Sam Dike" />
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Friday, September 22, 2023


Guest column: SGA negatively, and wrongfully, portrayed

The Monday Daily Cougar Staff Editorial, titled "SGA parking bill misses the big picture (Opinion)," is at best grossly inaccurate.

The Student Government Association, being a representative organization of the students and for the students, exists to hear and advocate on behalf of the needs and interests of our fellow students. With that said, there is a problem with parking on this campus; without a doubt, there are issues with limited parking, quality parking and customer service. Students have said it, and we as an SGA are attempting to do what we can as student representatives to address these issues by building certain safeguards to ensure that students are served well. The author of the editorial states that SGA members "need to remember what the main problem is: limited parking."

Did the author of this editorial fail to read the SGA legislation? It clearly stated that "The current parking situation has been characterized with certain failures such as an insufficient number of student parking spots in relation to the student population, and poor quality lots, such as Lot 4A."

Clearly, as outlined in the text of the legislation, "limited parking" is a major concern of the SGA and our fellow students. Our proposed remedy stated in the bill is a safeguard for students that states parking permit rates should not increase until the amount of spaces for parking increases as well as the quality of the some of the parking lots. The reasoning is that students should not have to pay more for less – fewer parking spots and poorer quality lots.

The author of the editorial pointed out that parking permits have increased 7 percent since last year. So my question is, did the author miss the point of our legislation or does he or she support paying more for less?

The author of the editorial apparently didn’t do his or her research or read this legislation when he or she used a quote from a non-existing student senator: Sen. Selman Manuela. Did you mean Salman Amanullah? Maybe I’m missing the bigger picture.

The author of the editorial continues to "miss the bigger picture" when it comes to parking ticket forgiveness. The author states, "this lenience will create a crutch for students." The author also says, "students who come for just one class will start using this as an excuse to park longer at meters and illegally park in lots, taking the spaces of others students who actually have their permits." Once again I ask if the author of this editorial read the legislation where it clearly states that a student must provide proof of purchase of a decal in order for it to be considered forgiven and, furthermore, that this is limited to once a semester. The reason for parking forgiveness is a recognition that accidents happen and not in support of bad habits, hence why it is limited.

It seems to me that the author of this editorial missed reading the legislation, missed the SGA meeting explaining it and, therefore, has "missed the big picture." I suggest to the author that before you go criticizing, you take your own advice. The author stated, "SGA has a responsibility to compose more comprehensive, detailed solutions." I agree with the author, and hope that he or she recognizes that they have a responsibility to compose a more comprehensive and researched editorial as well. Because if it isn’t, maybe it is you who should "reconsider who needs to be critiqued."

Dike, vice president of the SGA, can be reached via [email protected]

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