By Erik Squire
Hello my fellow SMCCericans. As the semester train comes to a grinding halt, it may be the final destination for some of you. Some of you will be hopping onto the next connection, and the rest will be re-boarding the next semester train. Whatever your case may be, I hope you enjoy the stop in the meantime. For all of us re-boarding in the fall, we can expect some interesting things from our Student Senate, things like lessoning the chance of receiving a parking ticket, upping the activities fee by a nominal $5 a semester, and “taking back the tap.” If you’re “all aboard” for these changes, then read below to find out a little more about the initiatives.
The Student Senate recently wrote up its own initiative to mark spots outside of parking barriers with “No Parking” signs. The three major parking lots have little cement barriers outlining the parking rows and students frequently park their cars just on the outside of it (and somewhat understandably so). The space is very wide, and it gives students the false impression that it is appropriate to park there; however, parking there doesn’t leave enough space for fire trucks to pass around in an emergency. Ultimately, the knowing or unknowing students get a parking fine for being there. The number of parking tickets given out in the fall semester was around the 1500 range. At $25 a ticket, it can be a challenge for some students to pay, especially when already on such a tight budget. With all of this in mind, The Student Senate set out to draft a proposal to paint “No Parking” signs on the asphalt as a clear deterrent. The proposal was endorsed unanimously by the Senate and was brought before Jay Manhardt, Director of Public Safety & Contract Services here at SMCC. Manhardt told one of the student representatives that he would be happy to look at it over the summer, and consider enacting the proposal.
In other news, the Student Senate also unanimously endorsed a proposal brought before the Senate that would increase the activity fee that all students pay, from $25 to $30; a manageable 5-dollar increase. There were a few reasons behind the Senate’s endorsement. First, money has decreased in value since the $25 activity fee was first enacted; if SMCC had kept up with inflation, the fee would now be roughly $33.00. The second reason is that we will be offering a new position in the CeSIL office, and the fee increase would better help to support the wages for the new position. As anyone who has had interactions with the folks in the CeSIL office would tell you, they work very hard and do so much for the student body; they deserve some extra help. The last reason is that the extra funds for the college and the things we would be able to do with the money would far outweigh the small increase on each student’s individual bill.
Lastly, The Student Senate has enlisted an ad hoc committee to campaign for decreasing the use of mass produced plastic disposable water bottles. The campaign, which the committee has named “Taking Back the Tap”, will go into full force next semester, and encourage students to be responsible with the resources available to us. The idea was brought before the Senate by History Professor Alicia Harding. Harding spoke regarding all the plastic waste that is produced and all the water that is wasted during the bottling process. The much more economic and ecofriendly way of bringing water to campus, she said, would be to have a refillable water bottle (Nalgene or Mason jar) and fill up at the tap, or use the water fountains on campus. The Student Senate felt that the idea aligned with the Senate’s values and mission. Keep an eye out for this worthy campaign, a campaign that promotes personal responsibility and a community goal.
This will be the last edition of Campus Exposed for this semester; I hope you have enjoyed reading it, as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Peace out home slices!