UREC to consider free parking year-round

SYDNEY BROWN, Evergreen life editor

A tweet from student Allison Osborne on Friday afternoon read “Sooo how many [retweets] to get free parking at the [Student Recreation Center] forever?” ASWSU President Jordan Frost used his own Twitter account to reply that “2,000 [retweets] would send a pretty big message to the UREC committee!”

At the time of printing, Allison’s tweet has more than 400 retweets, a fifth of the goal of 2,000. The end of February spells the end of free parking, which University Recreation offered for the month.

Nicolas Prante, assistant director of facilities and operations at UREC, said they are currently collecting data about the possibility of establishing free parking across UREC locations. This data includes some of the feedback they received from students via a suggestion area at the SRC. He said UREC is continuing to work on this issue with ASWSU, adding that the making free parking a reality has been a multi-year project.

He said there are no definitive plans to keep the parking lot free of charge to students after the end of the month.

Director of Facilities Jeff Elbracht said there are many things involved in the decision, which he said is not entirely in their hands.

“We are currently evaluating the comments we’ve collected,” he said. “We need to discuss with Transportation Services and WSU itself. At this point we’re still just looking into our options.”

Elbracht said extending free parking past the deadline of Feb. 28 is a possibility, but because of the complicated nature of the issue, SRC attendees should plan to pay for their parking. The issue may take a while to settle, he said, because at the end of the day, the UREC Board will make the decision.