Our student body government currently spends $1,986 per year in student fees to fund parking permits for six of its employees. That includes two 24-hour reserved permits for the student body president and ASMSU attorney at $675 each, as well as SB permits ($159 each) for four classified employees: the ASMSU office manager and operations manager, and the Leadership Institute’s director and assistant.
Parking permits constitute a tiny fraction of ASMSU’s budget. But their presence seems to result from a combination of tradition, administrative oversight and contract negotiations — not necessarily with students’ interests in mind. Moreover, not all of the passes are explicit in student government’s budget, but are taken from general discretionary spending accounts.
The ASMSU student body president does not need a premier parking permit. President Kiah Abbey does not even own a vehicle to drive to campus, yet the $675 spot has remained reserved for her this academic year. We are glad to hear Abbey has struck her position’s permit from future budgets.
It may seem petty, especially as ASMSU’s classified employees are not particularly well compensated, but such is the responsibility of public institutions. For the sake of transparency and consistency, student government must determine which permits are necessary to employee work, and write them into the budget. The superfluous spots should be scrapped and the money used to better serve students.