ASU Students Unhappy With University’s Decision to Restrict Parking For Thursday Night Football

Published Friday, September 4, 2015 at 2:48 pm
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Students are upset that they won’t be able to park in this lot on Thursdays. Photos by Troy Brooks

By Troy Brooks

Chancellor Evert’s decision to restrict student parking for Thursday night football games has been met with opposition from campus students. Many students have expressed their concerns and objections to the university’s decision through petitions and social media.

“I know many faculty and students who are frustrated with the whole ordeal,” said senior biology student Ariel Bushel. “I hope that professors, faculty, and students can find a means of getting to campus or else we will have several classes being cancelled.”

Joining the Sun Belt Conference last year brought both benefits, including Thursday night games on ESPN, and challenges such as this parking conundrum. Due to the new schedule, two of this season’s games are held on Thursday evenings on Oct. 22 and Nov. 5.

On August 21, Chancellor Everts sent out an email to faculty, staff and students describing the new parking restrictions for the Thursday night football games. In the email, she stated that all student parking would be restricted to the Rivers Street Parking Deck. Students with valid permits would be allowed to park in the lot until 4 p.m. Everts stated that the plan was part of a “green initiative” and the Chancellor encouraged students to get to campus by other means. The new restrictions were met with resentment from some students.

“I feel like it’s really frustrating to have the restrictions because I have class all day on Thursdays,” said student Larisa Kenney. “I could make it work if I absolutely had to but I find it ridiculous that they’re using the restrictions for football. Either they should not have those restrictions or cancel classes after three.”

Many students live off campus and can’t rely on public transportation such as senior art student Elizabeth Shanahan.

“I (like many art students) have to carry a lot of heavy things to school every day, which often makes taking the bus either not an option or a bad option. I paid for a parking pass, and I should be allowed to use it every day. Universities are for learning, not athletics.”

Campus students must obtain an annual parking pass to park on campus. Most parking permits cost $204 for the full. Passes for the River Street Deck cost $504 and evening permits for hours after 2 p.m. cost $102.

“I don’t go to classes on Thursday nights so it doesn’t really affect me but it’s still something that should not be happening,” said student Logan Garrison. “Football should not take precedence over student parking that they have paid for.”

While many students have expressed concern on getting to class, others have admitted that the restrictions will pose no problem to their daily commute.

“Parking is parking. In the grand scheme of life there’s a lot more stuff that is more important,” said transfer environment science student Christine Dawson.

Many students have expressed their thoughts on the campuses decision to hinder parking for parking on an academic school day.

“I think it’s really unfortunate. I know that for some students the only way for them to get to class is by driving to campus,” said student Katie McFall.”I don’t think our administration has done enough to work around it. I personally rely on the Appalcart so it doesn’t really affect me but I feel for those people who can’t rely on the bus routes to get to class.”

In preparation for the coming season, Appalachian State officials held meetings with Town of Boone leaders to discuss the logistics of weekday football games, something Everts said in a letter to faculty and students last week.

“It is important to note that all classes will meet as scheduled on both these dates,” Everts wrote. “While this does provide challenges, I extend my appreciation to the dedicated group who worked diligently to find game day solutions and keep our campus effectively operating to support our central academic mission.”

Following Aug 21, students started an online petition to allow for student parking during Thursday night football games. Within the first 24 hours over 600 students signed the petition. Asof press time 1,000 students signed the petition.

“I think it’s great that the students are able to mobilize in that manner against a common issue,” said student Katie McFall. “I’m curious to see what comes with it. It’s a good testament on how students are able to come together.”

Chancellor Everts responded to the petition on Aug 28 and thanked students for taking time to share her concerns and stated that staff will be working on finding solutions to the parking dilemma.

“Our core mission is academic,” said Chancellor Everts, “and for that reason, the committee, which included faculty, staff and student representatives, worked to develop the best possible system so we can navigate the home game football schedule with the least possible impact on academics. We are committed to meeting the needs of everyone who will be affected by this schedule.”

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Katie McFall is one of many students who believes that the parking restrictions should be adjusted to accommodate student needs.

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Student parking at the College Street Parking Deck will be restricted on Oct. 22 and Nov. 5.




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