BUSINESS

Students offer solutions For UM parking problems

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Jack Newsom
jsnewso2@go.olemiss.edu

Parking at the University of Mississippi can be a real pain. Sometimes the rules that govern parking at Ole Miss seem downright ridiculous, and at times, parking can seem impossible.

Some students have thoughts about how parking issues could be improved. In the seventh story of a series on parking, we interviewed students about the challenges they face finding a space.

Olive Branch native Michael Roberts, 18, is a UM freshman who had no knowledge about how parking worked at Ole Miss prior to becoming a student. When he first enrolled, he instantly realized he “had no idea where he was supposed to park.”

Roberts soon discovered he had purchased the wrong parking decal. He was not allowed to park anywhere on campus and had to settle for a spot near the interstate.

He later discovered he was not parking in the correct parking lot when he came back to his car after the first week of classes and found several parking tickets on his front windshield.

“It turns out that I had to park even farther away than I did before,” he said.

Roberts said he believes the university’s website could better clarify which parking decal is required for each dorm or respective zones. If  the website would only allow students to buy decals for the zones they need, he said this problem would never occur.

Roberts also believes it’s unfair that students who paid for on-campus housing and had a vehicle to drive were not guaranteed a parking decal.

“When you buy a dorm room, you should have the choice to buy your decal too,” Roberts said, adding that, “The window for buying decals should be first-come, first-serve, not a set time to buy.”

Dallas native Austen Artcher, 19, is a UM sophomore who transferred from a local community college to Ole Miss after his first semester of his freshman year. Right away, Artcher had an issue with parking.

Since he was a transfer student, he was not able to purchase an on-campus parking decal and had to settle for one far off campus. Artcher also parked in the wrong parking lot his first week here.

He suggests that the university erect more signs around the off-campus parking lots that make clear the name of each parking lot.

“I don’t think it’s fair that a transfer student is not allowed to buy a sticker,” Artcher said, adding that parking for commuters is difficult.

He has several ideas about what the University of Mississippi could do to improve parking, specifically pertaining to commuters. One idea involves adding another parking garage to the campus exclusively for commuters.

“The extra places would just make it a lot easier for all students coming from off campus,” he said.

Another idea is eliminating on-campus parking options for freshmen.

“All the freshmen can walk to class anyway, so it wouldn’t really hurt them to not be able to park on campus,” he said.

Artcher also believes allowing students to park anywhere on campus after 5 p.m. at night is a “good start,” but he said the university should consider making it 4 p.m. or earlier. “Just more commuter spots in general would really help,” he said.

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