A high level SF State administrator can now park on a campus pathway that is off limits to all other cars thanks to a new parking spot created solely for her use.
Part of the pathway behind the Student Services building has fresh white paint sectioning off a vehicle-sized area and proclaiming the space as “Reserved Parking 24/7 For Permit No. 0007.” A sign planted into the ground beside the spot repeats the statement.
The spot was created for VP of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Luoluo Hong, who will no longer have to walk from the regular staff and faculty parking lot to her office. Two transport carts for people with disabilities can also park along the pathway. The pathway was previously used only by pedestrians, cyclists, emergency vehicles and transport carts.
In response to requests to interview Hong, the Golden Gate Xpress was referred to Mary Kenny, interim associate vice president of strategic marketing and communications.
Personal safety and the time wasted looking for parking and walking to and from the lot were among the main reasons for the dedicated space, Kenny said.
“The location of the space maximizes the amount of time she spends in direct service to students, rather than looking for parking, walking to and from parking, etc. and serves as part of an overall personal safety plan,” Kenny said.
The other reasons Kenny gave were that Hong sometimes works late into the evening, she routinely attends off-campus meetings and as the administrator overseeing Residential Life, the University Police Department and the Emergency Operations Center, she may be required to respond to emergencies.
Since her appointment to the role of VP in February 2014, Hong has had to use the same lots as the rest of university staff and faculty while paying $760 per year for a permit.
SF State parking lot user permits cost $90 per month — or $1,080 for 12 months — that does not guarantee a spot since the lot often fills to capacity.
Hong’s dedicated parking spot now puts her on par with all the other university vice presidents, who also pay $760 a year for reserved parking spots next to the Administration Building where their offices are located. However Hong’s is the only spot located on a campus pathway.
Pedestrian safety was not addressed in Kenny’s response, however she said that Parking & Transportation Services and the UPD “recommended the location for its minimal impact on traffic.”
SF State students sitting at the restaurant Taza across from the parking spot did not express concern for their own safety, however they wondered if the situation was unfair to all other staff members.
“It’s pretty sad really,” said sociology freshman Stephanie Rivera. “Everybody else who works here has to walk that far.”
Jamarc Henderson, a fourth-year Africana Studies major, said he wasn’t personally bothered by it.
“But I guess to some people, like faculty, it might be an issue,” he said.
The SF State Faculty Association declined to comment on the matter.
A bike rack and Golden Gate Xpress news box were moved to make way for the spot. The bike rack is now located on the east side of the Student Services Building, near the front entrance. The Xpress box was moved just a few meters away.