Premiere Parking

Premium parking removed after endless parking complaints

Kelly Wynne, News Editor

As of fall semester, premium parking has been removed from campus parking lots. Much of this decision stems from complaints concerning the lack of parking. This has been a common criticism by both students and faculty.

Around 1,000 “premium parking” spaces were added across campus lots five years ago in order to generate an alternate form of revenue. Students and faculty who purchased passes were guaranteed close parking spots even when campus lots were full. Passes were released with a ticket price of $70 per semester and climbed to $85 per semester by the end of the five years. Premium parking spots were in high demand, selling out every semester.

The Shared Governance Council, made up of two members from each constituent group on campus, came up with a final verdict. The decision was derived from the goal to make parking more accessible. This included eliminating premium parking, extending staff lots and adding a year-round shuttle from the farthest lot on campus.

Acting Interim President Joseph Collins believes this decision will give students and faculty an equal opportunity to find parking spaces. “It always bothered me whenever I would see students parking and then walking past a big empty lot of premium parking,” said Collins.

Collins explained that premium spots now seem unnecessary based on the school’s current financial status. “We installed premium parking about five years ago,” said Collins. “The reason we did it at the time was to find alternate ways to generate income.”

The college’s current bank account reads around $180 million. “In my mind, it’s kind of hard to justify charging students and employees for a parking space when we have lots of money in the bank,” said Collins.

Student Body President, Joe Stahl, explained that the change might not be permanent. The removal of premium spots can be considered a trial period, and may be reevaluated if the decision does not lead to campus improvement. These changes to parking will remain for the 2015-16 school year and be examined next fall if complaints continue.