Off-campus residents struggle for parking


Photo by Brody Kenny

The Kroger lot filled because of the overcrowding in Callahan. Students say that since the addition of the Northern Terrace, the Callahan lot fills quickly making it difficult to find a spot.

NKU’s newest dorm Northern Terrace has created a major parking issue for the off-campus resident community.

The addition of an access drive as well as a green space between the two buildings resulted in a reduction of 31 spaces, Larry Blake, assistant vice president of facilities management, said.

Residents of both Northern Terrace and Callahan Hall have complained about the lack of available parking, particularly at night. Sophomore information technology major Keegan Johnson says he returns home to Callahan some nights and is not able to find any open parking space.

“Usually around 11 to midnight the entire parking lot is full and usually I’m forced to just go over to Kroger and take my tag out the window so I’m not booted,” Johnson said.

Taylor Payne, a freshman nursing major who lives in Northern Terrace, said that returning after night visits to Steely Library creates a problem for her.

“If you go to the library at night you have to park across the street because there’s no parking,” Payne said.

Parking services is mindful of the situation, said Andy Meeks, director of business operations and auxiliary services.

“We are aware that clearly there are many more cars parked down there this year than last year and we have been paying attention,” Meeks said.

Meeks says he drives by the parking lot at Callahan on a regular basis and “always” notices “a few open spaces.” However, he acknowledges that students might not want to park in some of the spaces further away from the dorms.

“The further away you have to park from something, the less satisfied you are with that parking experience,” Meeks said.

Dean of Students Jeffrey Waple acknowledges that students sometimes have to park in lots of nearby businesses such as Kroger or Taco Bell, although he says he hasn’t been regularly informed of the matter.

“If our students were parking across the street…Highland Heights would contact us and tell us students are parking in undesignated parking spots, but that hasn’t happened. So I really think it was that one occurrence,” Waple said.

If students continue to have complaints about parking, Waple encourages them to bring the matter to the attention of administration.

“If we’re having challenges with parking over there they need to contact parking services or my office and we will go see what’s up,” Waple said

Waple jokingly refers to the first Thursday of the semester as ‘Thursday challenge’ because every spot in the Callahan parking lot is filled. While many students believe the full lot is because both Callahan Hall and Northern Terrace share the same parking area, Waple cites other possible reasons for the crowded space.

“It might have been sororities practicing for recruitment; it might have been people visiting,” Waple said.

Since the ‘Thursday challenge,’ Waple says that parking has “kind of dissipated itself out” even though he received several photos from students on the night of the full parking lot.