BY: KATIE BETZ, firstname.lastname@example.org
Administration has decided to keep the R-4 lot as reserved parking for next school year.
MSUM Public Safety Director Ryan Nelson explained why the R-4 parking lot, which is used for reserved parking, will remain a reserved parking lot next school year.
“The (R-4) lot was voted to remain a reserve lot for this coming year because the following year the Weld Hall renovation will begin,” Nelson said. “And when that renovation begins the construction company contractors will end up using a portion of that parking lot for set up and their materials.”
According to Nelson, it takes a good amount of resources to change a parking lot from general to reserved or vice versa. He also explained that the parking lot will be due for reconstruction about the time the Weld renovations would be finished, so that would probably be a good time to discuss what the parking lot should be.
There are 10 general and five reserved parking lots at MSUM. Nelson explained that Public Safety only sells as many reserved parking passes as there are parking spots, while for general parking this is not the case. Since students are constantly going to and from classes, and parking spots are constantly filling and clearing, there is no cap on general passes.
Nelson explained that there is not much opportunity for any parking to be added to MSUM’s campus because it is surrounded by houses. The only space which may open up soon is the space that will be created if the alumni house is taken down. This would create a few more parking spaces, but not many.
Over the last school year, Nelson dealt with some complaints from students about parking. Every time he receives one of those calls there are always plenty of parking spaces open near John Neumaier and the Public Safety offices.
“If you go to a much larger campus whether it’s NDSU or U of M, you don’t get to park within a block. It’s usually several blocks away, so we’re still in a very good situation here for parking,” Nelson said.
Marcus Mergen, vice president of Student Senate at MSUM, has been fighting the campus’s decision to allow the R-4 lot to remain reserved throughout the semester.
“I’ve voiced my opinion on the parking quite a few times now already this year. I’ve had meetings with Ryan Nelson and Jean Hollar about these issues,” Mergen said. “I know last year Senate made the recommendation not to change that lot to reserved, and again this year we met with them and told them that we didn’t agree with it and we wanted it changed back.”
Though he understands why the administration doesn’t want to change the parking lot back and forth, Mergen pointed to the fact that they changed it to reserved in one year already. He stated that he does feel that communication has been good with Hollar and Nelson about the issue, and they have been good about answering any questions.
Going in to next semester, Mergen said that continuing discussions with students is important.
He also said that although there are general parking spots open to students, they are simply not in the space students need them to be.