Parking gets the boot

Students versus spots

Parking is an issue that is very common on college campuses across the country. Recently, here at Tarleton, there has been an increase in grievances from students regarding the parking issues. 

Each fall semester for the last three years, the university has declared each new freshman class to be the largest. 

Renovations, such as the new football fieldhouse, has removed student parking lots, but no new parking lots for students have been opened to make up for these new developments. Some student parking lots, such as P33 by the baseball fields, have been converted to staff and faculty lots, neglecting the creation of another parking lot opened for students to compensate.

Plans for the new parking garage were publicized and the construction has been started. It will be located off of St. Felix Street by the Business Building, and it will have over 600 parking spots for students, faculty, and staff. However, the garage will not be finished until fall of 2024. More surface parking is supposed to be made in response to the removed parking lot where the garage will be, but that will not be available until fall 2023 despite the parking garage construction beginning spring 2023.

Nearly every student, whether resident or commuter, seems to have a negative opinion on the parking situation. 

“Personally, I get to campus at 6:45 every morning because if you do not, you risk being late since you will have to scavenge for a spot. Students should not have to be on campus before the sun rises just to get a parking spot. That is ridiculous,” commuter student Alyssa Kohler said.

Since there are more students than parking spots, getting to campus more than an hour before class is common for those who commute to class from off-campus housing since parking spots are so scarce. This can add incredible stress to commuters, as the lack of parking could make them late to class or even an exam.  

“There are more people than spots, and with the freshman class continuing to grow, it is becoming a big problem,” commuter student Kylie Sayre said.

In previous fall semesters, Tarleton Residence Life has offered to drop some upperclassmen’s housing contracts without penalty for them to live off campus since there were so many freshman enrolled that needed on-campus housing.

“I think we could use more spots, which is what they are addressing with the parking garage. But, a big problem I do not hear a lot of people mentioning is that parking can be confusing and students end up parking in lots that they are not meant to be in,” commuter student Jacqueline Green said.

Some parking lots, like the lot that connects to the Honors Hall and Wisdom Gym, are not clear and leave students confused as to where the parking lot actually changes zones.