By Harper Spires – Contributor – [email protected]
Lack of parking on the UNC Asheville campus poses problems for students and faculty looking for spaces.
UNCA has a total of 2,797 issued parking decals this year, according to Eric Boyce, chief of police; however, there are only 2,428 parking spaces on the entire UNCA campus, leaving more than 300 students or staff without parking spaces if everyone were on campus at once.
In addition, old parking decals expired earlier than usual this year, causing abundant parking tickets.
“We sent the email out to all students on Aug. 1 about parking decals, and the old decal itself said what the expiration date was,” Boyce said.
Boyce said the first day of school was an exception to the rules, and that decals were not checked.
“We didn’t enforce on the first day, but we are just trying to enforce utilization of the lots, so students should park in resident student or non resident students respectively, and faculty in their lots,” Boyce said.
Boyce said there have been a few appeals for students not parking in the correct spots and students not having their decals, and those are being handled on a case by case basis.
“As far as the enforcement of it, we have sent emails about it beforehand. We enforce parking all year round,” Boyce said.
Katherine Zubko, assistant professor of religious studies, said she feels parking has improved on campus over the last few years.
“They have tried to create more parking decks and a better system for people trying to find parking, but I find there are still often times gaps for very busy times, like Tuesdays around 9 and 10 a.m., it can be very hard for students to find parking,” Zubko said.
Zubko also said she feels students are not solely responsible for getting to school early to find parking; however, they do need to take some responsibility.
“I think that if you know you have a class at a busy period, you should try to come in early so you are not late. Even faculty and staff have to do that. If I’m off campus and I need to find a space, it can be frustrating when I go into a faculty and staff lot and there are 12 students parked in faculty spaces. Some respect for that would be great,” she said.
Zubko said more parking would be helpful to everyone, and the more we can plan and have more parking opportunities to reduce the stress for students, faculty or staff, the better.
Corinne Fretwell, a senior environmental studies and ecology student, said she thinks parking is better on our campus than most others.
“We actually have parking right next to our academic buildings, which is great, but that is just because we are so small,” Fretwell said.
Fretwell said she would like to change the parking rules on campus to help incorporate easier parking for students.
“It would be nice if they had after hours on weekdays. I would make it to be that any space is fair game even if you don’t have a current year parking pass, because right now, it’s kind of bullshit,” she said.
Fretwell said she thinks the fact that parking decals exceed the amount of on-campus parking spaces available causes problems for residents as well.
“I know for the residents that parking is a bitch because they built Overlook and didn’t really do anything about the parking over there. If I were a resident, I would be livid. I get that you don’t need to use your car that much if you live on campus, but if you are paying for a parking pass, it’s crazy that there are not even enough parking spaces,” she said.