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The Daily Tar Heel

Student Congress proposes changes to hardship parking

District 6 representative David Joyner began the hearing by expressing his disappointment in the low turnout.

“As you guys know, I was one of the people who wanted to have this hearing so we could discuss and have students share their opinions,” Joyner said. “But no one came.”

Debate on redistricting lasted several minutes before the hearing ended.

The committee discussed three bills during the meeting: one about hardship parking, which passed without prejudice; one requiring all members of Student Congress to get One Act trained, which also passed without prejudice; and one about an assistance fund for survivors of sexual assault, which passed favorably.

Kyle Villemain, student body vice president, introduced the hardship parking bill.

“Hardship parking is a pretty awful process right now at UNC,” Villemain said. “It’s fairly outdated and fairly cumbersome, and it doesn’t work all that well.”

Currently, hardship parking is available for students who have medical, family or extracurricular reasons for needing a parking permit.

The spaces are allocated by the hardship parking committee, a group of seven students.

The new bill would include UNC staff members in the allocation process, including representatives from Student Affairs and from the Department of Public Safety.

“It’s really hard to get good students to want to give up 20 hours in the first two weeks of school to do what’s pretty much grunt work,” Villemain said. “It’s something that should be student-led ... but we have the University here and the administration here to handle some of these kinds of things.”

The bill would also involve creating an online application for hardship parking, versus the current paper one.

Most members of the committee agreed on the online application component, but some had reservations about bringing University staff onto an all-student committee.

Villemain said he wanted the bill to be passed without prejudice so that changes could possibly come into effect before spring 2015.

“I would encourage you guys to move it forward without prejudice and have some discussion this week,” Villemain said. “That would go a long way with making things easier for students.”

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