Students believe the university could improve the parking



Since in-person classes began in the Fall semester, university parking seems to be a problem for many students. Some students believe that university parking should be free while others believe that parking fees are too high, while others believe their designated parking spots should be closer to their residence halls, due to convenience and safety.

Brionna McCall, Staff Reporter/Writer

Parking is still one of the most frustrating and confusing problems afflicting U.S. colleges and universities. In 2015, the Los Angeles Times said that parking on U.S. college campuses has been an ongoing issue since the 1950s.  

A recurring issue on the campus of Alabama State University, parking is a subject of critique among the student body, with many clamoring for lower prices, paved parking lots, and more availability – a difficult balancing act for a campus with only 140 acres.

Senior India Richardson believes that university parking is irrational. 

“I am … from here, so I drive to campus every day,” Richardson said. “I am already paying tuition here and spending gas to come on campus. I literally dread going to class because there is nowhere to comfortably park. Why should I pay $50 for a paper sticker to park in the same places that I’ve been parking in since I was a freshman?”

Richardson believes that the parking decal could be cheaper. 

“I genuinely do not have $50 to spend on a sticker,” she adds. Richardson continued to speak about how the university activity fee should include parking as well. 

Convenience is not the word many students would use to describe the university parking situation, and soon finding a good spot will become a greater challenge.  

Freshman Morgan Tate believes that the parking on campus needs to be improved urgently because some students have to park around the outskirts of campus at night.  In addition to the limited parking spaces, some students are not comfortable walking a great distance to get to their residence halls at night because they believe it is hazardous..

“There are so many students with cars and so many limited spots that they have no choice but to park in ‘illegal’ spots,” she said.  “Also, at night, since there is such scarce parking, people have to park across campus and walk to their residence hall alone, let alone if they have a lot to carry. It can be dangerous and very time-consuming. It is an inconvenience,  and people often get booted for parking in places where they had no other choice but to park.” 

Junior Steven Cox said parking on campus is a complete mess.  He believes the prices for decals are feeding into student outrage about the lack of accessible parking.

“Why do I have to pay to park for a school that I am already paying to go to?” Cox said.  He spoke about the number of parking spaces on campus. He concluded that there are not enough parking spots on campus,  and almost half the student body drives whether they live on or off-campus. 

Freshman Alvin Jacobs agrees with Cox, as he is not fond of paying for a parking decal or the risk of being booted. 

“We are paying to park in a free lot, and instead of the university giving us a free decal, they have us paying for literally everything here,” he said.  “The fact that you are almost forced to buy one, and if not, you are booted and potentially towed.” 

Junior Araya Jackson believes it is insane that students must pay to park on campus. 

“We are already paying to be here. Since we are paying to be here, I feel like we should be able to park wherever we want on campus without being fined or booted,” Jackson said.  “There should not be reserved spots on campus. The parking decal should allow you on campus, and you should be able to park wherever you please from there. If we are going to make parking decals a thing on campus, it should be used fairly because right now it seems like a way to get money from students.”