The Associated Students of Colorado State University approved a resolution to negotiate the current game day re-park program for the on campus stadium Wednesday night.
The resolution asked the University to compromise the current re-park program with several stipulations: the resolution asks that the North campus’s parking lots are exempt from the program, that students required to relocate vehicles are provided with free meal vouchers at the stadium on game day, and an extended bus service to parking lots until midnight.
Resolution 4606 formally expresses discontent with the current game day re-parking program of the on-campus stadium and adds amendments which would make the re-park program favorable to students. The senate approved it Wednesday night by a vote of 20-0-0.
The resolution describes the re-park program as, “counter-productive to the Athletic Department’s aims of increasing student engagement—by establishing a pattern of disregarding students’ needs for those of the Athletic Department, driving a wedge between students and the Athletics Department which may lead to on-campus students leaving campus altogether on game days—defeating one rationale for building the stadium on campus.”
The re-park program would require on-campus students to move their vehicles to one of three parking lots—the Westfall, South Campus and East side track lots—on Friday nights, and have to return their vehicles on Sunday nights. The Athletics Department will also provide a shuttle service for students to and from the re-park lots.
Under the amended resolution written by ASCSU senator Duane Hansen, ASCSU also asks the Game Day Experience Committee and University Administration to explore a partnership with the New Belgium Brewing Company in create a bicycling event called “Tour de Football” during game days, in addition to promoting alternative modes of transportation to the stadium.
The resolution also stipulated that the entirety of the North campus’s parking lots are to be exempt from the re-park program; these parking lots include the Parmelee and Allison residence halls. Provisions were also made for disabled and handicapped students to apply for exemption from the re-park program.
ASCSU asked that students who are required to relocate their vehicles be entitled to free meal vouchers at the stadium during game days, as well as an extended bus service to the designated lots running until midnight.
The rationale of the proposal stems from a number of concerns regarding the stadium, according to resolution 4606.
The parking program was criticized for divesting student time away from academics and personal obligations in order to accommodate the parking program. There is also a concern regarding alcohol on campus, as tailgating areas would be much closer to residence halls.
The lack of promotion for alternative transportation was also critiqued in the resolution, which says that the re-park program “goes against the University’s sustainability goals and the Inter-Governmental Agreement with the City of Fort Collins.”
The resolution also said that the movement of an estimate of 8,500 vehicles around campus would present a logistical burden on the Fort Collins Police Department and the CSU Police Department.
This Wednesday marked the third time that the re-park program was presented to ASCSU. The program was met with discontent during the ninth ASCSU senate session last week, where CSU Athletics Director Joe Parker and Assistant Director of Facilities Management Fred Haberecht were questioned for almost two hours.
Vice President of University Advancement Brett Anderson made a presentation discussing the role of alumni in funding the stadium and CSU.
“Private support … has become an incredibly important part of how we operate this university,” said Anderson. “The way we are increasing the private support of the institution is (by engaging) these alumni… One of the greatest engagement opportunities we’ve got from a university advancement standpoint is athletics. … That engagement opportunity leads to them supporting the institution.”
According to Anderson, private donations amount to $200 million given to the University for scholarships, facilities and operations costs.
Anderson then entertained questions from the senate floor.
“So, if we pay equal amounts to what the state and donors contribute to this school for it to be as it is, why is it that you have the expectation that you can’t treat the students as equally?” Hansen asked.
Anderson responded that the University understands that the program is an inconvenience, but that donors contribute heavily to the University.
“I think the point there is that you wouldn’t want to be treated equally if you wanted to pay $50,000 … The $200 million is out of the goodness of their hearts,” Anderson said. “They’re wanting to give back to all of you in order to advance the university. They’re paying a dramatically different price for that parking spot. We understand that it’s an inconvenience, and it’s a change from what we’ve always done.”
Members of the gallery also voiced their opinions on the re-park program.
“I’m mostly frustrated how it was presented, as it (seems) like the Athletic Department made this decision and sold those tickets, and is holding that money over you and is expecting you to roll over,” said Lauren Eldridge, a senior mechanical engineering gallery member.
Gallery members were also frustrated with the communication from the University regarding the program.
“I’m really disappointed,” said Marc Tapporo, junior mechanical engineering gallery member. “Where did we fail to mention this to our students? We are festering hate amongst them. And, right now, I can see the bill at hand: $2.2 million. We can’t avoid that, that’s needed. I can’t afford it. I might have to drop out of college next year. So I support the (resolution).”
Collegian reporter Gabriel Go can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @rgabrielgo.