UNC Asheville aims to inform students about recent increase in parking passes

Jensen Stephenson
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A 22-year veteran to the UNC higher education system, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Safety and Chief of Police Eric Boyce dedicates  his time to protecting many campuses across the UNC system through his guidance in law enforcement. He explained his role in the university’s current parking situation. 
“The current situation with parking is in the process of growth. Students received an email that broke down the fee form prior to paying for the university’s parking passes. We compared that of other UNC system schools like UNC Charlotte and saw found universities that charged almost double what we charge. These forms break down funding for any and all parking that is currently on our campus. As well as price increases that may affect what student pay. It’s important to note that funding for any parking on UNC Asheville campus can not be a state appropriation, it has to be fee supported,” Boyce said. 
The UNC Asheville institution officials aim to inform students that parking passes must be purchased to park on campus. If these passes are not bought students will be given a parking violation. 
“Students can go online to fill out a request to have their tickets reduced. We have a transportation committee on campus that takes care of any disputes about tickets. Online there is a form for students to fill out in order to have a ticket waived. It is important to note that our committee is made up of university university officials and student representatives. Even if students aren’t able to come into the department to fill out this form, there is an online form,” Boyce said. 
University officials provides an array of layouts that explain their goals, mission statement, as well as breakdowns for campus parking and fees in relation. University officials say they aim to keep campus the safest place across the board through police officials, and student patrol members. 
“ One way we aid in supporting our campus is through student patrol. It is important to note that they can’t enforce anything, or interact in given situation. They are here to be the eyes in ears for our department. They are staying up to take care of our community,” said Boyce. 
Officials say the mission of Parking and Transportation Services supports learning and discovery by efficiently and effectively managing our parking and transportation resources. They say they strive to provide and promote a variety of transportation programs that assist in providing a quality experience to support the mission of the university.
According to Boyce, the recent increase in parking prices was put in place to support the funding for paving two parking lots on campus that would eventually provide more spaces for students and faculty. Sophomore Tris Lashea wasn’t too keen on this price change. 
“I feel like paying $200 for a parking pass is a little ridiculous. We are college students and have so many fees to pay already, as well as the already pretty expensive price that comes with having a car. Everything just begins to add up, and the additional heavy price of a parking pass just complicates the situation even more,” Lashea said.
Chandler Merrell, a freshman at UNC Charlotte recently had to pay for his first parking pass and said he was blown away at the prices. 
“I assumed that parking was included in your tuition, then I was notified that I needed to pay before getting to campus. It costs about $500 to get a full-year parking pass for our campus. I was surprised that it cost so much just to park a car,” Merrell said. 
UNC system schools do offer forms of public transportation on their campuses. Students often don’t know that parking is not included in their tuition bill, Boyce said. 
According to university officials, students who don’t have the ability to pay the extra car fees do have the option to use the on-campus  provided public transportation, as well as the connection buses to the surrounding apartments. 
“Personally it’s hard to get on the buses provided by campus. Since I am at a larger UNC campus, it takes 20 minutes on the bus. Although it would take me less time to drive my car and park in any available parking spot, though we are required to park in a freshman lot. You either wait for the bus or take the chances of parking in a lot that you aren’t supposed to and getting the ticket. I feel like there could be some changes that help this a little more, ” Merrell said.