As the new school year begins and students trickle back onto campus, the number of student drivers on campus is also steadily increasing. The antagonist to pedestrians and buses alike, student drivers are one of the most frustrating things we students deal with when walking around campus. However, for all those with a car on campus, there is at least one thing more infuriating than other student drivers at UConn: Parking Services.
Every year Parking Services is made out to be the bad guy on campus, unnecessarily ticketing students and causing people to fear the neon orange envelopes tucked snugly into windshields. This year, however, it seems that this infamous title may have been rightly earned. While the parking lots on campus change every year and the places where students are and are not allowed to park constantly fluctuate, this year it feels as if the student parking spaces haven’t just been modified, they have been eliminated altogether.
It may be a bit of an exaggeration to say that student parking has disappeared completely, but to say that it has become increasingly difficult for students to find parking is far from an understatement. While those living in on-campus apartments can spend exorbitant amounts of money for access to a parking spot in only those communities, commuter students and those living in dorms are suffering even more so. One policy change has made it so commuter students can no longer park overnight on campus, and many are worried that staying even until the library closes will cause them to receive a ticket. In addition, many lots that were open to students in the past have become staff-only or hourly paid lots, meaning that students are having to search harder than ever for parking spots.
While parking services has tried to combat this issue with the addition of the new J-lot on Discovery Drive, students are still increasingly frustrated. While this lot may have parking, it is still a 20 to 30 minute walk from the center of campus. Sure, students can continue to park there, but at the risk of feeling unsafe or completely inconvenienced by UConn, many students may choose not to.
There is no doubt that UConn students are frustrated with the way Parking Services has transformed the campus’ parking lots over the past year. Unfortunately, many students have no choice but to continue buying parking passes, as the only way to travel to jobs, internships and classes is through the use of a car. However, if these changes continue to negatively affect students, they will no longer continue to sit silently and allow these changes to occur without a fight.