By Jessy Anne Walters
Finding a place to park on campus is more difficult than it used to be.
With a record enrollment at Trevecca this year, the estimated 1,400 parking spaces on campus are 98 percent full every day. But, with special events on campus, like TNT@TNU, there are more cars than parking spaces.
Plans to expand parking on campus are in the works, according to Norman Robinson, Director of University Security.
Last year the university purchased the 4.8 acres behind campus from Volunteer Express trucking company and university officials plan to use some of that space to increase parking.
According to David Caldwell, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, the exact plans for the future parking have not been confirmed.
“This should clear up a lot of the congestion felt during these events,” Robinson said.
While parking space is at a premium, it hasn’t been a huge issue because of the staggered times people are on campus.
“Everyone’s on different schedules,” Robinson said. “When one person leaves, another can take their spot.”
However, many students – resident and commuters alike – are feeling the effects of the parking lots becoming so full so quickly.
“The only thing that’s really bad about parking is everyone has their own area. Teachers and students that live on campus have parking areas designated especially for them – except commuters, we have to share,” said commuting junior Charmaine Uy. “There isn’t one lot just for commuters.”
According to Trevecca’s student handbook, all vehicles must be parked in the area for which their parking permits states. Commuters share with Georgia Hall, Tennessee Hall, Terrence Apartments, administration, and guest/special events.
“If you live on campus, you have priority,” said Robinson. “We don’t want residents to be walking very far to their dorms at night, and commuters are on campus during the day most of the time.”
Yet even with priority, resident students are feeling the strain of parking as well.
“I’ve gotten two tickets this semester alone,” said senior resident student Megan Compton. “They need to make bigger parking lots and stop ticketing us.”
According to the Security Department, traffic and parking fines are in no way necessary for the financial function of the university or security department. The money goes into a general maintenance fund that helps maintain the parking lots. The money is used for expenses such as repaving, sealing, and striping the lots.
“The real problem comes in when people park in a spot they’re not assigned to,” said Robinson. “When one person parks in the wrong spot, it forces someone else to do the same. It has a serious domino effect.”