New game day parking causes frustration across campus

Polkinghorne Village parking lot reaches capacity between resident and sponsor parking
Photo by Mariah Wiggs

Students were left in disarray after receiving an official email from the university regarding new regulations for game day parking two days before the first home football game of the season.

A FAMUINFO email sent this past Thursday stated, “All parking lots on campus are reserved to Athletics for Game Day parking at 5:30pm each Friday of a game week. On Game Day, all lots will require a digital parking permit.”

At the time, this included all general parking spaces designated for Polkinghorne Village East and West residents. Students were left frantic and scrambling for answers as to where they could park without getting a ticket or their vehicle towed.

On the Friday before game day, all Polkinghorne Village residents received an email for those who have registered vehicles with parking services. The email instructed students to go to the front desk with proof of registration to receive a decal that allowed “uninterrupted parking during home games.”

While this gave most students a sigh of relief, multiple students were still left searching for places to park after RVs and motorhomes owned by athletic sponsors and boosters began to take up spaces in the Village parking lot.

Aniyah Watkins, a Polkinghorne Village resident, expressed her frustration with the new game day parking process.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Watkins. “I pay to live here, therefore I shouldn’t have to do anything extra to accommodate somebody else who doesn’t attend the school. We should not have to run around the day before a game trying to figure out what we’re supposed to do or go back and forth parking in different places.”

A new arrangement between Investing in Champions (IIC) and Rattler Athletic Fund (RAF) reserves all parking on campus to athletics on game days. This agreement not only affects students, but boosters and sponsors who pay for seasonal game day parking.

Ivory Turner, a five-year investor of the university and athletics program, believes that everyone should be included in the conversation, including students.

“Students should be informed first,” said Turner. “This is the worst it’s been between us and the students. The university needs to get better and do better for everyone involved.”

Austin Bail Bond Agency, another sponsor, also shared their disapproval with the new process.

“It’s very unclear,” said Austin. “It could be that this is the first year back from COVID, I’m not really sure, but it is not clear and we’re not really happy with the way that it is going.”

With students frustrated with limited parking and sponsors searching for answers, the common denominator seems to be lack of communication and clarity from the university.

With three home games remaining, including homecoming, no immediate indication has been made for parking adjustments. However, spirits are high that compromises can be made for future games this season.