Tuesday, October 31, 2006

PARKing day protests campus congestion



Members of Students for Environmental Action said the prevention of driving is the best solution to the parking congestion at K-State at a protest Monday.

Adrienne Stolwyk, fourth-year student in architecture and member of Students for Environmental Action, occupies a parking stall in the K-State Student Union parking lot Monday morning as part of the organization's protest event, People Advocating Renewable transit at K-State. The event aimed to raise consciousness about parking problems.
Media Credit: Steven Doll
Adrienne Stolwyk, fourth-year student in architecture and member of Students for Environmental Action, occupies a parking stall in the K-State Student Union parking lot Monday morning as part of the organization's protest event, People Advocating Renewable transit at K-State. The event aimed to raise consciousness about parking problems.



More than 20 members of SEA presented PARKing (People Advocating Renewable transit at K-State) day Monday in the K-State Student Union parking lot. The protesters used club funds to pay the meters of the parking stalls they occupied.

The goal was to inform students of the need for renewable and mass transportation options.

"Building parking garages is addressing the parking congestion problem too late," said Becky Clark, SEA president and senior in biology.

"We want to see increased discussion on campus about parking. When SGA (Student Governing Association) pushed for the parking garage, most people were for it, but I think most of those people want a parking garage because they have been told by SGA to want one," Clark said. "There are four pages in the university's master plan, and parking is mentioned 47 times, and mass transit is only mentioned once."

SEA conducted a survey of residents of the Chase Manhattan and Founders Hill Apartment complexes and learned that, of those surveyed, 70 percent would use mass transit if it was available. The survey also found students in those areas spend an average of $20 a week in gas, or $1,040 a year.

The bio-diesel mass transit buses that have been proposed by SEA would cost a student taking 18 credit hours for three semesters, or 54 credit hours, $81 a year.

SEA also proposed other solutions. Members want K-State to follow examples set by other universities, like the University of North Carolina, and limit parking permits to students who live outside a preset boundary. UNC sets this limit 2 miles from the bell tower at the center of campus. Ideally, SEA would like K-State's boundary to be set 1 mile from Anderson Hall.

Hailey Petersen, freshman in biology, proposed a different solution.

"Underclassmen, particularly freshmen, shouldn't have cars," she said.

SEA liked Petersen's proposal.

"My father graduated from K-State in 1981, and he said he wasn't allowed to have a car as a freshman," said Jamie Gentry, freshmen in animal science and pre-veterinary studies.

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