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Commuter student issues must be addressed

While it is wonderful that Mills has achieved record breaking enrollment, there now exists a need to address mobility once we arrive on campus. This semester I have experienced innumerable challenging transportation accommodations, both getting to and staying on campus.

I drive to campus five days a week from San Francisco, usually with a car full of Mills women. We arrive early because that’s the only way to find legal parking.

According to The Weekly, there are 1,029 spaces for the nearly 1,500 permits for vehicles. What is Public Safety’s approach? They are giving out parking tickets by the score. This is no solution. Karen Maggio said they are creating approximately 40 more spaces. Only 40.

There are few Mills women who ride motorcycles to school. Even though there are so few, some of them are continually harassed at the front gate. It is important that the public safety staff understands the composition of our community and behaves with respect and consideration to any student regardless of her appearance.

While on the subject of commuting, I thank Dean of Students Joanna Iwata, Darnita White and Karen Maggio for seeing the wisdom of having van service available to enable students who use public transportation to attend evening classes. It is unfortunate that such service does not take into account getting home after classes, as the last trip from campus is at 9 and many night classes end at 9:30 or 10.

Not only have we had problems getting to and from campus, but once here, we have problems staying here.

Resuming women, those of us 23 and older, returned to school to find that our access to the Mary Atkins Lounge was restricted. We met with the Dean of Students and now we have 24/7 access again; however, after years of tradition, our “nap rooms” were removed and not relocated. Ms. Maggio says it is unfair for non-residents to have the option of remaining overnight on campus without paying for the privilege. We are not asking to stay every night, but to have private rooms available to rest and stay overnight in case of emergency. I cannot imagine residential students begrudging us daily use of nap rooms and an occasional overnight, especially since many of us are disabled students, and many of us commute great distances to school.

The efforts of our admissions department could be wasted if we lose commuting students due to such oversight.

Lynne Sloan

Senior Vice President

Mary Atkins Board Vice President