The Bike Shop on campus has been under investigation by the Student Government Association (SGA) for the past few weeks. The Point News (TPN) first found out about the investigation at the SGA meeting on April 10. SGA’s internal investigation confirmed that the shop was not adequately using funds.
Grayson McNew, Class of 2019 President, proposed a resolution to cut funding from the Bike Shop after evidence surfaced that the shop provided SGA with inaccurate funding reports and refused SGA’s invitation to brief on the fiscal budget, among other violations, according to McNew’s resolution.
Resolution 17:06, A Resolution to Remove Funding of the Bike Shop, did not pass, however SGA will now be more involved in the Bike Shop due to the accepted Bylaws Amendment 17:01: The Bike Shop. In this amendment, SGA will have more oversight capabilities. SGA will appoint next year’s manager of the shop as well as receive more frequent updates about the shop’s funding and progress.
According to Kelly Schroeder, the shop charged the college for full-day hours when workers did not show up for their scheduled shifts in addition to other discrepancies. SGA has also been getting complaints about the quality of the repairs, the length of time that the shop took to fix the bikes, and the shop’s constant closures.
One student, for example, turned in a bike at the beginning of the fall 2016 semester and did not get an email from the shop confirming the job was completed. When the semester ended, the student went to pick up the broken bike, yet it was in worse shape than when it was initially brought to the Bike Shop. This is only one example of the discrepancies surrounding the shop. Schroeder declared that SGA would have refunded this student for the repairs paid for out of pocket when the shop failed to fix it.
All services are required to present progress updates, and when the shop compiled, “the numbers weren’t what people were experiencing,” according to Schroeder. The shop reported data regarding what types of jobs had been done, yet the supply ordering history did not match the report.
SGA’s main concern with closing the shop completely was that “we don’t want to take away student employment. Clearly it’s bad management,” Schroeder explained. She also said that mechanics hired for the shop were not properly trained at the beginning of their work experience.
Joanne Goldwater, Associate Dean for Retention and Student Success, conducted a survey that proposed various other uses of the space the shop occupies in case McNew’s bill passed. Even though the shop will not be closing next year, the highest results from the survey was that students voted for an arcade to replace the shop for an alternative activity to drinking and partying.
As a result of the resolution passing, next year’s operating budget will be cut in half, from $10,000 to $5,000. It has also been proposed that Bike Shop employees may need to clock in and out from their shifts through TimeClock, an online timekeeping process. Clubs that pay students on an hourly basis, such as SafeRide, may also implement this strategy.
A worker at the Bike Shop said that student Bike Shop employees often recorded hours before working the shifts. In addition, anonymous information was received from a mechanic that claimed that they not only were not trained for their position, but also that the current management was not well-suited for the positions. Bike Shop management did not respond to TPN’s request for comment.
With the Bylaws Amendment reconstructing the shop for next year, many changes will be made through SGA. “We’ll see how it goes next year,” Schroeder said. Some substantial changes are being made, yet the discrepancies reported are still a valid concern for students and faculty moving forward into the next school year.