Monday, August 21, 2006


Introduction & Purpose

Sustaining a dialogue between the leadership of the Minnesota State Student Association (MSSA) and the student body has been a desire of MSSA leaders and students of the past. It seems that providing communication opportunities outside the senate chambers and sit-down forums serves as a practical approach to reaching our ever-extending student body.
From time to time, I will share my thoughts on campus issues and events. I’d like to point out that only official resolutions of the MSSA represent the student body and not the opinion of an individual representative. This is a chance to exchange ideas with fellow Mavericks and enhance student involvement on our campus. Take advantage, but do not abuse this opportunity. At best, this blog will function as a pipeline between students or at worst, end up as a brief experiment on the information superhighway. Talk to you soon!

Gabe Afolayan
President, Minnesota State Student Association

I understand that Gabe Afolayan, as Student Association President, continues to support keeping the existing "free lot" free.

The free parking lot is Lot 23 and remains the last gravel parking lot on campus. Lighting in this unimproved space lacks what other nearby Orange and Purple permit lots provide. As it is a "gravel" lot no stall lines exist so it remains a challenge for parkers to figure out where they can park without snagging a parking citation - parking on nearby grass is not a surprise though it will earn the vehicle a citation.

Though things can change as new committee members take their seats on the six member Parking Advisory Committee, at this time the official PAC position remains that the $200,000+ it may take to install an asphalt surface won't be budgeted or spent unless lot 23 is turned into a permit lot with a $50-$60 price attached.

The PAC maintains that it is unfair to ask other permit holders to pay into the self-sustaining parking fund and then have such revenues dedicated to improve a "free lot" which brings in no money.

I certainly appreciate how sensitive eliminating a "free lot" is, and that President Gabe and members of the Student Senate would be hard pressed to shed the past position they have taken that Lot 23 remain a non-permit parking area.

It won't be long before the PAC looks at the old issue yet again. No doubt the next couple of weeks will have many Free Lot users ask why it's such a tough place to park in. There is an alternative and a solution to the such complaints.

David Cowan, Parking Advisory Committee Chairperson
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