Parking Lot

As a new school year kicks off, students start to see something they haven't seen in forever, packed parking lots. However, some students and staff are finding this more of a burden than a long-awaited return. 

Some feel that the limited number of parking spots are causing them to park farther away and be late to class, while others think that parking has significantly improved compared to the past.

After registering vehicles and paying the $25 annual fee, both students and staff, as mentioned in the Missouri Western Parking Policy, there are 13 parking lots students and faculty can park in and three lots for visitors. Students want to ensure they have taken the steps of acquiring a parking pass and parking in suitable lots. A recent email sent to all students was a statement from Chief Jill Voltmer, Campus Police Department, that stated the following.

"Beginning Sept. 22, 2021, UPD will start issuing tickets, and they will impose fines."

There is, however, one difference between faculty parking and student parking passes. As some might have seen, certain parking lots have "Reserved" signs. The parking policies state the following on these unique spots.

"Faculty/Staff, for the annual fee of $200, may apply for reserved, 24-hour parking spaces in all lots except for A and L."

When asked about her feelings on the reserved parking spaces and parking situation in general, Dr. Mei Zhang, professor of communications, said the following.

"I think the parking situation works for me." Dr. Zhang said. "Faculty can choose to have reserved parking. Personally, I do not. I do not mind parking farther away from the buildings."

From a student perspective, senior Marque'se Jackson explained that he understands where his fellow students are coming from but feels that the campus has had significant upgrades to parking in the past.

"I understand why people think (parking) is difficult, but compared to my first year here, it is better. In the past, we had to buy a sticker to specify parking." Jackson said. "So I currently live in Leaverton Hall, but I also do a lot of work in Potter Hall, so I would have to get stickers for those two buildings to be able to park. Now, students can park anywhere."

Overall, it has been debated between students and faculty alike whether there is a parking problem. Some feel they are circling, looking for a spot, and having to walk a while to get to their classes. Others think there is no problem, to begin with. But, in the end, everyone is trying to accomplish one common goal — make this year of college the best it can be and avoid tardiness and parking tickets.

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