ULM parking still needs work

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ULM parking still needs work

Raven Adcox, [email protected]

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ULM parking is a joke. 

There are almost 6,000 parking spots on campus, according to the ULM website. However, over 9,000 students attend the university in some capacity. How do those numbers work out? Well, they don’t, and this university can do better for its students.

ULM students are required to pay a $100 parking permit fee, which allows them to park in designated areas on campus. This number seems fairly high to me, but ULM does provide the option of adding the fee to banner rather than paying upfront for the decal. 

The places you can park on campus depend on your university status as a commuter, resident, faculty or staff member. For instance, I have been a commuter since my freshman year. And, it has sucked. You have to become an expert in observation or a gambler in order to find a parking spot in the morning. Do I try to find a better spot or do I succumb to what is “overflow parking?” Overflow parking is something that was created shortly after I began school at ULM.  

The idea was to relieve some of the congestion from normal parking areas by offering this alternative area for students to park. I mean, it’s just a gravel pancake with no distinctive markers that is far from the core of campus. 

If you are a construction or nursing major, maybe these overflow spots are for you. They are extremely close to your classes anyways. Other than that, the overflow parking is pretty lackluster and doesn’t really benefit students who are going to park at KFC anyways. 

Thankfully, I live very close to campus now and can afford to leave my apartment early to find a good spot. When I was a freshman, I ran everywhere and was out-of-breath all the time. I know I am not alone in my annoyance over ULM’s lack of dedication to efficient parking. Plus, that $50 parking ticket I had to pay for parking in a faculty spot didn’t feel too good either. 

Where does all of that money go? If you get a parking ticket and don’t pay it, a hold will be put on your account prohibiting you from registering for new classes. 

Those student ticket writers have no mercy, so it’s every Warhawk for themselves when it comes to parking.

If we really are “the best on the bayou,” there should be parking for everyone. Not a mess that creates stress for students across the board. 

I may have adapted to the mess, but I still think it can be “cleaned up.”

The parking garage is something most students appreciate, and the shade helps to keep vehicles cool. If space is such an issue, planning out an area for another vertical parking garage could work. 

After 4:30 p.m., parking isn’t as strict, and students can park everywhere expect handicap and reserved parking. 

I have to give ULM props for this one, because it promotes a safer environment for students on campus. I have several friends who do homework in the library all night and benefit from being able to park wherever they need. 

ULM parking may be a joke, but this is probably true for other growing universities. We are constantly adapting and changing with a larger student body every year.

As long as the student body stays vocal about issues on campus, I think solutions will be found for a manner of problems on campus. It is our job as students to hold ULM accountable for its actions. If we don’t care, why should ULM?