Student workers’ privilege rescinded

Photo Illustration by Matt Weir / The Collegian

One of the privileges the university hands out to volunteer student workers has recently been taken away due to unauthorized students claiming those privileges.

The California State University, Fresno, University Police Department (UPD) had previously provided some student workers with the yellow staff parking permits. The permits allowed students to park at the lots closer to the university’s facilities.

At the beginning of the 2009 fall semester, those students’ staff parking privileges had been revoked.

The students that used to receive the yellow permits were the University Student Union (USU) board of directors, the executive officers of the Associated Student Inc. (ASI), the staff of The Collegian and the Smittcamp Honors College honorees.

UPD public information officer Amy Armstrong said the changes were due to the fact that some of the students that received the yellow passes in previous years did not work for any of the organizations that were listed.

“This fiscal year, many changes were put into place to account for all of the parking on campus,” Armstrong said. “There were over 100 students who were receiving yellow faculty/staff permits with no documentation of how the agreement came about and why.”

Armstrong also emphasized that the students that were given the staff parking passes in previous years were volunteers, not paid workers. The yellow passes were given to them as privileges, but weren’t necessarily mandatory.

The students who received get staff parking permits had to gain authorization from human resources or academic personnel.

For the student workers whose passes were revoked, their working routines were not heavily affected, but they do miss the privilege of parking closer to campus.

USU chair of the board Alex Garcia said the permits gave the board of directors motivation to do well in their jobs.

“Having the staff parking permit was a privilege that makes parking an issue we don’t have to worry about,” Garcia said. “It’s not the worst thing in the world to park at the student parking lots, but parking at the staff lots gives us motivation to serve the students better because we get the privilege to park there.”

In his last two years as a board member, Garcia said this was the first semester he had to park at the student parking lots. Although he doesn’t mind the extra walk from the lots to the buildings, with late afternoon board meetings, parking further caused some inconvenience for him and the other board members.

“Once a month we have a community meeting that starts at 3 p.m. and ends [at] about 5 p.m. For most of the students that stay late to clean up or help with productions after the meetings, it’s helpful for them to park closer to the campus rather than further,” Garcia said.

Although the issue with the yellow passes may not be resolved by the end of the semester, Armstrong said that the UPD is currently formulating a more organized record of students that receive the staff parking privileges.

“This year we are looking at getting an accurate accounting of the vehicles that park on campus and document our practices,” Armstrong said. “We have to plan for the future so that we can maintain our parking lots and provide quality parking to the campus community.”

Correction: This story incorrectly referenced the department responsible for distributing yellow parking passes. As of November 2009, the Office of Student Involvement and the Office of the Vice President for Administration approves the list of eligible students. Parking permits have also been restored to several student groups.

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