SGA signs letter of support for on-campus bus solutions


Photo by Josh Meredith

Anna Ardelean, president of Student Government Association, signs a resolution regarding the campus busing situation Monday. Erika Uebelhor (back left) wrote the letter of support and Haviland Wyant (back right) was the second signature on the resolution Monday.

Shelby Clark, Editor-in-Chief

Student Government Association signed a letter of support on Monday asking Public Safety, the Dean of Students Office and all related university organizations to fix the bus and parking situation during the Fall 2021 semester.

“I know a lot of students are concerned about this,” said Anna Ardelean, SGA president. “This will impact a lot of students’ experiences these next few weeks.” 

Ardelean and Haviland Wyant, SGA chief justice, signed the letter of support Monday on behalf of SGA. In the letter, SGA acknowledges residential student concerns about the current bus situation including safety concerns about not having adequate transportation to campus during the winter season. 

The resolution proposes four temporary solutions for the Fall 2021 semester.

The first is returning the third bus. The second is bringing back the 2020-2021 academic year rotation that allowed certain apartment buildings to park on campus. The third is allowing student workers and “similarly situated” students to apply for parking passes. The fourth, SGA’s ideal solution is a combination of their proposed solutions. 

The resolution was written by Erika Uebelhor, SGA attorney general, after Chase Hollenkamp, College of Liberal Arts representative, made a motion to the general assembly Nov. 4 to open discussion on public transportation and parking on campus. 

Hollenkamp said he had received a lot of complaints about the bus system and parking on campus from his friends and fellow students. 

“One of the things that seemed backwards to me was not having three permanently on-campus buses,” Hollenkamp said. 

At the meeting, the general assembly discussed concerns including the winter inclement weather, student workers who have to be on campus before or after the bus route ends and students who live in campus apartments but struggle to attend class on time because of the transportation system. 

After the meeting, Uebelhor and the Rules Committee, a committee of SGA that writes formal writings for SGA, met and wrote the general assembly’s ideas into a letter with the approval and support of the executive board. The letter was presented to and approved by the general assembly Nov. 18. 

Prior to writing the letter, SGA had taken other steps to try to improve the parking and bus issue on campus. Haviland Wyant meets with Public Safety once a month as the chief justice who leads the University Court that hears student parking and traffic appeals.

Wyant said Public Safety is willing to help fix the problem in Spring 2022 and asked SGA to bring them ideas. Wyant, Ardelean and Uebelhor said because the winter months pose safety concerns for students who have to walk long distances to class in the cold, there is a need for a temporary solution until a more permanent solution can be made in Spring 2022. 

“It’s tough to change things in the middle of a semester,” Ardelean said. “Our concern was it’s getting cold out so more students will be using the buses, and it’s more important that they’re able to use the buses.” 

Ardelean said the student government is here to bring up issues like these to university officials. 

“We just want to express the urgency of this need and bring it to their attention because they wouldn’t know.” Ardelean said. “They don’t live on campus. They don’t ride the bus to work.”

Ardelean said as a student who lives in on-campus housing, she has experienced all of these issues. She has also heard students expressing frustrations with the bus system and parking. 

“Having one fewer bus, stopping more frequently for longer periods of time and having reduced capacity, gives you effectively one bus,” Ardelean said. “That’s not enough for all the students on campus.” 

Ardelean said SGA wants to work with the university to reasonably fix this problem, and they understand the university has to be fiscally conservative. 

Read the full letter of support here. Read staff writer Abby Sink’s opinion “Give me buses or give me parking: It’s time to address the bus problem” here.