MJ VA Parking

University Police Chief Clarence Green came in to present the idea of adding five veteran parking spots on campus at the April 6 Student Senate meeting. The Senate motioned to allow the parking spots, as well as the idea to reopen a discussion on what else they can do for veterans.

Student Veterans Association and the University Police Department are working together to get five student veteran designated parking spots around campus by the fall 2021 semester.

Though the details are still being presented to the University, these spots are projected to be in  Valk, Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse and the Administration building parking lots.

Junior TJ Goldizen, the president of Student Veterans Association, made getting these spots around campus a goal when he first came to Northwest.

“All over the country there is designated parking for veterans, and I figured that we could just bring this on campus,” Goldizen said. “I called all over the country to different universities, and I did not find one university that actually had it.”

University Police Lt. Amanda Cullin said these parking passes won’t come at an extra cost to student veterans, and the University is covering the costs of the signs and permit designations. 

Some other campuses across the country give discounted parking to their student veterans; Goldizen said this is something that he would like to see implemented at Northwest.

“I think not only the parking, but giving a little more gratitude to our student veterans because they put their lives on the line for our country —  for our freedom,” Goldizen said. “I think discounted parking would be a good thing to have.”

To help with this, there was a proposal at the April 6 Student Senate meeting to use some of the $25,000 rollover budget to go toward covering the cost of a discount to give to student veterans for their parking passes.

Though there has been no official plan to appropriate the money, Goldizen said it will be proposed again in the fall semester to put the funds toward student veteran parking passes.

To differentiate student veterans from traditional students, they would have a different sticker parking permit or a hanging tag.

“Everybody would still get the same parking permit, whether they live on or off campus,” Goldizen said. “Then they would have to go through the Student Veterans Association to be confirmed and validated as a student veteran.”

Once that has been validated, the organization will send a list over to UPD to issue additional parking passes to the student veterans.

University Police Lt. Amanda Cullin said that UPD was approached by Student Veterans Association to make these designated parking spots, and they accepted as a way to show more support for student veterans.

“There have been spots that have been identified, especially over in Valk, there is a center for veterans they regularly visit, so that would be an obvious place to put some veteran parking spots,” Cullin said.

Though there are more student veterans on campus than parking spots being created, Goldizen said it would be on a first-come, first-served basis. He said that not creating too much student veteran parking was in an effort to not create more of a parking issue for other students on campus.

“If it comes down to where we need more veterans parking, then we can revisit it to add more spots,” Goldizen said.

These parking spaces are still in the beginning development of being implemented but are planned to be on campus when students come back for classes in the fall.

“I think this is going to be a good victory for student veterans to have, whether this is something they have thought of or not,” Goldizen said. “We are going from military-friendly to military-inclusive, and this is one way to show it.”

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