The University of Rhode Island Student Senate had Housing Director Stephen Baker and Joe Paradise of parking and transportation to speak about various new programs and initiatives that they will be implementing by next semester at the earliest.

The first new program being added is a new RIPTA browser bus app that will improve upon common issues with the old app. The biggest change will be to the delay in bus tracking. The old app had a five minute delay, while the new app is supposed to cut that delay by a significant amount. The new browser app can be found at bus.apps.uri.edu.

The second new program is the Parking and Transportation Committee, headed by one undergraduate and one graduate student, that is designed to formulate policy and represent all of the campuses needs. And the third new program is the addition of the semester pass, a parking pass for only a semester at a reduced cost. The semester pass will be available for 36 to 40 percent less than a year-long parking pass.

The last of Senate’s major talking points was the removal of the “two warning, then tow” system. According to Baker, there were 9,300 parking warnings last year at 75 cents per warning, costing Parking and Transportation services around $7,000. Most of these warnings were for repeat offenders.

In order to solve this problem, Parking and Transportation services will be implementing a fine system. All parking violations will be $30 and forging of a permit will be $100. Violators will have 14 days to pay the fine. However, if you buy a parking pass within 10 days of getting the fine, the fine will be waived. All money from fines will go directly to Parking and Transportations services.

In other news, Senator Ryan Curtis won the special election for Rules and Ethics over Senator James Cocozza and Senator Shannon McIsaac.

“This is my passion,” Curtis said. “This is my future. I look at this as my job. I want to take this job seriously and I want you guys to see I’m taking this seriously.”

Student Senate President Amanda Rode gave a brief speech about the direction she wants to take Student Senate this year, focusing on social issues. The big Student Senate push this year will be preventing drunk driving.  
Vice President Nick Hetland is implementing the Student Senate Committee Purge to combat senators not attending their meetings. He said that all committee attendance is required and will be monitored by him. Each time a senator misses a committee meeting they will receive a half of an absence. Senators are given two excused absences and one unexcused absence. Hetland ended with a warning, “Don’t try to fly under the radar, because I will shoot you down.”