By Jaci Schneider, Opinion Editor
Students who park near Sikes Residence Hall or the Williams Performing Arts Center will notice something missing on their return from spring break.
The small strip of land and concrete between the Sikes parking lot and WPAC parking lot will be removed during spring break, and the two parking lots will be connected.
Lauren Hart, sophomore integrated marketing communication major from Austin and Students’ Association representative for Sikes Hall, worked with SA officers and university administrators to have the $7,000 project completed.
Last fall, Hart spoke with women in her residence hall about the parking lot issue; she thought the fact that the two parking lots weren’t connected was a problem.
“Pretty much everyone I talked to said it was a problem,” Hart said.
As SA representative, Hart made the parking lot her semester project. She began the process of trying to have the parking lots connected by sending petitions to students living in Sikes Hall, students who attended class in the Mabee Business Building and in WPAC.
“Then I wrote up legislation and presented it to congress,” Hart said. “It was unanimously passed.”
After Congress approved the legislation in November, Hart and SA treasurer Tyler Cosgrove began negotiating with Kevin Watson, chief administrative services officer.
Although Watson told Hart that the university budget had already been set and no money was left over for the project, Hart didn’t give up.
“I told Congress and said I would be looking for donors,” she said.
Congress decided to use $2,000 of the $3,000 it had set aside in its budget to be used at SA’s discretion to help fund the project.
When Watson found out that Hart already had $2,000, he was able to find the remaining funds to complete the project.
“It always helps to smile and go by and be polite,” Hart said. “I definitely really appreciate Kevin because without him, this would not have happened.”
The construction on the parking lots began Monday morning, Hart said. Watson said in an e-mail that the construction should be complete by the end of spring break.
Bontke Brothers Construction, in partnership with university maintenance, is completing the project, Watson said.