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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

University addresses parking concerns

Texas+State+Matthew+Street+Garage+residential+parking+third+floor+is+completely+full+minus+two+handicap+spots%2C+Friday%2C+Jan.+20%2C+2023.

Texas State Matthew Street Garage residential parking third floor is completely full minus two handicap spots, Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.

Students continue to raise concerns about parking on campus regarding space, tickets and ticket prices. Texas State Parking Services have cleared the air about different questions students have and what the plan is for future parking issues.
Stephen Prentice, associate director for Parking Services, works with various departments like the Student Government and the Office of the President to figure out different parking rules and regulations.
A large concern among students regarding parking is the price of a semester pass. Prentice said current parking pass prices have been in place for years.
“Those prices were developed in 2014 and they haven’t changed,” Prentice said. “We’re not a rulemaking body. We don’t write the rules. We don’t write the policies. Of course, anytime something may change, or somebody makes a recommendation for change, we’re involved but we don’t have the authority.”
To President Kelly Damphousse, the push to create more space for parking via parking garages is not feasible at the moment due to costs.
“You could build parking garages and so every parking garage cost about $40 million and so I could do that but I’m going have to raise parking fees to do that or raise tuition or something,” Damphousse said.
Prentice said that parking and transportation services just enforce the rules, they do not make them.
“It is just a change within something that exists that every tiny little thing in the world goes up to a vice president that we talked about rates, all the rules and regulations are essentially blessed at the president’s cabinet. Not on a weekly basis, but if it’s substantial or significant would have to go through that level,” Prentice said.
Since Texas State welcomed its largest freshman class this past fall, some students raised concerns about how that would affect parking spaces, but Prentice said they have no correlation to parking space availability.
“The new freshman class hasn’t affected parking at all,” Prentice said. “There’s no correlation between the number of people on campus and the number of vehicles brought. There’s no predictive element that you can run a power analysis to determine a correlation. Why does that mean more cars? Where are people drawing that correlation? Where’s the data to support that that’s the way it is?”
Currently, there are no plans to create any new parking accommodations for students according to Prentice.
“Even if we wanted to, there’s no more space to build … The school cannot accommodate that. The infrastructure around the school, and the roads, there’s only three major points of ingress to this university, ”Prentice said.
Sydney Morgan, a business management junior, has had negative experiences with parking and transportation services on campus, even having her car broken into.
“I genuinely detest the lack of parking that campus offers to students,” Morgan said. “My freshman year I couldn’t afford to park my car at my dorm, as a result, my car was broken into and hit while being parked far away at the Mill Street perimeter lot. Parking Services seems dedicated to ensuring they get their funds from passes and continuous ticketing but can’t be bothered beyond that. The price of parking passes for the value received is a rip-off and I believe parking should be more affordable.”
Catching Valentinis-Dee, an urban and regional planning senior, and Taylor Tade, a political science sophomore, are both advocates for their petition to reduce the parking ticket fine from $40 to $20.
“The university has the capability to lower these fines, and our students are being treated unfairly because they are not already doing it,” Tade said. “This is an unfair charge to our students, most of who are already paying hundreds of dollars to park on campus. We are a university that swears we protect low-income students, and that’s not being reflected in this policy.”
Valentinis-Dee encourages students to speak out for what they believe in and said that other people might believe in the cause too.
“The university pays attention when you speak, and change is possible. When students come together to talk about something that they need, the university understands that students are facing challenges with parking every single day. If the students are ready to talk about it, then it can be changed.”
For more information about parking and transportation services at Texas State, visit https://www.parking.txst.edu/. For more information about the parking fine petition, visit @ParkTXST on Instagram.
Editor’s Note: The digital and previous versions of this story incorrectly spelled Stephen Prentice’s name and referenced him by the wrong title. This mistake has been corrected.

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