Committee should retain student voices


Editorial Board

Issue: A proposal from the President’s Office and Office of Administration could reduce the number of student representatives on the Parking and Traffic Committee, a group whose decisions affect scores of people across campus.

Student voice at SDSU has taken one step forward but two large steps back this past week.

On Sept. 23, a pair of unpopular Do Not Enter signs were removed after students voiced their concerns. Less than a week later, a proposal from President David Chicoine and Mike Reger, vice president for administration, could stifle student voice on parking issues.

The proposal, if approved in its current form, would reduce the number of students on the Parking and Traffic Committee from five to three. Currently, SA appoints five student senators to serve on the committee. The new proposal would allow SA to appoint only two senators, and the dean of the Graduate School would choose a graduate student.

Other voting members of the current Parking and Traffic Committee include three faculty and three career service members. The proposed committee would add two non-faculty/exempt members.

Reger said these changes are supposed to equalize committee sizes across campus so that the Parking and Traffic Committee has about the same number of members as other campus committees, such as the Library Committee. But our question is why did the student representatives have to be cut but no other group’s representation went down? In fact, the number of faculty and staff representatives on the committee actually went up.

About 10,000 students attend some classes in Brookings, according to information from the President’s Office. SDSU employs more than 2,000 people across the state, with a majority of those in Brookings, according to the information provided.

Obviously then, more students are parking on campus than faculty, career service or non-faculty/ exempt members. It makes no sense to reduce their voice on a committee when they are the ones most greatly affected by parking changes. Parking is always one of the most talked-about issues on this campus and students need sufficient representation in new decisions.

Plus, having only two undergraduate students on the committee means that several colleges will lack representation on parking issues. Once students start taking classes only related to their major, they tend to park in most of the same areas. It could be hard for a senator from the College of Arts and Sciences to completely understand the problems of someone trying to park in the Animal Science Building lot. More voices and opinions are definitely better than only a small representation of students when it comes to the issue of parking.

Reger did say in this week’s meeting of the Parking and Traffic Committee that he is reconsidering the issue. We encourage him to leave the number of student representatives on that committee alone. The make-up of this committee should accurately reflect the people it serves if the decisions its members make are to have a chance at student support.

Stance: Administrators should not continue with this proposal because it reduces student voice on an issue that affects their daily lives.