By Steven Barrera, Staff Writer
The Master’s University has seen a surge in enrollment in the form of back-to-back record freshman classes in 2020-21 and 2021-22. And, while this is recognized almost universally on campus as a good thing, it has not been without challenges. The most pressing, according to many students, is the sudden, yet inevitable shortage of student parking.
Students have voiced their thoughts and let TMU know of the struggles they are having with parking. A few students have even gone as far as writing letters to the head of campus security on the matter. There are going to be changes in the coming semester. The big question is will the parking issue continue next semester with another large number of incoming students.
In November, a poll was conducted by life at TMU, a student-run instagram page surveying TMU students who have cars on campus. A majority of students polled think there is a parking issue and would like to see a change.
“It would be nice to know that my permit … guarantees me a parking spot if I get back late from work,” said Nicole Harris.
One student who wished to stay anonymous said, “It can be frustrating if I come back after working off-campus, there are no parking spaces left … I end up parking in a reserved spot and have to wake up early to park somewhere else so I do not get a citation from campus security.”
Changes are forthcoming.
Director of campus safety and emergency management, Bryan Kortcamp, says one important change will be assigned parking zones near the dorms starting next semester. The university would be able to sell a certain number of permits per lot. When the capacity is reached for each lot, Kortcamp could deal with where to put the overflow.
At this point it is still uncertain what the boundaries for the parking zones are going to look like. As to enforcing that people are parking in their zones, enforcement might include a colored dot or a number that corresponds with the lot displayed on the parking pass.
Kortcamp recommends that RD’s that do not use one of their reserved spots could allow one of their RA’s or another student to use the spot so that there are more available spaces.
Students are allowed to park on North Campus overnight if there are no parking spots available near the dorms, but campus security is aware that some students may not feel comfortable walking up to the dorms later in the night.
“If you are uncomfortable with the walk, you can give campus security a call and we are more than happy to give them a ride up,” said Kortcamp. “We have a whole protocol for that, or you can call campus security to notify them you are making the walk over to the dorms and they will keep an eye out for you.”
Kortcamp has even thought about having a shuttle for students that have to make the late-night walk from North Campus to the dorms. However, due to logistic issues it has not yet come to fruition. Kortcamp wants the students to know he understands the frustration and that the university and is working to make the situation better.
Steven Barrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org