Students Fed Up with Parking at WMU
Andrew Streitel | JRN 3200
Western Michigan University students are frustrated with how parking is handled at the
university. Thousands of students purchase parking passes each year to park at WMU but some
students might argue that passes are not worth buying.
A parking pass for the 17-18 school year cost $300 for a full year and then $180 for the
passes for $15.
“I know some of my friends that go to a different college only have to pay 100-200
dollars for their parking passes,” said WMU sophomore Evan Vanhorne. “300 is just a little to
much if you’re asking me.”
Michigan State University has parking passes for the year that range from $100 to $300.
MSU makes you buy passes for specific parking lots and you can only park in the lot that you
bought your pass for.
Univeristy of Michigan has parking permits that are as low as $80 and as high as $400.
The school gives you options based on how much you will be on campus. This is beneficial for
students who don’t have classes everyday so they don’t have to spend the whole amount for a
parking permit. Both Michigan and MSU have a tier parking system where you can buy a gold,
silver or bronze pass. Having a gold pass gets you into lots that are closer to campus and silver
and bronze passes are farther away from campus buildings.
“At a lot of universities you pay the same amount as you do at WMU if not more but the
cost is hidden,” said captain Timothy Unangst. “At other universities in your tuition they charge
you a fee for parking and then charge you a lesser amount for a parking permit.”
There are roughly 37 employee or staff parking lots, roughly 43 student parking lots and
14 visitor parking lots on WMU’s main campus. Based off of numbers students are available to
more parking, however students are the majority of the population at WMU.
“It would appear that we do favor faculty more than the students but I believe that
students are customers and customers should have the priority,” said Unangst. “Students
should have priority parking and that is something that I am trying to fix on campus.”
Many students believe that there is not enough parking on campus for students and the
positioning of the lots favor the faculty.
“It just seems to me that all of the employee lots are closer to the buildings and us
students have to walk a mile to get to where we are going,” said Vanhorne.
The cost of the tickets for parking on campus is another issue students have with WMU
parking services. Parking tickets at WMU are usually $25 however, if you fail to pay the ticket
within two weeks the amount goes up $10 every week that the ticket is unpaid.
“Not to long ago the pricing of tickets changed from $15 to $25 and we found that it was
not a money generating issue,” said Unangst. “$15 got to a point where people did not care and
it wasn’t enough. People would take the hit and people would abuse the rules and tickets were
not enough of a penalty to stop people from parking illegally so we bumped up the price.”
Another issue that students have about parking on campus is parking meters and the
fact that students can’t park at the meters. For example, if a student were to drive to the
Bernhard Center there is no place for them to park since all of the parking spaces use meters.
This raises an issue with students because they can’t park at the student center on campus that
is for students.
“Meters on campus is the dumbest thing. If you have a parking pass you should be able
to park at the meters,” said Vanhorne. “I know the meters are for visitors but what about the
students that pay so much money to attend WMU and have no place to park.”
Students across campus see parking services in a bad light. Mostly because of the lack
of parking available to them and the amount to cost to park on campus.
“It is a big misconception that there is not enough parking on campus,” said Unangst. “A
lot of people either don’t know where to look or where to find the parking and if people call us
we are happy to help them find a parking lot with spaces open.”
WMU parking services has a lot of issues to deal with according to students on campus.
Students feel as if they are not the priority when it comes to parking and that visitors and faculty
have the power when it comes to parking. WMU must try and fix this problem to better benefit
their students and try to find a balance between who parks where and how much it costs to park
on WMU’s campus.
To learn more about parking at WMU visit the parking services website at