Butler administration proposes increase in parking permit prices, SGA introduces resolution in condemnation. Photo by Lauren Gdowski.
ANNIE FAULKNER | NEWS CO-EDITOR | firstname.lastname@example.org
Butler University’s Office of Parking and Transportation Services proposed plans to increase the price of student parking passes for the 2023-24 academic year. This proposal, attributed to “high parking demand” for students, would affect student passes AV, B, T, I and C — staff and faculty passes would not be affected.
This proposed increase, introduced at the Butler University Parking Committee meeting on Jan. 17, would be the first increase in parking pass prices for Butler students since academic year 2018-19. Passes AV, B and T would undergo a 11.32% increase, raising the annual prices of these passes from $265 to $295. I-lot passes would see a 14.29% increase, raising prices from $140 to $160, and C passes, for commuters, would be raised by 7.14%, from $140 to $150.
According to an email from Jeremy Moore, associate director of parking and transportation services, sent to the Parking Committee on Jan. 13, these changes were introduced by Bruce Arick, university vice president of finance and administration. An initial version of the proposal included smaller increases — 7.55% for AV, B and T passes and 7.14% for I and C — but an updated proposal sent to the committee on Jan. 30 indicated updated increases of a greater amount.
Representatives from the Student Government Association, SGA, sit on the Parking Committee in advisory roles in order to provide student input, as well as informing SGA of any proposals that are of interest to Butler students. In response to the proposed price hike, Resolution 2223-061 has been introduced to the SGA Senate to oppose the measure — as of 12:45 a.m. on Feb. 1, all but one of SGA’s 18 senators had cosponsored the resolution.
The resolution cites the lack of demonstrated financial necessity of the proposed change, and condemns the proposal for the negative effects it would have on Butler students. The resolution states that an increase in the prices of parking passes will not decrease student demand for parking, but that it would create additional barriers for students who need vehicles on campus.
Maggie Spence, a senior international studies and French double major, is a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences senator who is a secondary sponsor of Resolution 2223-061. She said she believes that, given Butler’s lack of adequate parking space for students, the prices of parking permits are already excessive.
“Raising [prices] to limit students’ desire to purchase parking passes is harmful to students, especially students who might be underprivileged or have less access to monetary resources,” Spence said. “Because often those students are the ones who need parking passes because they have to drive to a job, or they have to drive somewhere else all the time and go back and forth from campus.”
Additionally, the resolution calls attention to the fact that the proposal would only impact students, while university administrators, faculty and staff would not be subject to the same increases — however, the resolution states that SGA does not want administrators, faculty or staff to be burdened by unaffordable parking passes either.
If passed, the resolution would formally condemn the university for the proposed increases and cement the official position of SGA against the proposal. Additionally, it calls on Arick to reject any proposal that would increase the price of parking for students. However, the passage of this resolution would not in itself result in the proposal ceasing to move forward.
Meet Patel, a senior health sciences and Spanish double major and the vice president of SGA, is a member of the Parking Committee. He said that upon initially hearing the proposed changes, he thought they made sense, as Butler typically raises the prices of parking passes every two years. However, due to interruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been four years since the last increase in price occurred.
“I do condone [SGA’s resolution],” Patel said. “I do think that there is a need for serious discussion and incorporation of student feedback as well before they make a final decision. To the extent of which they actually do that in the decisions, I don’t know, but I mean, that’s all we encouraged with this resolution.”
Alex Stencel, a senior political science and strategic communication double major, is a senator for the class of 2023. Serving as the primary sponsor of Resolution 2223-061, Stencel said he understands the university needs the increased funds, but thinks that it could be done in a more tasteful way.
“I think that Butler is trying to find new ways to squeeze more money out of students, and I think it’s unfortunate,” Stencel said. “I understand that at the end of the day, it’s a private university, and they need money to fund different areas and fix different things, but I think they’re going about this the wrong way, and that it’s hurting the students more than they should expect to.”
SGA will vote on Resolution 2223-061 on Feb. 1, at their meeting held at 7:00 p.m. in the Reilly Room. All students are welcome to attend, and students wishing to voice their concerns may file online feedback on SGA’s website.
The Butler Collegian will continue to follow this story.