Parking issues on campus persist

Parking can be tight in FAMU’s lone garage. Photo courtesy Jaden Bowen

Parking availability has not deviated as one of the significant issues Florida A&M University students face on campus. Each semester, complaints are made about the lack of spaces for students.

This consistency has become a rite of passage for Rattlers and is seen as just one of those things you must go through.

Junior pharmacy student Kayla Jackson is among the students who are tired of having to deal with parking as an obstacle on a day-to-day basis.

“It’s a huge inconvenience commuting to and from school and off-campus living, not knowing if I’ll have a spot 30 minutes before I start class, or will have to walk long distances, or at least having a parking spot,” Jackson said.

Frustrations with finding spaces have resulted in students parking illegally and finding alternative ways to make it to class, but they run the risk of severe consequences.

The rise in towing shows no remorse for students running late to class, and the university and professors find “looking for parking” inexcusable for tardiness.

Students like Aniyah Sparks, a junior psychology major, have had to strategize and study the campus lots to find availability.

“My biggest issue would probably be trying to find parking around 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. when I have late classes because the parking garage is always full until 5 p.m.,” Sparks said. “It’s crazy that there’s more housing facilities being built yet no new parking, like, we can’t even park for the game in the parking garage now.”

With the addition of new residences across campus, many students hoped that these changes would mean opening new parking lots, which it has, but not in a way that accommodates the growing admission rates.

Aside from the recently constructed lot near the tennis courts, from the perspective of students, there hasn’t been much initiative shown to the growing parking problem as it is in other areas.

SGA president and university trustee Londe Mondelus has experience with this issue, having to “resort to carpooling or Uber-ing” due to limited parking availability, but feels that the university is making changes in the right areas.

“I will say that I think that residence halls should be the priority. I don’t think that ignoring our housing issue while trying to resolve parking is smart,” Mondelus said.