Parking spots open in Laclede garage

The strain on parking in campus lots may be somewhat lifted as 225 spots have become available in the Laclede parking garage.

The parking issue has been highly debated in the past weeks, due to lack of space on the west end of campus. This movement into the Laclede garage will alleviate some of the overcrowding in the general lots.

Ann Benson, manager of Parking and Card Services, explained that the new spots have come as a result of a number of factors.

There are often residents, commuters and staff who do not pick up their passes in the first two weeks of school, who change their mind about where they want to park or who get an open space in a premium lot, Benson said.

This opens up a number of spaces to those on the waiting list. Out of the 225 spaces, 125 will be allotted to residents, 50 to commuters and 50 to faculty on the list. Those notified of an opening had until Tuesday, Oct. 1 to reply.

Those moving to the garage will still have to pay full price, meaning there is no loss of revenue to the University. After fall break the price is cut in half.

Student Government Association President Mike Rozier thinks the amount of spaces that have become available is helpful to the parking situation, though more still needs to be done.

“I think it will relieve the problem slightly, but it still needs to be addressed, and it will be addressed,” Rozier said.

Benson also said that it took Parking and Card Services over a month to see how many spaces were available because of the amount of work that the office has to do. Along with parking, the department also handles student IDs and meal plans. Benson estimated that there are more than 500 meal plan changes in the first week of school.

“Meal plans are a priority because students need to eat,” Benson said.

The small staff also deals with customers in the office before looking at any paper work. Benson said they process about 6,000 parking applications each year.

SGA has recently asked Parking and Card Services to come up with statistics on parking. According to Benson, there are currently no numbers on parking by class level or residential living area because changes are constantly being made due to openings in lots.

“Students drop out or employees leave the University, creating open spots for those on waiting lists,” Benson said. “There is a constant movement.”

Nevertheless, Benson hopes to have some sort of statistics by the end of the month.