The Student Senate held a public forum to discuss issues with parking, construction and infrastructure on campus where they introduced a referendum regarding an increase of the Student Services Fee.

Joe Wanat, project director at Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. in Providence, discussed ideas like improving the image visitors get when arriving on campus through new gateways, creating a regionally connected bicycle network, enhancing the transit system, implementing complete streets and developing an improved parking strategy.

In regards to parking, Wanat said the University’s parking rates are “quite a bargain” when compared to universities like the University of Massachusetts and the University of Connecticut, whose rates for both commuter and residential parking were significantly higher. Wanat said public transportation needs to be improved so that single occupancy vehicle use will decrease, allowing for less parking congestion.

“I’d hate to see the University stop expansion because it cannot meet parking demands,” Wanat said.

The Senate also introduced a referendum on increasing the Student Services Fee by a small increment so that the Club Sports and Intramural Council (CSIC) could have larger budgets for the 2019 fiscal year.

One important thing that was mentioned was the lack of trainers for the club sports athletes. Athletes dealing with game-related injuries have to pay out of pocket for treatment and an increased budget would allow for the hiring of a trainer.

The Senate will be spreading word of the referendum soon, which will take place in some form of an online poll.

The Women’s Center will be working with the Senate on the Sexual Assault Awareness Week, which will be taking place April 24 to 28. Each day will have specific events, like Masculine Monday, which will focus on male sexual assault.

Morgan Boutmy was nominated for a position in the Student Senate Elections Committee. Any additional declarations for Senate elections must be in by the deadline on Friday.