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Published March 11, 2010, 03:38 PM

New State Vehicle Rules Could Be a Problem For UND Student Groups

Changes in the oversight of state fleet vehicles at UND has led to a new policy in requesting one. It will mean a stricter policy on when a state vehicle is allowed to be used. Now UND's student government members are worried that it will make it harder for them to go to important events.

Changes in the oversight of state fleet vehicles at UND has led to a new policy in requesting one.

It will mean a stricter policy on when a state vehicle is allowed to be used.

Now UND's student government members are worried that it will make it harder for them to go to important events.

For student organizations like fraternities and sororities and student government, getting a state vehicle at UND used to be pretty simple.

You put a request in and there were very few questions. Not anymore.

Jason Uhlir: "At a few other NDSU institutions there were some minor incidents that during insurance claims process the type of use was not official and had some questions."

Uhlir says that raised awareness at the state level of vehicle use. Now only events that benefit the state or university that are approved by the university are allowed. That means no more ski or conference trips. Student government relied heavily on these vehicles and now has to switch gears.

Tyrone Grandstrand: "My concern is that student organizations won't be able to use the vehicles to get to conferences, or other learning events where they can learn more there than in the classroom."

"As a result of some of the misuse of state vehicles like this one, the state is implementing a new policy where any one who wants to use a vehicle will have to make a formal request and wont be able to take the keys until is approved."

Matt Bakke: "We're ultimately the voice for students and if we're not able to use state vehicles to advocate for the issues it will affect us at the state level."

300 student clubs could be affected. Uhlir says insurance regulates they only be used for certain things for both faculty and students.

Jason Uhlir: "If a student was using a state vehicle and it turned out by law there couldn't be any insurance coverage they'd be personally responsible."

Uhlir says the university will bus kids to Fargo to help with the flood effort this year. Each request for a vehicles in the future will be carefully looked at.

Uhlir says the policy will apply not only to student organizations but to all faculty and staff.

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