Manager of Parking and Transportation Services, Joe Paradise, came to introduce himself to the Student Senate, as well as to clarify some differences and continuities in the parking policy. One of the many topics of discussion was a potential change to the shuttle system. Paradise relayed that RIPTA is not sufficient enough for campus and he hopes to have a shuttle system that belongs to the University. In addition to this, he wishes to brand them and change the routes as the department deems fit for the benefit of the students. This is predicted to be put into action the beginning of next year.
Parking concerns were also addressed, including an incentive for freshman not to bring cars on campus called the Pilot Program. It entails that any freshman who does not have a vehicle on campus gets a free RIPTA U-pass. This can be used seven days a week. Only 500 students have taken advantage of this.
A big issue the department faces is non-registered vehicles. Any non-registered vehicles will receive a $50 ticket. Parking in the wrong lot, handicapped violations and fire lane violations will all be deserving of a $85 fine. Only two and a half weeks in and parking services has issued 177 tickets.
Also, parking services has said that they intend to incorporate new technology to be more efficient. For next year, they hope to get rid of permits altogether, and institute a virtual permit system. The technology used to enforce this will be license plate recognition. Drones will also be sharing a role in the parking departments efficiency techniques and will take pictures of parking lots to see available spots.
Later in the meeting, a member of External Affairs in the Student Senate, mentioned that residents of neighboring communities have complained about chaotic weekends, unnecessary stress and strain. They claim students are loud and litter on residents’ property. They proposed that to amend this relationship between the students and the community there is to be a neighborhood clean up.
One of the last topics on the agenda was the bill to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day globally around campus; the bill passed unanimously. The primary workers on this bill were the Academic and Cultural committee of the Student Senate.