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Student advocates for commuters

Parking is an ongoing concern at APSU, but one student has taken initiative to spread helpful information about how commuters can handle it.

Trahern lot, a frequently used faculty parking lot, was lost before the fall semester began due to the construction of the new fine arts building. As a result, faculty members switched to the 8th Street lot which was formerly a commuter lot.

Bobbie Zbierajewski, a junior criminal justice and psychology major, said she felt commuters were being overlooked and voiced her opinion on Facebook and Twitter.

“I felt that faculty get paid to work, and we have to pay to go to classes, so we shouldn’t lose out on our parking spots,” Zbierajewski said in an online interview with The All State.

According to Zbierajewski, APSU Chief of Police Michael Kasitz read her message and replied, asking her to meet with him to discuss these issues in person.

“He made me feel like my opinions mattered and that he really did care about how I felt as a commuter,” Zbierajewski said.

Zbierajewski learned Kasitz made  attempts to sit down with students, faculty and staff to discuss these problems in the previous semester.

Information about the meeting was sent out in the daily GovSays email, which students and faculty members receive in their APSU email. While many faculty members attended, only one student made an appearance.

Zbierajewski said she deletes her GovSays emails without reading them and felt it was an inefficient way to reach the student body. Instead, she decided to spread the information through social media.

“Nothing was changing to get the parking lot back, so I would help the APSU campus police get the word out about the parking lots that us commuters do have and promote the [Peay Pickup],” Zbierajewski said.

Along with APSU police, Zbierajewski tweets which parking lots are full and which ones are available to assist commuters in finding a spot for their cars.

Zbierajewski uses the handle @Positively_Me34 on Twitter, and campus police use @APSUPolice.

In addition to spreading news about available parking spots, both campus police and Zbierajewski promote the Peay Pickup service, which circles the perimeter of campus to shuttle students around campus.

The Peay Mobile app allows users to track the Peay Pickup on its route, according to a tweet by campus police.

“Use the [Peay Pickup] to get around as much as you can,” Zbierajewski said. “In order to do this, you need to visit Student Affairs located in [MUC 206] to get your Peay Pickup Pass.”

The Peay Pickup Pass can also be used on Clarksville Transit System buses, according to the APSU website.

CTS bus stops are located near campus, and bus routes cross through major parts of Clarksville and the Fort Campbell community, including Madison Street, Governor’s Square Mall and Fort Campbell base.

Zbierajewski also advised commuters not to park on city streets such as Marion Street, as their fines are more expensive.

“[Campus police] didn’t make the decision to close the Trahern faculty lot, and they couldn’t do anything about giving up our commuter lot to the faculty, so it means a lot to me at least they are working with us,” Zbierajewski said.

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