I expect I was supposed to give the planner's perspective on cycling, but it didn't quite turn out that way. Our panel was composed of the director of the Ohio City Bike Co-op here in Cleveland, the president of Cleveland Bikes! (an advocacy organization), the director of the Oberlin Bike Co-op and myself, a grad student who doesn't actually work in bike planning but works on the same team as one. I suppose my real qualification was the fact that I don't own a car. Most of the students who attended our panel were interested in creating bicycle organizations such as co-ops or rental programs on their campus. It was really heart-warming to hear students from all kinds of colleges who are interested in promoting cycling for transportation.
Not every student can have a car on campus, or could even afford one, but certainly we could get more access to bikes. Considering the costs of parking on some campuses, a small fee to rent a bike for a semester suddenly seems like an attractive economic alternative. Especially if most of your travel is local.
At the same time, it was a little sad to realize that a) I was the ONLY representative from Cleveland State University (and wouldn't have even come unless I was on that panel) and b) there are successful bike programs on some campuses, yet we are struggling to get Cleveland State to put in bike racks. I don't really see a bike cooperative or rental program really working on our campus because it's mostly commuters, but the least we can do is put in racks in visible, well-lit, prominent places for people like me and many classmates who do cycle to school. We're an urban school with a stellar school of urban affairs. Promoting biking should be a natural fit.