Students raise frustrations surrounding WSU’s parking policy during the pandemic

The parking garage located just south of the Rhatigan Student Center will transition to pay-by-hour parking May 13.

Brian Hayes

The parking garage located just south of the Rhatigan Student Center will transition to pay-by-hour parking May 13.

Heading into the third week of the semester, students are finally transitioned into their semester routine. But along with class fees, textbooks, and tuition to pay for, students also have to remember an important detail: parking passes.

While some students don’t go to campus because of completely online school schedules, the students who do attend in-person classes still have to pay the full $70 price for a parking pass — unless they choose to pay hourly for the parking garage or buy a $5 daily pass. Many students have raised questions and concerns about having to pay for parking amidst the pandemic.

Nate Bell, a Barton School graduate student, got a ticket on the first day of the semester after forgetting that his pass was only valid for one semester

Bell said he wishes that the university would provide a one week grace period to remind students that they need to buy a parking pass.

“I think the first step would be a one week warning, or a one week pass … kind of like, ‘Hey, you need a parking pass to park here,’” Bell said. “I was expecting a one week grace period and I didn’t get that. I just used all my student loan money on classes, textbooks, I had to download softwares for online courses, and then I got a citation and now have to buy a parking pass.”

Aerospace engineering sophomore Jace Francis got a parking ticket during the first week of the semester when he drove to campus for work. Francis is attending all online classes, so he only drives to campus when he is scheduled to work.

“Honestly, I forgot that I needed a permit that morning,” Francis said. “Pretty much all of my classes are online, so I didn’t even think about it.”

Even though Francis is on campus frequently because of work, he said he believes students who only go to campus every now and then for few in person classes should not have to pay for a full parking pass.

“I do think parking should be cheaper because there are not as many people on campus anymore, a lot of the time during the day I’ll see completely empty parking lots,” Francis said. “For students working on campus, I don’t think it’s fair to ask them to pay.”

Tais Solis, a sophomore studying international studies and spanish, got a ticket Monday, Feb. 1 after parking in the parking garage during class.

“I have class once a week at school for one hour, so for me I think it’s unfair to pay a full $70,” Solis said. “I think they should be a little more understanding, I know they will never make parking free … but especially now too, with students sometimes not going it’s not worth it [to pay] when you never go. 

“It’s a hard topic because I don’t think they will change the rules.”

The Sunflower asked parking services if they are thinking about an alternative parking option for students and have yet to receive a response.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story did not include the $5 daily parking pass option that is available to students.