Tarleton students and faculty look for improved parking options on campus


Kayla Laseter

The parking lot located across from the Barry B. Thompson student center is a blue lot. Blue lots are faculty and staff parking lots, there are also multiple Green lots across campus open to all.

According to the Tarleton State University Website, in fall of 2020, there were approximately 6420 parking spots and 209 of them were for the disabled. Now with a count of over 14,000 enrolled undergraduate students in the fall of 2020, 694 faculty members and 603 staff members this doesn’t necessarily add up. Commuters and on campus residents alike have faced this issue.
Some students on campus have put their foot forward to make changes in order to better the lots Tarleton currently has and hope for additional parking places in the future. Congress people of the Student Government Association have made such efforts in hopes of change. Revolution E-21 is one of these efforts sponsored by Brianna Seidner, Randy Denton and Myles Taylor, all commuter congress persons.
“Parking is always a touchy subject, and since we live in a generation of instant gratification many people want solutions to come quickly. This was a way to immediately address student concerns and needs while letting students know that we are listening to them,” Taylor said.
The piece was written to change parking lot P23, the lot between the Bosque Crossing apartments and the Tarleton Dinning Hall, to both a red and purple lot. Meaning that both purple lot pass holders (commuters) and red lot pass holders (on campus residents) may park in this lot. Being that this lot was previously only for red lot pass holders this increases purple spots on campus.
“The idea for this piece was originally presented to us by a student. She told us that she had noticed P23 was consistently empty and thought making it part commuter would be a good idea. We wrote this piece so that we could use the ideas of our constituents to improve their experiences on this campus,” Taylor said.
An additional piece was written earlier this semester. Resolution D-21 was written to change lot P17 from straight spaces to slanted ones. Written by At Large Congressperson Josh Ward and College of Business Congressperson Megan Atkinson, this piece was to ensure safety for students. As well as having the possibility to expand the lot to contain an extra row of spaces.

“As we all know, parking is a nightmare, especially for commuters. Writing this piece started with the idea from Megan Atkinson and I immediately had to jump in on it. As someone who parks in lot P17 [the Wisdom Gym lot] on a daily basis and as someone who drives a truck, parking isn’t easy. The flow of traffic isn’t effective either,” Ward said.
Many minor accidents have occurred in this lot as well as being one of the most coveted lots for commuter students.
“I wanted to write this piece to make the flow of traffic more efficient and make parking easier. Painting slanted spaces further creates space for more spots to be put in as it forces one-way traffic, which means the drive between spots may be narrower,” Ward said.
Forcing a one-way traffic flow will hopefully lessen the number of incidents since cars will not have the ability to go by each other through the lanes. Along with this, drivers will be able to watch only one side of the street.
Parking garages are a solution that has been proposed before, however, with them comes many challenges. One being that if Tarleton did build a structure like a parking garage this could mean an increase in parking fees for students. As well as the issue of the City of Stephenville not allowing buildings over a certain height.
“To service debt on a parking garage, parking fees, not tuition, could increase significantly. That’s why Tarleton is careful to explore all options for parking. The university is committed to keeping permits as affordable as possible for students, faculty and staff,” Tarleton Assistant Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Cecilia Jacobs said.
The cost of adding a parking garage on campus is also a reason why Tarleton is hesitant to proceed with the idea.
“The estimated cost to construct a parking garage can range from $17,000 to $22,000 [even more] per space depending on such things as location, number of spaces, infrastructure [utilities present or not,] the need for upgrades to storm drainage, lighting, surveillance and safety considerations and various code requirements,” Jacobs said.
This cost would mainly affect Tarleton students but it could also affect Tarleton faculty and staff if the parking garage were to become accessible to everyone.
Tarleton has made improvements to the parking situation since the switch to Division 1, the primary example of this is the addition of the new residential lot, lot P39, located on the Memorial Stadium side of the tennis courts.
“I just want to let everyone know that although it may look like nothing is changing, being in this seat has shown me how meticulous parking decisions are. However, Chief Welch and his team are tirelessly working to improve the state of Tarleton’s parking. We hope to work together with him in the future,” Taylor said.
If you have any interesting ideas about how to make our school parking safer or more plentiful for students, please make sure to contact your congress people to put your ideas into action on Tarleton’s campus.
Tarleton parking passes are currently $100 per year for students and last until the end of August. For faculty and staff passes cost $105. To order a parking pass you can go to:
To learn about what is needed to order a parking pass, and the steps that must be taken to order a parking pass go to: