Rockville Campus Council discusses parking, rec program, welcome center


Parking was the order of the day for the Montgomery College Rockville Campus Council Tuesday afternoon, as they passed a motion to attempt a resolution for the parking issue at the Rockville Campus by cooperating with Capitol Bikeshare to introduce bicycles as a form of transportation. Members then discussed the relevancy of recreational offerings at the campus. The Council also discussed plans of a Welcome Center that is to be built near South Campus. These changes will lead to a “more efficient college community”, Dean Bartlett said.

“Parking has been a constant issue at all three campuses,” Dr. Ackerman, Provost, said. The Council approved sending a letter from the Council supporting a partnership with Capitol Bikeshare that would allow bicycles as an alternative means of transportation. In addition, shuttle buses will allow students to have a simple and reliable form of transportation around the three campuses, Dr. Ackerman said. The Capitol Bikeshare system will provide “greater ease of access,” Sheila Perkins-Hawkins said.

In order to integrate the Bikeshare program fully, “The parking garage [at the Rockville campus] will have to be built”, Dr. Ackerman said. She explained that one of the initiative’s goals is “to reduce the number of cars on the road.” Explaining further, she said the program will only work if “prices are kept in check” in relation to the buses and cars required. She stressed the importance of building a garage as the first step in dealing with the parking issues at the campus.

Members also discussed the recreational programs the campus now offers for students, staff, and faculty. Margaret Ebner described the program as, “designed for the campus community,” and “very very fun and flexible.” The program offers badminton, volleyball, floor hockey, and wiffleball, as well as many other activities, she said.

Ebner explains the program’s hiring of students that do well at Montgomery College. Each student then runs an activity, allowing them to “spread the word and get some time for themselves as well.” She also mentioned that it is “unfortunate more people don’t take advantage.” She also mentioned that anyone who wants to know more can look up the program on Montgomery College’s website or contact her at 240-567-7595.

Members also discussed plans of a Welcome Center that would allow new students to assimilate to Montgomery College. The center will be built near South Campus and will require moving some English faculty offices to adjacent buildings, Dr. Ackerman said. The center will house computers and staff that will help with applications and paperwork required for the college.

This is the first year for the new structure of Montgomery College governance, as initiated by Dr. Pollard. Joanne Carl, Chair of the Campus Council, as well as former Chair of the Academic Assembly, said of the new structure: “While certain elements are different, such as different proportions of voice, the new structure is ultimately more inviting and gives more power to the college community.”