Joint senate meeting raises concerns over game day parking, employee benefits


Jenna Farhat

Unclassified Professional Senate and Unclassified Staff Senate invited Faculty Senate met to discuss common problems amongst their constituents.

Senators at a joint meeting between Faculty Senate, Unclassified Professional Senate, and Unclassified Staff Senate expressed concerns over parking issues on campus, particularly on game days when university parking lots are blocked off and reserved for game attendees.

The meeting was called Wednesday, when Unclassified Professional Senate and Unclassified Staff Senate invited Faculty Senate to meet at Ahlberg Hall. Around 40 senators met to discuss common problems amongst their constituents.

One discussion centered on expanding university employee incentives and perks.

Randy Sessions, president of the Unclassified Staff Senate and tech support consultant with Wichita State police, addressed providing university employees with incentives instead of pay raises, “because we all know we’re not going to get those, probably,” Sessions said.

Sessions began the discussion on game day parking by referring to the issue as a “can of worms” that needed to be addressed.

“Please don’t get mad at us,” Sessions said. “They are $150 tickets.” That’s equivalent to the fine for parking in a red reserved parking spot on campus. Regular parking ticket fines are $25.

Carolyn Shaw, president of the faculty senate, said students can’t afford to pay a $150 fine.

“Is there any room to negotiate some of those tickets being slightly less ridiculous?” Shaw asked.

Michael Turenne, a sergeant with the WSU police, said people should understand not to park where they’re not allowed.

“We’ve tried to get as much communication out as humanly possible,” Turenne said.

“You can’t help somebody anymore. There’s also a large number of people who simply don’t care.”

Sessions said the university police won’t begin issuing citations immediately when the parking lots are blocked off. They begin about two hours before the game starts, he said.

“Don’t get mad at the police department, because they’re only doing their job,” Sessions said. “That structure was set by the administration.”

Kelly Eden, academic program specialist in the school of nursing, said students feel that athletics are taking precedence over academics.

“[Students] are required to purchase a parking pass to be on campus anyway for classes,” Eden said.

“They feel that academics should take precedence over games. That’s where a lot of the outrage is coming from.”