In light of UG’s plans for a more structured parking system on campus, the University of Guyana’s Student Society (UGSS) is advocating for a shuttle system to be considered, to complement any centralized parking.
UGSS President Norwell Hinds told Stabroek News that the society last week approached the university’s Vice Chancellor (VC), Professor Ivelaw Griffith and Registrar, Nigel Gravesande, on the issue of parking on the campus.
“The university is in the process of developing a parking policy. We’ve asked to see that draft policy and to have input into that policy. We also have put on record that the issue of parking on this campus has to be dealt with in a much more structured and organized way, because it’s not only the issue of parking—parking infrastructure that is—but it’s also the issue of traffic controls and it’s about internal transit between the different points on the campus,” Hinds related.
He noted that as is, there are no clear regulations for parking on the campus, an issue a structured parking system will seek to resolve.
During the engagement with the administration, the UGSS representatives reportedly suggested possible alternatives to a paid parking system, as well as suggestions for how such a system can best serve students.
“So what we proposed as a more reasonable alternative, is if we have centralized parking on the campus, we must at least provide some shuttle system that allows persons to traverse the campus in a way that is safe, of course, but considerate,” Hinds said.
“We’ve also asked the university to relax parking regulations and parking restrictions as it relates to certain categories of students…pregnant women, persons living with disabilities, students who arrive in taxis only for drop-off for the purpose of examinations…” he further added.
However, Hinds noted that the implementation of any parking system on the campus should not precede consultation with relevant stakeholders.
“Any implementation for the upcoming year must be properly thought out, involve all stakeholders and a complete consultation process and for the UGSS, those consultations must include such issues as free parking, disability parking, special access parking, the issue of if the student is a consumer and client of the university, where should the student park? Whose responsibility is it to guarantee access to parking and if you have a centralized parking area? There still needs to be some facilitation of transit within the campus, such as the shuttle system or something like that…” he opined.
Hinds stated that he did not know when the university planned to begin consultations, but stated that “those consultations have to happen urgently and the university should not, could not, and must not move ahead with any implementation of parking regulations or any proposals without those consultations having taken place.”
Two weeks ago, students took to social media to express their dissatisfaction after a sign was placed on the campus, indicating that vehicle wheels were subject to clamping, and displaying service fees for its removal.
Hinds related that the sign had been removed the next day, and stated that according to the information relayed to him by the VC, it was placed there by the “designated security officer acting on a previous earlier admin decision”.