NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - It might be a new semester at SFA, but the parking problem that students have voiced concerns about over the last few years has continued. Social media has been a firestorm of comments from students students saying they are struggling to find places to park.
"Today I had to park 15-20 min. away from campus it doesn't make sense, and it's only getting worse," said SFA student Bryson Bhatti. "The commuter parking lot is so far away from anywhere we need to be."
It's a problem that students have taken to social media recently. Typing in the phrase, 'SFA Parking' into your Twitter or Facebook search tool brings up thousands of comments made by upset students who want answers. Sergeant Kennedy with UPD addressed rumors surrounding the reasons for lack of parking.
"All you have to do is take a trip to the commuter parking lot across from the coliseum to see that there are plenty of spaces available for students needing a spot," said Kennedy. "If they are concerned about walking there is a bus that picks students up every few minutes that is very easy to take advantage of."
The commuter parking lot with the most availability is almost a mile from the nearest campus building, but the lack of places to park seems to be less of a problem in comparison to convenience of students wanting to park closer to their classes.
"You have to watch someone back out of their space and then swoop in and take their spot if you want any chance of parking anywhere close to your classes," said one student. "It really isn't fair that the parking garages they have built only dedicate the very top floors to commuters."
The most consistent concerns surrounded the ratio to faculty and commuter parking spaces available to which UPD explained that some spaces for faculty were added this year due to need in certain areas on campus.
"Faculty received approximately six spaces in the lot located at North St. and Wettermark, a few spaces on Raguet St., and 30 spaces on Griffith Blvd. just south of the Student Center garage," Kennedy said.
Kennedy added that it is always the university's main priority to add as many student parking spaces as possible, and is an ongoing effort parking and traffic department makes for their students.
"We are definitely not trying to take spaces away, it may take students a little longer to find spots, but there are spots available," Kennedy said.
UPD suggests that students prepare early, get to parking lots and garages in enough time to wait for openings, and research which parking lots they are eligible to park in.
"In our parking and traffic office there is a map on there they tell you where resident, faculty, and commuter parking and they can determine where they can and can't park," Kennedy said. "They can also call or check online anytime they have questions about where to park."
In reference to parking lots that have been destroyed, UPD said that no parking has been taken away without additional parking being added. If students have questions about where they can park all they have to do is visit university's traffic and parking website here: http://www.sfasu.edu/parking/114.asp