BUSINESS

Even teaching assistants have parking problems at UM

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Full lot on Campus. Taken by Rowan Ryan.

Rowan Ryan
rmryan@go.olemiss.edu

All these cars and nowhere to park. Some believe the increase in enrollment at the University of Mississippi directly correlates with the increase in stress caused by the lack of available parking.

In the sixth story of a series about parking, we interviewed students about the challenges they face finding a space.

Megan Jones, a UM graduate teaching assistant, has to purchase commuter parking, which is roughly $175. She receives no discounts or benefits for parking despite her job with the school.

“In commuter, I usually arrive an hour early to ensure parking,” Jones said. “However, recently, I have used Park-n-Ride for the convenience.”

From commuter parking, Jones must walk roughly 15-20 minutes from her parking spot. However, from Park-n-Ride she waits 10 minutes for the bus to come and then an additional 10-minute walk to class.

Jones received more citations during holidays when she was required to work and take classes. She assumed that parking would be more lenient when students are dismissed from class during Christmas and Thanksgiving breaks, however she still received citations. She even received a citation for parking in a spot to turn in paperwork and was fined for the minimal time she spent there.

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Student struggles to find available spot. Taken by Rowan Ryan.

Jones said campus officials should open up spots in the Pavilion parking garage for commuters to lessen the stress of finding a spot. She also believes requiring more students to use Park-n-Ride will help the problem.

“Honestly, I think its a better option because the bus takes you to the center of campus,” she said, “and usually I can park at the JAC and make it to class well before I can find a spot and walk from commuter parking.”

The Rules and Regulations for parking states that the campus does not guarantee an available parking spot in the designated area, but tickets will be distributed if the car is parked in any area but the designated spot.

Sophomore Hannah Sanders has also faced parking challenges.

“Going from living on campus and in the dorms to having to commute every day to class has been a major adjustment,” Sanders said. “I used to wake up 30 minutes before class and walk from Crosby with time to spare.”

Now Sanders has to allow up to 45 minutes to drive only seven minutes to campus and find a parking spot and get to class on time. After finding a parking spot, she must allow herself 15 minutes to walk to class. Most days, Sanders cannot find a parking spot anywhere and resorts to parking in the Pavilion parking.

“On top of paying $175 for my commuter spot, I have to pay an additional $5-7 for the parking garage,” Sanders said, “which drives my parents crazy.”

Sanders thought it was ridiculous to buy a Pavilion parking pass for $550, but now after purchasing the commuter pass and still having to pay for parking, she thinks this is the smartest way to deal with parking.

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Student struggles to get to class on time after walking from commuter parking. Taken by Rowan Ryan

While Sanders understands everyone’s frustration, she still believes freshmen should be allowed to park on campus.

“Everyone should be able to have a car and easily park on campus if they want to,” she said. “Instead, they should build another parking garage behind Crosby.”

Sophomore Simmons Barrazza lives off campus as well. However, she uses the Oxford University Transit bus.

“The bus comes every hour and half hour to different locations,” she said. “I get picked up from Hooper Hollow and then taken to University Drive, and I have to get on a different bus that runs through the Square and takes me to campus.”

This ordeal takes Barrazza roughly 25 minutes, “and that doesn’t include the extra time if the bus is late,” said Barrazza.

Barrazza has a car, but has had so much trouble getting to class on time while trying to park, that it is just easier to carpool or take the bus.Save

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