Imagine driving to Coastal Carolina bumper to bumper on Highway 501, then spend thirty minutes to an hour trying to find a spot in a parking lot near the building where your first class is hosted. In this scenario, you have to decide between arriving late to class or receiving a parking ticket for parking in an undesignated spot. For most students at CCU, this situation occurs on a near-daily basis.
One such case involves Madalyn Noakes, a sophomore, who said, “I was late to class, so I parked in GG on the side [grassy area] rather than in a spot because there were no [available] spots and got a ticket. I think we should have a brick parking garage to blend in with the other buildings.”
Carson Burgess, a freshman resident shares the position.
“They should just have parking garages where the parking lots are,” Burgess said.
Hannah Gausepohi, a freshman resident, is also struggling with the parking issue.
“I got three parking tickets because I couldn’t find any spots and I didn’t [go back to my car] until 2 days later,” said Gausepohi.
Administrative Specialist Briana Marino from the Public Safety office said that as of Wednesday, Sept. 18, a total of 2,740 parking tickets were given. 1,524 of these tickets were given to drivers who parked improperly.
According to Dee Braswell, an office manager from Public Safety, there are many complications when it comes to student parking.
“Decals [that] go to a commuter can go to a paying student or a non-paying student because we do have what they call a non-typical student . . . we have people who audit classes . . . and they can get two, as well as senior [citizens] who don’t have to pay to come to school here, so they don’t have to pay for their decal. . . We never give out as many decals as we have students here because a lot of people go online, and a lot of our students are faculty and staff.”
To make it more complicated, some students have registered more than one car and therefore purchased more than one parking decal.
Since last June up till Thursday, Sept. 19, there have been 2,640 commuter decals, 1,403 resident decals and 1,403 university place decals issued. The total of all student-friendly parking spots is 6,039. From this, there are 2, 817 parking spaces in which students with student decals can park on the main campus. 135 of these spots are 2-hour parking or less, leaving 2,882 spots for longer periods on the main campus. 1,672 of these are commuter-friendly parking places, 1,963 are resident-friendly and 3,321 are university place students.
Although commuter parking lots are commonly shared with other decals, if all commuters were to attempt to park at the same time on campus in a long-term parking lot, there would be 968 commuters left without a parking place.
“GG lot should be commuter only [because] half the lot is filled with other decal parkers other than commuters. YY should be resident only parking as residents don’t need to leave campus as often as commuters, [who] are constantly on and off the campus on a day to day basis,” said Jordan Smith, a freshman commuter.
The issue of parking is long-standing but has recently been picking up traction through the voices of the students. If you wish to share your story of the inconveniences associated with campus parking, please contact The Chanticleer newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org.