GSS proposal would promote energy-saavy cars on campus

In addition to saving on gas money and promoting a healthier environment, hybrid vehicles may give students freebies on parking fees.

“Bowling Green has done a lot to try to improve environmental awareness on campus ” this is just another step in that direction,” said graduate student Matthew Hoostal at the Graduate Student Senate meeting on Friday.

While Hoostal isn’t a member of the GSS, he helped Mamoon Al-Rshaidat – GSS representative of the biological sciences department – develop this legislation, which requests that parking fees be waived for students who own hybrid vehicles.

The GSS vote passed the legislation, but there were some mixed opinions about whether waiving the parking fees is really going to make a difference in how many people buy hybrid vehicles.

However, Hoostal believes this legislation is meant to make a positive statement for the University, and may also lead other Ohio schools to consider similar actions.

“It can bring good publicity to BG,” Hoostal said. “[And] if BG gets in the forefront of this movement to add incentives for people to buy hybrids, maybe more people will jump on the bandwagon.”

On the contrary, some people believe that waiving parking fees doesn’t say much and isn’t worth giving students the freebie.

“I just think people owning hybrids already got the benefit of owning a hybrid. Why should the University subsidize that?” said GSS Representative-at-Large Mark Swihart.

Also discussed at the meeting was legislation proposed by Swihart. Under the proposed legislation, students under the University healthcare insurance would be given the option to not buy mental health coverage, which is currently required.

“Why should you force [students] to have that coverage when the University already offers those services?” Swihart said, adding that he believes mental health services are important, but that students should be given a choice to not be covered. “I think it really steps on our civil liberties,” he said.

The legislation, which will be tabled until next meeting, also received concerned remarks from graduate students. For example, some suggested that free counseling services on campus were already booked, and adding more students may cause more problems than it would resolve.

“I think it is important for everyone to understand the value of mental health coverage, and to consider the impact this legislation will have on our ability to attain sufficient health coverage,” said GSS president Zach Hilpert. He added that GSS will shed more light on the issue by inviting comment from Glen Egelman, the head of Student Health Services, and Craig Vickio, head of the counseling center at the next GSS meeting.

“Next meeting’s vote on the legislation will determine the stance of GSS [on this issue],” Hilpert said.