With approximately 2,500 parking spaces available, students have made complaints that parking seems more difficult this year than in years past, according to Parking Services.
Ann Szipszky, parking services manager said, approximately 3,978 parking passes have been distributed this fall semester. This number was less at approximately the same time last year with 3,772 parking passes distributed.
Szipszky said the reason more than 2,500 parking passes were distributed is because the 3,978 vehicles, which include students, faculty and staff, are not all here at the same time.
“Students need to plan to arrive on campus in enough time to find a legal parking spot, especially for classes later in the morning and early afternoon,” Szipszky said. “Unfortunately, arriving on campus 15 minutes before your class and hoping to find a spot close to your building will not work.”
Senior Katya Foerster said she feels this year’s parking situation is worse than last year.
“This year I drove around for a good 15 minutes before calling security,” Foerster said. “They couldn’t even find me a spot at first, but finally they directed me until I found a spot after 20 minutes.”
Foerster said the parking inconvenience on campus has affected her schedule.
“If you have a 2:30 p.m. class you better be here by 12:30 p.m.,” Foerster said.
Szipszky said students should contact Parking Services if they are having problems finding available parking.
“While we will not be able to create an available parking space we need to know the problems they are facing so that we can try to find a solution,” Szipszky said.
Senior Alexsandra Simakowicz said parking has been difficult since she lives 30 minutes away.
“I usually have to leave 45 minutes early and even then I get a less than ideal parking space,” Simakowicz said. “I feel like it’s definitely worse than last year. It almost seems like admissions let way too many people in, so now fighting for a space is pretty intense.”
Szipszky said finding parking at the beginning of the semester is always a challenge.
“This is because there are more students on campus changing their schedules, getting financial aid and tuition bills settled, purchasing their books and visiting with friends they have not seen since last spring among other things,” Szipszky said.
Szipszky said every year there are resident students, who are unable to have vehicles on campus, parking on campus without permits, and this week, those vehicles will be towed.
Parking Services is not blind to the fact that students have parking complaints. Szipszky has received phone calls and e-mails from parents and students more this year than in the past.
“In the case of commuters, their frustration is with being unable to find a parking space after they have paid for a permit,” Szipszky said. “For residents, their frustration lies mainly with their inability to have their cars on campus.”
Szipszky said this year Parking Services has had more requests for parking exceptions from residents also.
“I have even had commuter students request to purchase resident permits because their off campus apartments do not offer parking which we just cannot accommodate,” Szipszky said. “We do understand that resident students would like to have their cars for jobs or extracurricular activities but if we grant an exception for one student we would have to do it for everyone in the same situation.”
Carolyn Maso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.