increased expenses.

For Fall 2010, night and weekend parking permits will be available to undergraduates for $17.50 per quarter. Although this increase in cost is not ideal, it is more desirable than the alternative, in which the permit would have cost $144 per year. Furthermore, through these negotiations we were able to move towards securing additional student parking spaces in the Davidson Library Parking Lot. Additionally, TPS has agreed to eliminate the Halloween Parking Permit, and include on-campus parking during Halloween weekend for all night and weekend permit holders.

Throughout these negotiations, our utmost concern has been protecting the interests of students. By attempting to stop collection of the voter-approved fee, we felt that TPS was undermining the sanctity of the students’ voting process. Our priority was to defend the students’ vote from the 2010 election, while ensuring that parking remained affordable to students.

Now we as students must determine the future of night and weekend parking services. As your elected representatives, we seek your input in deciding how to move forward with this matter. Please join us in discussing this issue at tonight’s Legislative Council Meeting, which will be held at 5:00 PM in the Flying-A Studio in the UCen. If you are unable to attend tonight’s meeting, please stop by the Associated Students Main Office to speak to your representatives.

We look forward to your participation,
Your Associated Students Executive Board