“A walking problem”: The fight for parking at UVU 

Reading Time: 4 minutes The Review sat down with Frank Young, associate vice president of facilities to talk about the parking situation at UVU. Speaking of the issues, Young pointed out services that students haven’t been utilizing, lots that students haven’t been parking in, and comments allegedly made by school administration on parking expansion.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

UVU always has parking spots available. Yes, even during the busiest hours of the day, according to UVU parking officials.  

With a student body of nearly 45,000 (as of October 2023), UVU is the largest public university in Utah. As a commuter campus, parking is an essential need for many, and yet, with such a large population, challenges emerge when it comes to finding an open spot. 

UVU parking services holds a 1.6-star average rating on Google, and there is little known about how the office is run behind the scenes. In the fall of 2023, The Review submitted a request for public records (GRAMA) to evaluate the cost of maintenance and parking administration on campus. The Review has since followed up on questions and requested additional information from the department to present to the student body.  

Frank Young, associate vice president of facilities, sat down with The Review for an interview to discuss parking issues students face on campus, and why it might not be as bad as it seems. 

Young oversees parking services as a branch of facilities. When asked what he thought of the perception of parking services on campus, Young stated, “Yeah, [hopefully the perception of us] is good. I know people get frustrated when they can’t find a parking spot as close as they want. But there are always places to park at UVU. I’ve been here for 20-plus years, but even during our peak, we’ve always had available parking. It’s not always where you want it to be.” 

For those who have circled in front of the Clarke Building around midday, this might seem like a bit of an overestimation. According to Young, though, parking services count the number of available stalls at least twice a week, even at the busiest hours, and claims to always find open spots. “Fewer and fewer people come to campus as the semester goes on,” he said.  

On March 19, 2024, there were 2089 student spots, 154 faculty spots and 184 visitor stalls still open at midday. Most of these spots, Young claimed, were in lots L9 and L10. 

Young advised students to keep L9 and L10 in mind when attempting to park on campus: “If you’re a little bit late to class, go to L9 and quick walk back over, and you’re going to be fine. Don’t do the drive around; don’t do that at all. And I would check M29, which is up by The Green. This one usually has a bunch of open stalls.” 

Young stated in the interview that they had originally planned expansion in parking on campus, but this was denied at an administrative level. “We actually have drawings. We were going to add a parking lot behind where the alumni house is. And that was one of the first things [President Tuminez] said: ‘Don’t build it. I don’t want any more parking.’” 

“She likes to say we have a walking problem, not a parking problem,” Young claimed. “She’s funny.”  

The Review has reached out to President Tuminez’s office for a reply but has yet to receive a response. 

The agreement that UVU has made with Utah County has granted access to lots L3, L5 and L8 for people attending events as a part of the UCCU Center. Often, this creates congestion in the primary lots for students.  

For student Sarah Dayley, students should take precedence over events when it comes to parking. On The Review’s post on Instagram about the UCCU parking schedule on Feb. 9, 2024, Dayley stated, “It would be nice that instead of having to follow a certain schedule, students who pay $115+ for a parking permit receive priority parking. Even just sections closed off to event parking. Often times I head to school straight from work and simply do not have the time to ‘arrive early.’” 

Other students echoed this sentiment. Josie Brown replied to Dayley, saying, “Seriously. It shows that their top priority is not their students. It is making money. They get paid a ton to host these events.” 

Jared Nelson, though, would not wish for expansion if that meant tuition or fees might be raised. “I usually don’t have any problems [parking] unless I come right up between like 12 and 2 o’clock, it’s hard to find a spot anywhere,” Nelson pointed out. “It depends on what [expansion] would cost, right, if they had to raise tuition or something like that. I’d rather not. I don’t mind parking further away if that means I don’t have to pay more.” 

Young described how parking services works to ensure people know where to park when events are being held at UVU. “We’re trying, and it’s hard. People don’t read, people don’t want to do. They want to have it be convenient. When we do have high school events, the schools are supposed to tell the parents to park in L9 and L10, then take that longer walk back, but they don’t want to,” Young said. “So, if you feel any pressure and even on the busiest day, … we still had over 1000 empty stalls. They are all kind of just outside where you want to be comfortable.” 

When commuting to school, though, the issue of parking is not the only cause of anxiety. What many students do not know is that parking services offer additional help for students in need of aid. This can include removing locked keys from a vehicle, helping fix a flat and even tire replacement. 

For more information on parking and its related services, please visit https://www.uvu.edu/parking/ or call (801) 863-8188 for more information. For more information on different lots, visit this map of UVU’s campus.