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The Parthenon

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Perceptions on Parking: Is Marshall’s Plan Concrete?

Students have limited options when it comes to parking on Marshall’s campus. Courtesy of Mackenzie Jones

Parking continues to be an issue on college campuses across the country, including Marshall University. 

Marshall Police Chief Jim Terry said that a large percentage of the student population commutes to class. This can make parking spaces difficult to find.  

Only a few of the parking lots on campus are specifically designated for students, Marshall Police Chief Jim Terry said. Students can also park in general lots and the 3rd Avenue parking garage with the appropriate permits.

Kaydee Brumfield, a cyber forensics and security junior, commutes. She said she struggles to find a convenient spot in the morning before class.

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“Finding parking is really hard some days,” she said. Brumfield owns a garage parking pass, which costs $270 for a full academic year. This is a $100 increase from a surface parking pass, which costs $170 for a year.

“I think if I’m gonna pay more, I should be able to park in different places no matter the time of day,” she said, “because you can only park at flat ground after 4:00.”

Breanna Webb, a freshman nursing student, also commutes to campus. Like Brumfield, she owns a garage parking pass.       

She doesn’t think parking is a problem at Marshall, saying she thinks the higher price tag for garage access is worth it.

“It’s just safer for my car,” Webb said. “I think the pricing’s fine because it’s more protected from the weather.”

Terry said garage permits almost never sell out, unlike surface permits, which typically sell out before the first day of classes in the fall semester. There is no waiting list for parking permits once they are all sold. 

Only a set number of permits are available to purchase each year, according to Terry. He said they always sell more permits than parking spots on campus, which is due to the high volume of commuting students.

“It’s always a constant turn around in the parking lots,” Terry said. “The only cars that stay are the kids that live in the residence halls.”

Brumfield, Webb and Terry all agree that for commuters, the garages are more dependable when it comes to spot availability. 

“I push the parking garage for commuters ‘cause there’s always spaces there,” Terry said, “and you know where you’re going everyday.”

Terry went on to say a perfect solution to the problem does not exist, and Marshall’s rates are lower than most.

“You’re never going to please everyone with parking,” Terry said. “Our parking’s relatively cheap if you go look at other places.”

In comparison to neighboring public universities, Marshall’s parking prices run high. Students at Shawnee State University and West Virginia State University can park free, while WVSU employees pay $110 for an annual permit.

Marshall employees pay the same rates as students.

In comparison with West Virginia University, Marshall’s rates are cheap. Permits on the Morgantown campuses for students range from $252 to $858 for a full year.

WVU employees pay anywhere from $252 to $900 during an academic year.

Johnny Rinick, a freshman international business student, commutes from Putnam County, West Virginia. He says with a surface lot permit, he sometimes finds himself racing against the clock to park his vehicle.

“Whenever it comes to parking, I always have to wake up early, get here–normally as fast as I can–to find a spot,” Rinick said. 

He also said it can be stressful to find a spot on the surface lots. In a few situations, Rinick had to park at a meter, causing him to go back and forth between class and his car to continue paying.

“I’m already stressed with college work as is,” he said, “but being able to actually come in, find a place to park and just not think about it for the rest of the day–that would be nice.”

According to Marshall’s Parking Enforcement Office, parking on campus is considered a privilege, despite the emptying of a student’s pocket to get a chance on the concrete.

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