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UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

Parking Services passive on premium parking problem

It’s the beginning of a new semester, and with it comes the usual aggravations — the Cashier’s Office, One Stop and crowded classrooms full of optimistic wait-listers and slouching slackers who probably won’t show up again until the final.

Nothing sucks more than realizing you probably should have gotten to class earlier because only the horrible ‘80s printed, hardened, yet gummy, carpet offers seating in a tiny room where the teacher can hardly go five minutes without being interrupted by the bangs of construction.

Well, almost nothing.

You probably would’ve gotten to class with plenty of time to find a good seat if you hadn’t spent 30 minutes traveling up and down the parking garages, hunting down the rarely sighted red-eyed brake lights of another frustrated student ready to go home for the day.

Of course, in the weeks to come, the skippers will decide to start sleeping in, and with them, their cars, nestled safely in the comforts of a driveway far from what’s come to be known as UNF’s premium turf: parking spaces.

The absence of these shirkers will only slightly decrease a problem that ravages on unchecked and unexplained throughout the whole semester.

We couldn’t say it better than UNF’s own parking Web site does: “There will always be a space available for you somewhere, but you are not guaranteed parking in your favorite lot or garage.”

It’s no doubt that crowding has increased in the garages. Even Parking Service’s September 2009 lot counts concede as much. At any given time in Garage 44, the fourth floor shows an average of 99 fewer unoccupied spaces (i.e.: available for students to snag) compared to 2008.

With this decrease of spaces in mind, it’s no surprise that during these lot counts, there were 1,077 more students on campus as compared to fall 2008’s enrollment, according to Enrollment Services.

You’d think the Parking Advisory Council, which consists of four student representatives from Student Government and other school officials, would take the new data and the new enrollment into consideration when planning for next year, right? After all, it was Director of Auxiliary Services Vince Smyth who said, “We need to, from a parking standpoint, continue to see what’s happening and try to adjust to those changes.”

Instead, the council recommended all parking structures, surfaces, prices and selling ratios remain unchanged for the 2010-2011 school year, with the exception of Lots 9 and 7. It also recommended the closure of Lot 7 and the elimination of some premium parking in Lot 9.

“I don’t feel we should disturb a plan that’s working excellent,” Council Chair Everett Malcolm said in the council’s Oct. 30 meeting, where the council decided these things.

In case you didn’t catch that the first time — the ELIMINATION of some premium parking. Better buckle your seat belts and turn on the radio, ‘cause your daily tour of UNF’s many garages and lots in search of a premium space will only get worse next year with more students, less spaces and the same ratios of premium permits sold per student.

So, to everyone on the council (the four student representatives included): Congratulations on closing your ears to students’ constant appeals, demands and complaints about the premium problem. Congratulations on closing your eyes to 1,077 more students — and most likely more cars — on campus.

Congratulations on closing your minds to the rationality of increasing enrollment next year. Whether it be blind ignorance or unprecedented egotism, you’ve successfully avoided the discomfort of adjusting to students’ needs and desires.

It’s OK though, right? There are plenty of spaces in Lot 53.

The Spinnaker advises all premium permit holders to just go park out there. Throw $65 — the difference in cost between the discount and premium permits — out your car window onto Kernan Boulevard while you’re at it.

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