UCSD to Shut Down Over Parking
The Associated Students Council adjourned at 7:26 p.m., failing to pass a resolution to secure funding for the quarter. UC San Diego will shut down at midnight when funding lapses. Parts of the administration will be furloughed, while faculty deemed essential will continue to work without pay. The shutdown arose from the inability of the Associated Students and Chancellor Pradeep Khosla to cut a deal for the budget. Chancellor Khosla threatened the shutdown after the pro-student parking faction of A.S. refused to give in to the Chancellor’s demands to turn all S-spots into faculty spots.
The A.S. Council, dominated by pro-student parking advocates, and the A.S. Senate, dominated by their opposition, were unable to agree whether or not to give in to Chancellor Khosla’s request for increased faculty spots. After previous declarations that he would accept “any and all blame” for the shutdown, Chancellor Khosla saw a news program call him weak due to his attempt at basic responsibility. The Chancellor’s office then released a statement that blamed the pro-student parking members of A.S. for this shutdown and that Khosla would continue to fight for increased faculty parking spots. The Chancellor’s Office argued that the sedentary lifestyle of modern Americans can lead to many health problems, including obesity and cardiovascular disease. Khosla himself added, “I am not responsible for any inconvenience that students may find themselves having, and they are free to park their cars at San Diego State University.”
Opponents of the Chancellor and his all-faculty parking spot policy claim that students of the university need the current spaces in order to park their cars before classes. Jeffery Inglewood, a self-identified member of the pro-student parking faction, delivered a rousing speech on the A.S. Senate floor that lead to chants of: “We want to park our cars in the parking lots at school!” Supporters of the Chancellor called the chants crass, and they urged their fellow Senators across the aisle to respect the office of the Chancellor and follow the process set out by the A.S. Senate by-laws. Supporters of the Chancellor echoed his argument for a healthier campus, adding that this would increase the aerobic fitness of students who would be forced to park further away and walk to school.
This shutdown, only a few weeks into the Winter quarter, will leave many classes untaught as a lack of budget will leave professors unpaid. The classes deemed essential for students to graduate on time will continue to be taught. Until the shutdown ends, professors will not receive pay and students will not receive credit for these classes. After past university shutdowns, professors have received back pay and students have received back credit once funding for salaries and credits are secured and the school reopens. Should the school fail to reopen by the end of the quarter, it is expected that the chancellor will utilize executive privilege to bulldoze all parking spots.