Students Seek to Ease Parking Woes

CARLOS VILLARREAL
El Vaquero Staff Writer<

A price increase on student parking permits is foreseen as plans for a new parking structure are in the works to help ease students stress levels during the morning and afternoon battle royal over parking spaces at GCC’s over crowded parking structures and lots.

The Associated Students of Glendale Community College (ASGCC) met March 7 to approve a plan to have a price increase take effect next year or have the price of the permits gradually increase over the next three years. The price of student parking permits will rise to $65, a $15 increase from last year, to help off set the cost of the new parking structure with an estimated price of $6 million over the budget set by the school.

Alen Andriassian, Advisor of Student Activities, proposed a plan that would have the cost of the permits gradually rise and not have a “shock factor” for the students, according to Andriassian. The plan would have the price increase in stages over three years, $60 in 2007, $62.50 in 2008 and $65 in 2009. Vice President of Finance, David Arakelyan said, “I think most [students] wouldn’t mind the increase for the new structure if it means they don’t have to fight for a parking space.”

If ASGCC does not approve Andriassian’s plan, the price increase will take effect next year raising the permit cost to $65.

“We don’t have control over parking fees, the school does, but what we can do is help the students off set the cost,” said Andriassian.

One such plan that also ties in with Andriassian’s proposal is to take money from the student services fund to help cover the cost of the new structure. Back in 2003 due to school budget cuts, the student services cost rose from $10 to $15 to help pay for services lost due to the new school budget. The $5 cost hike was projected to last ’til 2005. This year the cost hike can either be approved to run another two years or be lowered again to $10.
The proposal to be tied in with the three-year price increase on parking would have the student services fee lowered to $12.50 and have $2.50 of that allocated to the cost of the new structure.

This plan in theory will help ease the transition of the price increase and have a “psychical effect on the students that their fees are dropping, instead of rising” vice president Arakelyan said, addressing the issue. If this plan is approved by the counsel, it would tie in with the three-year-plan and slow the rising costs and not leave students holding the bill for the new parking structure.

On March 2, plans were discussed about giving the old parking structure in use a face-lift. The plan proposed would call for decorating the aging, lackluster “cement block” looking structures according to Thomas Dryden, Vice President of Administration Committee.

Due to the cost of the re-facing, some budget cuts might be foreseen in the future for the student body funds, which could effect school funding for programs and organizations. Those budget cuts are not certain at the moment until the final budget is decided in the weeks to come. The old parking-structure would under-go a new coat of paint and have various pots of plants place around the structure for a more attractive look.

For all the students who are planning or are interested in studying abroad this year, the following information may be useful. This year’s trips are planned for Greece, Ireland-England and Prague to Venice.

The board is trying to have Argentina approved as the next study abroad destination for winter of 2007. The study program would be scheduled for a four week stay in Argentina, according to ASGCC’s Study Abroad Committee. For more information visit Darren Leaver (CS-183).

ASGCC is also pushing the administration for new computer equipment for the library; they are hoping that in the next year the library will able to accommodate students with wireless-Internet access (Wi-Fi). Currently the school’s library has only 35 computers with Internet use.

The wireless access will allow students to use their personal laptops computers with wireless-routers to connect to the school’s Internet-servers as apposed to the conventional means of plugging a computer in to a phone-jack to access the World Wide Web. This plan will hopefully ease long waits and help students in their quest for information.

In preparation of Earth Day, the Student Association for Global Awareness (SAGA) is holding the GCC ECO Fest on April 6. The event is aimed at bring awareness to the problems the world facing in the future according to SAGA members, Gloria Tapia, Elizabeth Martinez and Nalini Lasiewics.

The event will host workshops and information booths showing methods to help reduce and stop the damaging effects of pollution on the earth. This year’s theme is “Global Climate Change,” as said by member Nalini Lasiewics. SAGA will also have games and activities planned for the event, such as a can-crushing event and various other displays, such as a stationary bike used to generate electricity.

All school clubs and organizations are invited to participate in the event that is planned to span five-weeks and also includes a guest lecture on March 28 about alternative fuels. For more information about this event contact Gloria Tapia or drop in on a SAGA meeting in The Environment Exhibit (CS-173).

It is that dreaded time once again, all scholarship forms are due, the last day to file is March 24. GCC has over $300,000 in scholarship money to award students this year and as they say, “It’s always nice to have an extra buck.”

Erick Santos, Vice President of Organizations here at GCC is hosting a support drive for US Troops serving in Iraq. Erick and ASGCC are hoping for fellow students to open their hearts and pocketbooks in raising funds and household goods such as magazines, books, and candy are being collected and shipped to troops overseas.

“These packages are just an extra step towards making our troops feel at home and most important that they are not forgotten,” said by Santos. Students are asked to look for special jars around campus soon that are adored with the ASGCC logo. You made contribute money or goods in these jars. Erick and ASGCC are hoping that all students can participate in this drive and help another person remember that people still do care.

Other upcoming ASGCC events for this month include, Saint Patrick’s Day eating and root beer drinking contest (March 17). A blood drive is schedule for March 16, in SC-212 and stand-up comedian Randy Regal on March 21, from noon to 1 p.m. in the campus auditorium.