Home Opinion Editorials Administration Should Expand Parking As Enrollment Rises

Administration Should Expand Parking As Enrollment Rises

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School safety employees directed students out of the parking garage after it filled to capacity on the morning of Sept. 20.

I arrived on campus early that morning, narrowly escaping getting stuck in traffic. Many of my peers were not so lucky and throughout the day I listened to countless classmates angrily recount their parking woes.

Parking Perils: On the morning of September 22nd students circled the top floors hoping to catch their peers leaving. It seems pretty clear that something needs to change.
Parking Perils: On the morning of September 22nd students circled the top floors hoping to catch their peers leaving. It seems pretty clear that something needs to change.

Parking passes cost $78.88 for a fall pass and $155.08 for an annual, without taxes. That’s a steep price for a badge that doesn’t guarantee much.

When I attended USF Tampa, parking was a challenge. With over 40,000 students, multiple garages and lots, finding a spot should have been more difficult than St. Pete. That has not been the case.

On this campus, parking has become an anxiety-inducing nightmare.

The school wants to grow in terms of student enrollment, and that’s a great goal. But accepting a ton of students and not taking any measures to increase parking spaces is unacceptable.

There are 4,717 enrolled students on this campus, according to the USF System Facts of this academic year.

Did the administration and those in charge of the parking situation expect all of these students to just not drive cars?

I understand not every USFSP student drives. If you live within walking or biking distance, you probably have it best. I wish I were you.

The majority of students on this campus are commuters. Driving a vehicle to campus means I need a place to leave my car while in class. Not having a spot means I’m going to be unhappy.

When I pay to park at school, I am a consumer purchasing a product. I expect to have said purchase fulfilled, and, in this particular case, that means having adequate parking opportunities.

All I’m asking for is a place to put my car for a few hours. Nothing major.

The administration needs to realize what a hefty fee the parking permits place on students.

I paid $78.88 for a fall parking pass before taxes and other fees. After that, my total was around $90. That’s ridiculous.

The fact that parking is not included in our tuition is astounding. Parking on campus is not so much a privilege as it is a necessity.

We are in college, not working well-paying jobs that can support such expenses. Some of us struggle and live paycheck to paycheck. Others rely on financial aid.

That doesn’t give us a lot of room to pay for a pass that we’re not seeing used to its fullest.

If I were paying a more reasonable fee, maybe a fourth of the cost, I wouldn’t be as bitter. But I’m paying for a permit that doesn’t fulfill its purpose.

I’ve heard a few of my professors air their disdain towards the parking situation. To whoever is in charge of this, it’s not just angry students – some of your employees are just as unhappy.

If we are being told we cannot park in the sole location where we may do so, what is the alternative? I guess we are just expected to figure it out for ourselves.
I would expect the administrators to consider how to accommodate a growing student population, especially in something as vital as parking.

© Photo By Tamiracle Williams | TCN

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