Appeal for More Parking on Tarleton State University Campus
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Tarleton State University is a member of the Texas A&M University system, and runs driven by a set of fundamental core values. These values are: integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence, and service. These core values however, have recently seemed to be ignored by the University and both the Housing and Parking and Police departments.
According to their webpage, the Parking department “aims to provide excellent parking and transportation management as a service to assist students, visitors, faculty, and staff members.” If they remained true to their mission statement, would there be students struggling to park on campus?
Last year, there were more open parking spaces for residents and commuters. However, recent construction of the new engineering building and memorial stadium have lowered the amount of parking spaces available on campus. Due to this, there are only around seven (UPDATE: Autocorrected to seventeen in the original post, now fixed!) lots available to commuters.
Recently, a few of the residential parking lots have been changed to “silver, 24 hour reserved lots” for residential leaders and dorm staff. However, the amount of spaces taken in some area exceed the number of residential workers. Due to this, as well as the overpopulation of freshman –estimated numbers are around four hundred- there aren’t enough parking spaces in the twelve lots dedicated exclusively for residents. These residents are spilling over into “green- all permit” lots, as well as many “purple” commuter lots.
Many commuters are arriving up to two hours before their classes, in an attempt to park on campus. However, the lots are filling by 7:30-8:00 a.m. every morning. Due to this, many commuters are walking 1-3 miles to get to campus from where they are parking. Those who give up on finding a spot after searching, have nowhere to park. Many people in a desperate attempt to get to class, are parking in the ends of parking lots, sides of roads, and in the parking lots of local businesses.
I personally watched Tarleton PD help three tow truck drivers in towing three cars from a silver lot, on a Tuesday afternoon, around 5 pm. The most disgusting part? The drivers and Tarleton PD were breaking into the cars. Upon researching Texas towing laws, I found a newspaper article stating that tow truck drivers have a right to break in under three circumstance. They are as follows: removing a parking break, straightening the steering column, and securing valuable personal items. However, it is possible to tow the vehicles without breaking in to release a parking break. Student cars are being broken into in order to be towed, which only gains the university money due to towing fees and ticketing.
On Fridays, many parking lots close down to commuters and residents, to accompany for Stephenville High School football games being held at the stadium and Tarleton Football games on Saturdays. These events are forcing students to struggle tenfold to find a parking space. Due to this, several students chose not to attend class or just go home on Thursday. The university clears out the commuter lots in front of Memorial Stadium for tailgating and alumni RVs. The biggest problem with this, as seen by students, is being kicked out of a parking lot that we pay $100 for a permit to park in. If you’re not out by noon on Friday, you’ll find yourself either with a hefty ticket (if you’re lucky…) or to your car being towed.
I sincerely hope that this information, as well as stories I hope to release within the next few days to supplement this article, will help you understand why the students of Tarleton State need your help. Our education is being compromised by the parking issues on campus.
The goal of this petition is to encourage Tarleton State University's President, Dr. Dottavio, as well as the Parking and Police department to find a solution to the parking issue. Whether it be building a parking garage within Stepheville's Air rights, or constructing new parking lots, the students need more parking.
Link to parking map: https://www.tarleton.edu/parking/index.html
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