Is it possible student parking has gotten worse?

An overflowing parking lot at FAMU. Photo by De’ja Stokes

Student parking on FAMU’s campus has been a long-standing issue. Every school year students complain and hope for more parking to be made available to them.

But since the pandemic, is it possible that parking is now a bigger challenge than before?

Last week was the return of in-person classes. Exciting, right? Maybe not. The first day of classes was a struggle for many because of parking.

There also seems to be a surge in the number of students as well.

“Parking has gotten worse,” said Destiny Roberts, a senior at FAMU.

The ongoing challenge of finding parking could be due to the fact that there are more students on campus than before. Also, certain times of the day are when most students are on campus. During the morning around 8 a.m. Roberts noticed more traffic and realized it will be hard to find a parking spot, because she sees more cars than usual.

The lack of student parking is also affecting if students are making it to class on time. Because students are spending 30 minutes to an hour trying to find a parking spot, this cuts into their class time. It even causes some students to miss their class completely.

“This is ridiculous, I’m late to class. I’m leaving early but I’m still late to class because I’m looking for parking,” said Yakora Pitts, a junior at FAMU.

Pitts is also a first-time driver, so the overwhelming amount of cars and lack of space makes her extremely anxious.

With such a large amount of land on campus and the abundant amount of students attending FAMU, it is astonishing to know that there are so many issues with student parking. Some students said some of the new buildings, like the amphitheater, should’ve been a new student parking lot.

“Although I haven’t run into many problems with on-campus parking, I still think there are not enough spaces for the amount of students,” said Imani Ruff, a sophomore at FAMU.

As the student body continues to grow, students say the parking spaces should as well. There are many factors against students who have trouble finding parking such as long-distance walks in the heat, missing or being late to class, and citations for parking in the wrong spot. Some see getting a parking spot as a game. The only solution that would improve this consistent issue is to create more student parking.