Baby, you can park your car

100 more spaces designated for students at Springett

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western students say parking on campus is a “pain in the ass” " but with 100 spots opening up next week for undergraduate students, this might change.

Effective Nov. 12, these spots " designated as ‘green’ for undergraduate parking " will be available in the Springett parking lot, explained Stephen Lecce, an undergraduate student representative on the USC Advisory Committee on Parking and Traffic.

Lecce’s fellow student representative on the committee, Peter Markvoort, said Springett expansion is in the works for 2008 with the paving of 250 additional ‘green’ spaces.

The ACPT is also investigating a potential free shuttle service, shared with King’s University College and Brescia University College.

Lecce said they have inquired about getting a shuttle along Western Road, from Althouse College parking lot to Saugeen-Maitland Hall.

The ACPT’s mandate is to advise Western administration on campus parking, traffic concerns and new parking-related construction projects.

Although Chris Stewart, manager of Parking Services, could not be reached for comment, Markvoort said she is really interested in working with the students on the committee.

The three student members of the ACPT, Lecce, Markvoort and James Mangan, were adamant that parking was a problem at Western, but student voices weren’t always on the committee.

Board of Governors member Matthew Reid realized, upon inspection of five years’ worth of ACPT minutes, the three open undergraduate positions were rarely filled.

Reid brought forth a motion to the University Students’ Council to elect three students to fill the positions, which passed at the Oct. 24 USC meeting.

“In three hours they accomplished more than we’ve accomplished in three years,” Reid said of the students’ first ACPT meeting on Nov. 5.

Western students were pleased to hear of a potential answer to the parking problem.

First-year English student Melanie Sparkes, said “[Parking] is a pain in the ass. There’s no parking spots to save your life.”

Paula Suffoletta, a first-year medicine student at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, felt frustrated with her 10 minute walk to class on top of a half-hour drive.

“[The additional spaces] would be perfect,” Suffoletta said.

Mangan said the ACPT meeting on Nov. 5 was a great first step.

“What remains is for the members of the committee, as well as other student representatives, to follow up on potential changes and to continue to make undergraduate parking a priority,” he added.

“Hopefully we will be able to see these changes through to the end.”

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