UPDATE: Parking struggles continue into semester

School has been in session for nearly a month and the parking garages remain open as the new system for the garages still has not been installed.


“It is pretty frustrating,” Brittany Murphy, a fourth-year-student, said. “I’ve only been able to park in the garage once since the first week of classes. I know a lot of people avoided the garages in the past because if you didn’t have a pass you had to pay around $7 or so for just three hours and now they’re getting in for free.”


The system that was supposed to be installed once school started is now set to be completed by Oct. 5, according to Andy Meeks, director of business operations and auxiliary services.


“Since it wasn’t completed in time we now have the challenge of working around the students’ schedules,” Meeks said. “The workers will be out every night and holiday until it is installed.”


Meeks assured nothing will prohibit students from parking in the garages. The gates will stay up during school hours until the system is complete.


Meeks also explained that there is plenty of parking for students, but the spots aren’t being used because they’re not near any buildings on campus.


“I like to park in the garage because my classes are in Griffin, but now because the garage is open to everyone it’s full before nine in the morning,” Murphy said. “When I get here I rarely ever find a spot. I’ve realized that I have to leave another 10 minutes earlier to dedicate that time to finding a spot.”


Meeks explained that this is not the case. Students are always given a couple weeks grace period to get parking passes before violations are given out.


As of Aug. 31, parking tickets, which cost $37.50, are now being issued to those students without parking passes.


However, many students have been left to park in the gravel due to overcrowding in garages.


“The gravel parking lots are a big complaint I have heard from students,” Meeks said. “Unfortunately we are not planning on paving that until a further plan goes through, but the parking garage by the Welcome Center and the basketball stadium are rarely used because [they aren’t] close to campus.”


However, students like junior Peter Huffman would be relieved to have a car to park on campus.


“I do not have a parking pass because I don’t have access to a car,” Huffman said. “I live at Callahan and take a bus to campus. But if I did have a car I would definitely buy a parking pass so I don’t get towed and I also wouldn’t care about parking as long as I had a place to park.”


Meeks would like to assure students that parking officials are trying their best to make their parking experience better by allowing students to get to class without any additional stress.


“We appreciate the students’ patience and we understand this isn’t an ideal situation,” Meeks said.