By Michael Julien – Multimedia Editor
Editor’s note – Changes have been made to more accurately reflect budget numbers.
Grand Rapids Community College’s reinstated student government, Student Alliance, met on Sept. 4 for the first time in two years.
The meeting was held on the third floor of the student center, and approximately 15 people attended. Sexual assault on college campuses, the budget for the 2014-2015 school year and parking were among the topics that were discussed.
The major topic discussed at the meeting was parking issues on campus. There were three administrators present to talk about this parking task force which include Lisa Freiburger, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Victoria Janowiak, the Executive Director of Operational Planning, Rebecca Whitman, GRCC Police Chief, Jim Peterson, Director of Financial Services, Sarah Dorer, Student Alliance Advisor, and Paulo Teles, Associate Director of student life, were all present and spoke at the meeting.
The meeting was started with a discussion on issues students had with parking on campus during the first week of school.
“The task force looked into the congestion at the parking ramps during the first two weeks of school,” Freiburger said, and noted that “the task force tries to keep up on traffic patterns and things that may affect parking at GRCC.”
To help solve this problem, the parking task force added 155 more off-site parking spaces at Central Reformed Church and 425 more spaces were reserved in the Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) lot.
Freiburger also discussed the DASH lots, nothing more than parking spaces were added this year and a lower price was offered if you purchased a spot before orientation.
There are four student parking options on campus. Students can park in the Bostwick Ramp, Lyon Ramp, Barclay Lot, or the Sneden Hall Parking Ramp. There are 1,710 student spaces in the Bostwick Ramp, 122 student spaces in the Barclay Lot, 330 student spaces at Sneden and 470 student spaces at the Lyon Ramp. Combined there are a total of 2,632 parking spaces dedicated to student parking.
Later in the meeting Dorer lead a discussion regarding sexual assaults on college campuses. Doer said that cases of sexual assault were not as prevalent at GRCC as they would be at a four-year school.
“The statistics show that one in every four or five women on a college campus will experience some sort of sexual violence during their time in college,” Dorer said.
She also mentioned that 90 percent of cases on college campuses are by a repeat offender. Administrators planned to have information on this topic available to students during welcome week.
The Student Alliance budget for the 2014-2015 school year was also announced at the meeting.
The estimated budget was around $285,000. The actual budget is $268,000. There is an additional $20,000 of estimated funds that can allocated to clubs pending approval for special projects. Each organization will receive $1,000 a year and academic clubs will receive $500 this year. Campus Activities Board has been allocated $58,000 of the budget.
“The difference between an academic club and a organization is an academic club is associated with a class or major, an organization is not,” Roman Collins said.
New organizations will receive an extra $500 on top of the $1,000 organizations get. The entire budget is online at grcc.edu/involvement under budgets.
The next Student Alliance meeting will be in room 336 of the Student Center on Oct. 2.