Opposition to IU private parking plan builds

Plan would privatize lots at IUPUI, IU

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The voice of opposition is spreading around the Indiana University campus as trustees consider privatizing the parking lots.

The plan could give the university millions in up-front cash, but opponents say it's a bad idea in the long run.

Opponents of parking privatization are signing a petition online, which already has hundreds of signatures from people who want to keep IU parking lots run by university staff.

There are 592 electronic signatures to be exact, mostly from faculty and staff members concerned that rates could go sky high if a private company takes over.

"Generally they are motivated by profit, not by what is good for the IU community," said Ed Vasquez, president of the Communication Workers Union, who started the online petition.

University officials said this plan has been a long time coming.

"The university has been exploring this whole idea of privatizing certain non-core assets for a few years now," said IU spokesman Mark Land.

Trustees are, among other things, looking at case studies that show the pay day for the university could be huge. 

Ohio State, for instance, just signed a 50 year leasing deal for $483 million.

IU officials said any money made could be used in a number of ways, including funding for research as well as bussing services.

The deal would include both the Bloomington and IUPUI campuses.

But opponents say, in this case, the cons outweigh the pros.

"There is about 40 jobs that are in danger right now," Vasquez said.

He plans to give those names to the trustees before they meet again on Thursday.

The trustees meet again Thursday, and the meeting is open to the public.

University officials said Thursday's meeting will be strictly informational and no vote will be taken.

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