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The Student Representative Council has received many queries regarding the current state of campus parking. In response to these queries, the SRC has made contact with administration and has released these following responses concerning universal parking issues.
The University is presently providing the maximum amount of parking possible. There are, however, plans in place to accommodate more student parking in the future. The administration is aware of and shares the students' concern. Everything that can be done is being done. The difficulty with this situation is that there is an immediate concern with a long-term solution. Campus is expanding, and more parking will come as a result of expansion. This process requires patience and understanding. Prime parking may not be available all the time, but students are encouraged to use the free parking lots available on the south end of campus and on the north at the corner of 1st South and College Ave.
There have been many discussions about the potential for a parking garage and for underground parking. The overall consensus is that the costs outweigh the benefits; currently, a typical parking space costs roughly 3,000 dollars, whereas a parking garage parking stall would cost roughly 40,000 dollars. This does not include additional necessary expenditures, including cost and extent of construction, increased liability concerns, significant increases in security needs, and cost of maintenance. All these factors result in administration deciding not invest in a parking garage at this time.
Due to the limited parking space, and considering the high levels of permit sales every semester, allowing any student to buy a one-day pass would create complications for the students who applied and paid for a long-term permit. Additionally, any student can apply for a Free Parking permit, so any student can park close to campus free of charge. Free lots are located on 7th South, on 2nd East, and on the Corner of 1st South and College Ave. Students are encouraged to take advantage of this additional parking space. Additionally, temporary permits are available through parking services for limited use.
The reason for the permit in free parking is so students' ability to park is guaranteed. Without parking permits in place, any one-whether they are community members or students-would be able to park in those free lots. By requiring permits for these lots, there is certainty in a student's ability to park somewhere on or close to campus. The permit process also provides a way to identify the owners of vehicles that may need to be moved for snow removal or other maintenance needs.
If the university were to screen students based on where they live, it would be a demonstration of discrimination, which would increase the possibility of lawsuits against the university.
Doug Barker, Patrol Supervisor
Arlen Oswald, Parking Specialist
Wayne Clark, University Operations Managing Director