On Sunday, Student Council met for the last time this semester to discuss parking tickets and bid farewell to the 2022-23 representatives. Newly-elected Student Council President Marissa Sun ’25 presided over the meeting, where new officers began transitioning into their roles with the help of their predecessors. Dean of Students Brian Janssen also reported that the Gund Commons game room and first-year residence hall renovations will be done over the summer.
Director of Campus Safety Michael Sweazey proposed harsher penalties for campus parking infractions. Sweazey explained how the $15 penalties for parking in the wrong place don’t seem to matter to most students and that there is little incentive for students to not become habitual violators. Campus Safety’s new plan would increase the penalty for continued parking violations, doubling the original $15 fee to $30 for first- and second-time offenders, and fining those with five to seven tickets up to $100. If a student exceeds seven tickets, the issue will go to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, and the student may get their vehicle removed from campus. Unregistered vehicle fines will also increase after repeated offenses, with an initial fee of $250 that will increase by $50 for each continued transgression. Several members of the Council raised concerns over the severity and ability to enforce proposed changes, made more difficult by the Gund Commons lot no longer being available for student parking and the steep increases in ticket prices.
Sweazey then pivoted to the good news — the success of the North Campus Parking Pilot Program, which has convinced officers that students who park in faculty and staff lots can remove their cars by 7 a.m., as opposed to the current 2 a.m. deadline. Sweazey also teased that a new lot on North Campus will become available over the summer. Sweazey emphasized that these discussions are ongoing, and that students should continue to ask questions and make suggestions about parking. “I am willing to talk to anyone about anything,” he said.
Associate Vice President of Enrollment & Director of Financial Aid Craig Slaughter then joined the meeting to discuss the impact that tuition increases will have on financial aid and scholarships, as some students raised concerns over how they would be affected by the price jump. According to Slaughter, 25% of the office’s budget goes toward merit-based aid, while the other 75% is directed toward need-based aid. Slaughter stated that around 60% of the student body receives some kind of financial assistance from the College. While need-based aid for international students does not get adjusted throughout their tenure at the College, domestic students have to reapply each year that they want to receive need-based aid. Domestic students who have not filed for financial aid in the past can apply for it at any point through the Office of Financial Aid’s website. “We [The Office of Financial Aid] work hard to make sure that if the fundamentals for families are consistent, the financial aid is going to be consistent relative to what the new costs are,” said Slaughter.