Parking has long been a frustrating obstacle for students and faculty alike, which has continued into the fall 2021 semester. With construction causing even more parking chaos than normal, many students have found themselves questioning why a better solution hasn’t been found.
Currently, Weber State University has several options for parking passes, both annual and semester-based. Each pass gives permission to park in certain lots, which are designated by letters. “W” parking passes cost $83 annually or $57 per semester, “RW” passes cost $83 annually or $57 per semester, “R” passes cost $59 annually or $36 per semester and disability passes cost $83 annually or $57 per semester.
The Dee Events Center parking pass, the cheapest option, may also be purchased for $27 annually or $18 per semester. This gives students permission to park at the Dee, located next to campus, then take a shuttle to the main campus. The coveted A-lot parking pass can only be purchased by faculty and a limited number of seniors, chosen by lottery. These passes cost $128 annually and $84 per semester.
Parking tickets come with a $20 fine, and will be given for not parking in the correct permit-assigned lot, having no permit or for not following other listed parking rules on the WSU Parking Services website. If someone believes a ticket was given unfairly, it can be disputed on the website.
According to a document provided by Parking Services, there are 6,500 parking spaces in total between the Davis and Ogden campuses. There were 5,886 permits sold for the Ogden campus and 559 sold for the Davis campus.
The question on the minds of many students is whether the university is considering the construction of an additional lot or garage on campus for more parking availability. But, according to the document from Parking Services, “There are no current plans to create more parking on campus.”
Parking Services also explained that the costs to build such a structure on campus are high and would raise the prices of parking passes substantially.
There are more than 1,000 spaces available at the Dee Events Center for students to choose to park and take the shuttle to campus. Parking Services states in the document that there are enough total spaces to accommodate everyone between the two campuses.
Many parking spaces on campus have been compromised by construction, such as the entire A4 lot, which has been overtaken in the process of raising the new Noorda Technology building. People with A4 passes are being told to park in the A2 lot until construction has subsided. According to a sign at the construction site, the building is not expected to be completed until fall 2022.
Izzy Ounsted, a sophomore transfer student from Westminster, has been one of the many students struggling with parking on campus. She was ticketed a week before school had started.
Ounsted was on her way to pick up textbooks and thought it would be fine to park in an A-lot, considering the semester hadn’t begun yet. She was ticketed the usual $20, which she ended up paying, and was sent on her way.
“It felt weird they were giving me a ticket before the semester even started and it made me very confused,” Ounsted said. That was just the beginning of Ounsted’s campus parking troubles.
She has been late to classes three times in the first two weeks of class due to struggles of finding a parking space. She now has decided that getting to school 2-3 hours early to find a parking spot is her best option.
She explained that a Parking Services employee suggested she get to the school 2 hours early and wait in the parking lot with her hazard lights on. “The advice was a bit unrealistic considering the size of my vehicle and the minimal driving space in between parking spaces,” Ounsted said.
Kyleigh Izatt, a sophomore with similar experiences, has also found parking on campus to be a problem for her, getting to campus two hours early to find parking and being late to classes twice due to not finding a spot.
“It has made me stressed out to the point where I don’t feel motivated anymore to come to school to deal with parking all the time, with construction not helping the situation,” Izatt said.
Alexis Taylor, an adjunct English professor, has had difficulties as well. She felt the purchasing process of the parking permit didn’t clearly state which permit she was buying.
This led her to park in an A-lot, get ticketed and find out she had purchased the wrong parking pass. She also described that the Davis campus is nowhere close to how hectic parking is on the Ogden campus.
She said it normally takes 20-30 minutes for her to find a parking space on campus. “I was also denied an A-lot pass due to them now being sold out,” Taylor said.
Other students on social media have spoken out about how they feel about taking the shuttle from the Dee Events Center parking lot to campus. Many explained they don’t feel comfortable doing so due to health concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is no clear end to the current difficulties, and students and faculty may have to accept the current reality of campus parking for at least the rest of the semester or school year.