Marquette Wire

Lack of parking passes still issue for students

University+spokesperson+Chris+Jenkins+said+the+university+experienced+a+higher+demand+for+parking+passes+beginning+last+semester+than+in+previous+years.
University spokesperson Chris Jenkins said the university experienced a higher demand for parking passes beginning last semester than in previous years.

University spokesperson Chris Jenkins said the university experienced a higher demand for parking passes beginning last semester than in previous years.

Photo by Olivia Qualls

Photo by Olivia Qualls

University spokesperson Chris Jenkins said the university experienced a higher demand for parking passes beginning last semester than in previous years.

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After going on sale Dec. 11, most types of spring semester parking passes – including daytime commuter and 24-hour passes – were sold out Jan. 3.

The sell-out left some students’ only remaining option to purchase an evening commuter pass, valid from 3:30 p.m. to midnight. Other students were able to purchase a parking pass or parking space from their off-campus landlord, if spots were available.

In a joint statement with Mike Jahner, director of business operations, university spokesperson Chris Jenkins said parking passes were sold in the same way as last semester, when the Wire reported that some students were left with concerns and frustrations, especially those who needed cars on campus to commute to nursing clinicals or off-campus internships.

Sawson Shimi, a senior in the College of Nursing, said she had no trouble buying a parking pass before this year. She said her and her friends were frustrated.

“We need to have our cars for school,” she said.

Shimi and her friends considered going to leadership within the College of Nursing to ask for help obtaining parking passes for clinicals. However, she said they thought the college would not be able to do much with the problem at hand.

After Shimi was unable to buy a parking pass before the beginning of the fall semester, she reached out to Parking Services. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to solve the issue herself, her dad reached out.

“My dad was only involved because I felt like I wasn’t being listened to as a student, and all of my friends felt the same exact way,” she said.

Jenkins said the university experienced a higher demand for parking passes beginning last semester than in previous years.

The university uses real-time parking analytics software to evaluate how many passes are available, Jenkins said. He said the university will continue to work with students who were unable to purchase a parking pass for second semester.

“We are helping those who did not get a pass to find other parking solutions nearby,” Jenkins said.

Natasha Svabek, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said she also had difficulties purchasing a parking pass this year.

Natasha and her sister, Nikki Svabek, a sophomore in the College of Communication, share their car. After not being able to buy a temporary pass last semester when the permanent passes ran out, Natasha was eager to buy a permanent parking pass for the spring semester.

Just a few days after the passes went on sale, though, there were no more passes available at parking garages convenient for the sisters.

Natasha said she then decided the best option was to buy a city parking pass. She bought two passes from the city, a four-month $20 night pass and a separate year-long $50 day pass.

“The inconvenience of having to find a spot near my house, remember to park my car on the opposite side of the street every other day in accordance with city regulations and risk getting ticketed or towed if I forget to do so can be very annoying,” she said.

After talking with Parking Services last week, Natasha said she was told that the waiting list for permanent parking passes was already “seven plus pages long” and she was told “to not count on getting a parking pass from MU.”

Natasha and Shimi both said many of their friends have also dealt with issues obtaining a university parking pass.

Shimi said she thinks she only received a parking pass because her dad stepped in and called. Her other friends whose parents did not step in are still struggling with buying parking passes, she said.

Jenkins said the majority of students who were on the waiting list for parking passes last semester were given opportunities to purchase them. Jahner did not comment on how many students are on the current waiting list or how Parking Services plans to accommodate students in need of a pass.

Due to closures and pending closures of certain lots on campus, Jenkins said there were less available parking passes for sale this academic year.

Jahner said in an email that the department is working on finalizing the closure of Lot F, located in the 700 block of N. 12th Street. The details of remaining closures of parking lots will be provided this summer, he said.

Although some students experienced issues obtaining parking passes this year, this was not the case for Christina Smith, a freshman in the College of Engineering. Smith said she bought a year-long parking pass at the beginning of the academic year so she would not have to go through the process of purchasing another pass for the spring semester.

While Smith said she’s thankful to have a car on campus as a freshman, she feels as though most of the passes are “too expensive compared to a lot of other schools.”

Marquette’s 24-hour parking pass is $345 per semester, with commuter passes ranging from $51 to $226.

 

“Given the university’s location in an urban area, parking can be a challenge,” Jenkins and Jahner said in an email. “The university continues to look for additional parking resources in and around campus and will evaluate all options as they become available.”

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About the Writer
Jenna Thompson, Assistant Editor for Arts and Entertainment

Jenna Thompson is an Assistant Editor for Arts and Entertainment. She is a sophomore originally from Baltimore, Maryland, majoring in Journalism and Social...

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