By Tre Mastran
The Student Government Association at Youngstown State University recently conducted a survey of students’ opinions on the school’s parking facilities.
Members of SGA have turned their efforts over the past weeks to taking steps toward resolving various issues with parking infrastructure. In order to gauge potential concerns of students, a survey was issued via the university’s email to be completed by any student with a YSU email address.
The comprehensive survey covered a variety parking issues that have been vocalized by students.
Korinne Sackela, SGA’s vice president for assessment and enrichment, explained how the survey was structured.
“The survey consists of several sections of questions pertaining to summer parking pass costs, parking safety, guest parking passes and a few others. There was also a section at the end of the survey allowing students to leave additional feedback regarding parking in any facet,” Sackela said. “The primary goal of the parking survey is to acquire quantitative data and feedback directly from students in order to generate a report with hopes of resolving some of the concerns that the student body has.”
Sackela expressed that her position within SGA has allowed her to observe some issues in need of correction.
“There have been substantial amounts of complaints and concerns brought to my attention and to the attention of the SGA executive team, that we believe there are flaws in parking that many students would like to see resolved,” Sackela said. “Following data analysis, I am hopeful that what I can report to Parking Services will instill a movement for change to impact the student body.”
SGA Executive Vice President Ernie Barkett said he is more accepting of the parking system currently in place, although he is well aware of student aggravation.
“I do not believe the situation is flawed, although I understand students’ frustration,” Barkett said. “As YSU continues to expand, parking will continue to be harder to find and the need for more parking in the future is there.”
The survey, which received responses from over 800 students at the time of this story’s writing, was seen by all SGA members as an important step in facilitating substantive change to the university’s parking system.
Rayann Atway, SGA president, expressed her feelings on having student input on the matter.
“I feel like this survey is very important to improve the parking situation at YSU. This is something a lot of students are very passionate about and we wanted a productive way for them to voice their concerns,” Atway said. “After the conclusion of this survey, members of SGA plan to meet with Parking Services to discuss the results. I feel like this is the best way for students’ concerns to be heard and the best way for us to enact change.”
Atway was not alone in recognizing the crucial role that student input plays in such change-seeking scenarios. YSU Provost, Martin Abraham, also weighed in on the topic.
“I believe that student input is critical to the decision-making process, as students are the reason we are all here. Our YSU mission statement identifies the importance of students in its second sentence: ‘The University places students at its center,’” Abraham said. “In short, students have a critically important voice in all aspects of the university.”