UVUSA hosted a panel on Nov. 5 at Centre Stage to address the parking concerns of students, in the hopes of providing transparency to the student body and those over parking.
The panel consisted of entrepreneurship professor, Vance Gough, parking services manager, Tina Medina, director of parking operations, Barbara Young, UTA’s senior service planner, Ken Anson and the vice president of facilities planning, Frank Young.
To kick off the discussion, the host Kenzie Prows inquired about parking lot L4, located in front of the Fulton Library, being transformed from student to employee parking. Frank Young responded by informing attendees that the lack of parking for professors was forcing them to cancel classes. This prompted the change in the parking which, according to Frank Young, has resulted in less class cancellations.
Barbara Young notified those in attendance that parking services is an independent entity separate from the university. According to Barbara Young, the funding for parking services comes from parking pass fees, citations and other parking related costs. Because they do not receive any funding from the school, they reallocate all funds generated within the department for salaries and maintenance.
Parking pass fees were previously increased to encourage students to use public transit, according to the panel. A student expressed their concerns, asking the panel if the hours of operation for public transportation would be extended, as well as the scope of the buses. Anson replied by stating that UTA is aware of the operation extension requests and the expansion of areas serviced. He informed students of the need for additional resources and that UTA is currently working to solve the problem.
The panel offered suggestions for students who struggle to find parking.. Frank Young suggested students park near parking lots L9 and L10, located near the testing center. He went on to inform them that the walk from L10 to the Fulton Library was only five minutes, resulting in looks of shock and disbelief from the students.
When asked why more parking could not be created, the panel stated that it costs approximately $1,200 to make one parking stall. An increase in resources would be needed to create more parking spaces, which would ultimately result in an increase of parking fees. The panel reassured attendees that parking pass prices would not be increased again for a while.
Upon leaving the panel, students expressed their disdain over the discussion.
“I feel like nothing is going to be done about the problems. Even though they stated that they wouldn’t raise the costs for the pass, I feel like it’s inevitable,” a current UVU student said.
Photos taken by Blanca De La Cruz