Rising tech costs, parking issues, and the SGA meeting 

By Editor-in-Chief Gabriella Barthe   Monday September 30, 2019 the Torch sat in on the SGA formal meeting in Library 206 to get insight on the goings on of our student leaders. In addition to the general Student Government officials was Technical Services Coordinator Scott Lynch with updates on an anticipated rise in costs for use of their spaces and employees.  Even with the rise of minimum wage over the last few years, Technical Services has not increased their rates for services to staff, faculty, or students. Currently, to have a student worker at an event to run sound or lighting equipment it will cost $20 an hour.   General staff are paid minimum wage, while student managers make a bit more.  So as it stands with minimum wage being $12 an hour technical services makes a difference of about $8 or less depending on if a manager is the one working. In 2013 when minimum wage was about $9 an hour, this number was reversed.   Technical Services sees an increase of their $20 per hour rate to $25 per hour as a necessity in maintaining their space and equipment. This raise in rates will be applied to all student groups on campus in Fall of 2020.   Due to falling budgets for clubs across campus, many are worried about the feasibility of running events in the auditorium with these rising rates. Though, there is time between now and next fall for students and staff to discuss these issues.  Following this discussion SGA moved to speak on parking challenges facing UMass students. Due to the construction of the new buildings on campus, 731 spots were removed from campus. Along with this, uneven and inconsistent parking enforcement has worsened the feelings among students about the issue.  In response to this, students are reminded to park in designated parking areas and should note that past 5 PM is when flex parking hours start. Prior to 5 PM, students should leave their cars in residential lots that they have decals for.  With the limited parking spots students are concerned with the high rates of parking decals. Currently, parking decal costs go toward infrastructure improvements across campus. Though, conversations and concerns regarding lowering parking rates have been voiced. Updates will be continued to be expressed when they are made available.   In terms of infrastructure, concerns over multiple bathroom stalls in CVPA being unable to close and lock has been addressed by SGA and has since been improved. Along these lines also brought up were the map at the first disc golf hole has become unreadable due to weather.   Following this, a number of concerns were voiced regarding the Enrollment center and their communications with students. They tried to mitigate concerns by expressing that they hold labs for students to come in and learn about their services.   As the semester moves forward, more information will come out regarding SGA and their efforts on campus. Meetings happen on Mondays at 6 PM in Library 206.   If you have any concerns regarding their policies or actions, or wish to bring something to their attention you can email the SGA directly or visit their office located on the second floor of campus center behind the Student Affairs office room 225.  

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