Rattlers are fed up with lack of parking on campus

Images of FAMU parking garage capacity. Photo courtesy: Kylan Guerrier

Amongst other alarming issues for students at Florida A&M University, parking remains an ongoing plight.

With the influx of students being accepted to the university for the 2022-2023 academic year along with, first year students being able to have cars on campus; students have become increasingly frustrated with finding parking before class.

The available parking spots to student ratio is the biggest problem and extreme inconvenience. Occasionally, there are open spaces on campus, but they are far walking distances between the space and students’ destinations.

Students have expressed to their professors the issue with parking and making it to class on time. In return they have just been told to get to campus earlier to find parking.

Brandon Spencer, a third-year economics scholar, says that parking has made him late to class throughout the semester.

“Trying to park before class is like a maze,” Spencer said. “I have to get to campus at least 20 minutes before my class starts and that’s still not enough time to find parking. I go to the parking garage first, if that’s full I have to park further and that walk makes me late sometimes. The school needs to make adding more parking a priority because it’s putting a roadblock in front of us as students.”

In some cases, parking has caused students to miss class completely or turn to parking in illegal spaces to make it to class at all. Illegal parking subjects their vehicles to being either towed, booted or ticketed. Tickets for parking violations are typically up to $30 or more.

Lakayla McDonald, a pharmacy scholar, says that fellow students need to take some blame for the parking issues on campus.

“It’s bad enough that there’s barely any parking after 9 a.m.,” Donald said. “But students make it worse. Some people disregard others and take up two spaces. It’s aggravating thinking that you might have found a spot to park, just to see that a car is over the line. FAMU parking services should issue them tickets for doing that.”

While the university has not announced any plans to add more parking in the future, there are alternatives to parking on campus. The Venom Express is a free shuttle service, provided by FAMU, that brings students who live in off campus housing to school. Carpooling with friends or roommates is another valid alternative. Lastly, paying for transportation to campus using apps like Lyft, Uber or Spin.