Matthew Battaglia ’16 grad discusses the resolution he sponsored to improve access to disability parking at Tuesday's U.A. meeting

Edem Dzodzomenyo / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Matthew Battaglia ’16 grad discusses the resolution he sponsored to improve access to disability parking at Tuesday's U.A. meeting

May 9, 2018

U.A. Passes Resolution to Give Injured Students and Pregnant Women Temporary Disability Parking

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The University Assembly passed a resolution at its meeting on Tuesday that would allow injured students and pregnant women to get easier access to temporary disability parking on campus, and revised the language in the Judicial Administrator reappointment.

Matthew Battaglia ’16 grad, graduate and professional student representative, sponsored the resolution.

The University currently subsidizes temporary parking for faculty and staff yet excludes students from benefiting from free, temporary parking, Battaglia said.

“We find this concerning because this creates a socioeconomic barrier,” Battaglia said, adding that “if you have a lot of money, you are able to do [park on campus], and if not, you aren’t.”

Battaglia said that parking permits are expensive because the University wants to discourage students from parking on campus.

“That being said, if you aren’t able to walk because you are temporarily disabled, that’s a different rationale for why you want to park on campus versus a student who just wants to park their car on campus,” he said.

Though there are services in place to assist temporary disabled persons — including CU Lift, bus passes and other accommodations — the bureaucratic delay from paperwork is problematic for students who need to attend class, according to Battaglia.

The resolution also addressed the fact that women who are in their third trimester of pregnancy are subject to pay for temporary disability. By law, a pregnant women cannot be treated differently than a temporarily disabled person, Battaglia said.

“The fact that Cornell is charging pregnant women for the temporary disability permit is concerning,” he said.

For those who are temporarily disabled for two to three weeks, paying for parking is cheaper than buying a parking permit. However, students who are economically disadvantaged should not have to pay for disability parking, Battaglia said.

“We want students that are injured to be able to go to class as best as possible,” Battaglia said.

The University Assembly also passed revised language in how the Judicial Administrator is appointed. Changes include an indefinite term for the J.A., presidential discretion to ask for more candidates when choosing a new J.A., giving the U.A. the authority to remove the J.A. with presidential approval and final approval from the Board of Trustees if the president dissents, and giving the president the authority to initiate the removal of the J.A.

Richard Bensel, faculty representative, noted this was a “delicate” topic that will lead to “… improving the quality of J.A.s.”

Bensel additionally noted the compromise among the University Assembly and administration took into account “interests collectively.”

“This is an excellent example of how when the assemblies and the administration want to work together, we do so quite well; this was done in about a month,” Battaglia said.