General, Faculty, Commuter, Oh my!
Since last semester, a heightened uncertainty about N.C. Promise’s effect on all UNCP departments, academic or otherwise, has loomed over campus.
As the possible effects of the tuition- based plan are ambiguous until next semester, each department has been tasked to list the potential problems. In turn, the departments are tacking the problems on this list one-by-one.
Photo by Mason Miller
One of the potential issues may be parking. Even though UNCP is a smaller university, parking at UNCP appears to be hassle for students and faculty alike. One of the most student-faculty debated topics on campus is parking in and around UNCP.
Parking has been at the forefront of many student concerns and frustrations as traffic congestion heightens around peak class times on campus. Residential students complain about the lack of parking - particularly in the morning class times.
General, Commuter, Residential and Faculty and Staff, are the four parking areas designated to the campus’ community. Students with residential parking passes can only park in their residential dorms - the confusion and frustration ensues when these students drive to class and park in either commuter parking lots or general parking lots.
General parking spots, however, are more misleading than the title leads people to believe. According to Merriam-Webster the word ‘General’ means “Involving, applicable to, or affecting the whole.”
“What was happening is, our residential students living at village were driving the vehicle to lot 14 to go to class and that’s not what residential parking was designed for. That permit was designed to allow you to have a vehicle on campus, for your use, but to park at your residence hall. Not to drive each day to class - you live on campus. Park your vehicle and walk to class,” said Police Chief McDuffie Cummings.
According to Cummings, this has always been a rule that was just never enforced until this semester. Hence the alleged increase in parking tickets this semester. Currently, there are 1,074 assigned residential parking spots, 576 faculty spots, and 649 commuter spots.
Even with the largest amount of assigned spaces being residential, students living in North, Belk, Pine and Oak still struggle to find parking and have to settle for parking in lot 24 in front of the stadium - labeled general parking.
Photo by Mason Miller
“We’re actually looking at land in and around campus for possible parking areas,” McDuffie stated. The University is currently looking to rent land possibly around UNCP and transform those into either more commuter or faculty and staff lots.
The ticket-payment process for parking has been accused of being time consuming and has affected the process of signing up for classes. Students with holds on their accounts, such as parking tickets, lost books, or other student fees, are prevented from registering for classes.
Student complaints of the enlarged potholes in the dirt lots behind Pine hall and between the Sampson building and the Dial building were also addressed.
“We actually re-do those lots almost every break we have. Christmas break we re-did lot 21, the gravel lot behind West Hall, and we re-did the gravel lot at Dial Humanities,” Cummings said.
Cummings discussed the potential loss of parking spots starting next year as lot 19, beside the Dial Humanities building, is going to be the footprint for the new Business Administration Building and lot 21, beside Pine and Oak, will transform into a construction based for the revitalization for West Hall.
Approximately 400 spaces will be lost in the renovations and constructions.