During the 2015-2016 academic year, East Carolina University began construction on a new student center in front of Joyner Library. In order to complete this construction, they closed down the several-hundred-space parking lot in front of the library. This was the only parking lot on core campus or near the library that was accessible to students; all other campus parking was for staff and faculty. To compensate for this lot, ECU provided an off-campus lot with a Park-and-Ride bus system to shuttle students to and from campus. However, these buses only begin running at 7:30 a.m. and stop running at 10 p.m. during weeknights. Our library is open 24/7, but without transportation to and from the off-campus lot, students are left to walk or utilize SafeRide services, which only run until midnight. Our student recreation center also opens at 5:15 a.m., and student employees who open the facility have no way to get to work besides walking from the student lot at Minges Coliseum.
Greenville is no stranger to crime. The city is ranked above not only North Carolina's criminal average but also the national average by almost 40%. Students who opt for the campus text message notifications receive weekly reports of armed robbery or attempted assault on or near campus in the early morning hours. Walking from the library back to the off-campus student parking lots is extremely unsafe during the hours that the buses are not running.
The walk from Joyner Library to the student parking lot at Minges Coliseum takes about twenty minutes. There are approximately 6-8 officers that patrol the entire campus during each 12-hour shift. SafeRide can take anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours to arrive and are only required to wait 3 minutes before moving on to the next location.
Previously, students have been allowed to park in the faculty and staff lots after hours and on the weekends. However, this year, ECU has implemented a new policy stating that students can no longer park in these lots without the possession of a permit that costs $100-150 north of the regular student permits. This C2/A permit does not fix the parking issue for students on the Health Science Campus, which does not contain a C lot; those students are forced to purchase a B4 pass if they wish to park on their campus. The B4 pass is $69.00 more than the C pass that is required for all other undergraduate students to park on main campus.
Due to the recent parking changes, students have no way to access these facilities for the full hours of their operation. As each student's tuition covers the cost of these facilities, I believe it is only fair that East Carolina University provide safe and accessible parking and/or transit to and from the main campus library, student recreation center, and student parking lot. This will help to keep our students safe when utilizing university resources. We, as a student body, hope to accomplish the following things:
1. Repeal the new rule that students can no longer park in faculty/staff lots (A/B1/B3 permit) after hours and on the weekends.
2. Give students with B4 permits back the three parking lots on the Health Science Campus that were available in previous years but will be open to faculty only starting on August 1st, 2018.
Thank you for your support regarding these issues!