After backlash, university makes changes to YMCA parking lot rules


Morgan Anderson

The parking lot outside of the new Steve Clark YMCA. Students are now allowed to park in it for up to two hours if they are using the new facility.

Students, faculty, staff and community members “actively using” the new campus YMCA and student wellness center will now be allowed to park in the new campus YMCA parking lot for up to two hours, effective immediately, according to a Student Government Association release.

This comes after criticism by students in response to a Sunflower article in which now-Executive Director of Government Relations & Strategy Andy Schlapp told Wichita State Board of Trustees members that students would be ticketed if they parked in the lot outside the facility.

“Those [parking spots] are for Y members only . . .” Schlapp told the board.

“All students are automatically members, correct?” one trustee asked.

“Correct, but they’re not able to park there,” Schlapp responded at the January meeting.

Before the rule change, students were only allowed to park in the lot on weekends and before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m. on weekdays.

For a sixth semester, WSU students are paying a tiered Health and Wellness fee to fund the operating costs of the YMCA. A student receiving in-state tuition and taking 15 credit hours a semester now pays $190 a year for the Health and Wellness Fee. All fee-paying students are automatically Y members.

In January, University spokesperson Joe Kleinsasser said there are roughly 160 parking spaces built and maintained by the Y for visitors, as well as “several designated spots for the Student Wellness Center for health services and counseling.” 

“The on-campus YMCA, like the other nine in the metro area, is open to the whole community, and we want community members to visit campus,” Kleinsasser wrote.