Taylor Little | JRN 3200

Kalamazoo, MI- Students at Western Michigan University, want answers about parking permit expenses and limited parking on campus.

Full-time students who live on campus, have to pay $180 per semester. Part-time students have to pay $130 for fall and spring semester and it is $65 for summer I and summer II for students who will be living on campus or commuting to campus.

Compared to other schools, such as Colorado State University prices are more expensive than WMU. For students who live in the resident halls, they have to pay $628 and Staff or Faculty have to pay $582 which is cheaper than student permits. So the more concerning issue that most students have about WMU parking is limited parking for students on campus, some students have to walk a far distance to get to campus because they live in the residence halls that are further away from campus and can only park on campus in certain lots after 8p.m.

        Lynn Vaga, a first-year student at WMU, lives in the Valley’s which are typically freshmen/sophomore residence halls, they are positioned on a hill and are the furthest residence halls to and from campus. She says, “I don’t think parking is too expensive here at WMU because compared to other schools that are out of state, they are more expensive and even when students purchase a permit, they are not guaranteed a parking spot. She says, that she does wish that there was more parking on main campus for most students, so she wouldn’t have to travel so far from the valleys to main campus.”

Another first-year student, Ethan Wolf says, “I think the parking here on campus is too expensive, the spaces in the resident halls are very limited, especially in Valley Three and there is not enough visitor parking as well.” When asked what he thinks parking services should do, to resolve this issue, he says, “Parking services should add more visitor parking and student parking in more parts on campus.”

Senior, Amber Petty lives off campus at 58 West apartments and says, “I have risked parking on campus without the right permit because I have missed the bus that takes me to campus and I can’t risk being late to work or class.” “I think if we as students have to pay to park than we should be able to park anywhere on campus without taking the risk of being ticked by parking services.”

From the many views here on campus about parking, it seems that the majority of students who own cars and live either on campus or off campus think that parking services should fix a few of their rules about parking here on campus. In previous years, students have voiced the same opinion about how parking services needs to change a few of their rules on WMU campus, as stated in earlier Western Herald articles. From years before and today, students feel that parking services need to take more action and try to understand what students have to say about parking on campus.

Most students have the same issue when it comes to parking, especially freshmen who live in the valleys and have to walk 10 or more minutes each day to campus. All students want now, is for parking services to answer back to their demands and issues about the important matter at hand.

Sarah Bortz, a sophomore at WMU says, “I do not have a car on campus yet but I am hoping to bring it next year, I have to start saving to be able to afford the permit because I have heard it’s so expensive. Even though it is expensive, I’m willing to bring my car because that beats walking or taking the bus everywhere I need to go.” A lot of students have issues with parking services and parking on campus but aren’t willing to give up their parking on campus.

For students it’s better to have a car, so that they are able to drive anywhere they can when they want. Instead of waiting on the bus to take them not only to campus but to the grocery store, the mall or other places they need to go instead of just having to go on campus to the library or to class. Students wish the rules were made different but in the meantime they are dealing with it, just to have the sense of their own freedom and the sense of responsibility to own a car on campus and being able to provide transportation for themselves on a daily bases

Timothy Unangst, Captain at Parking Services says, “as much as students think we are the bad guys, we’re actually for the students.” “We think there should be more parking for students and more limited spaces for faculty but it has been this way for a while and faculty aren’t very willing to give up their parking spaces.” Unangst also says, “Students might think permits are expensive but the money that students pay for permits and for tickets goes to paving the roads around campus and also towards the buses which allow students to ride for free.”

As for the future, students are hoping that parking permits become less expensive and more spaces will be available on campus, expressing that it would make transiting from class to class a lot easier.

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