Student Parking: Will the barrier be destroyed?

“Working to create a great university, a vibrant community, and a better world, we agree to: Recognize change as an ongoing opportunity to create a brighter future for each and for all,” UMKC’s Mission Statement reads.

Change is taking place on our Volker campus, such as the upcoming $32 million center for the School of Computing and Engineering.

If we can invest money into a new research institution, why can’t we invest in new parking areas dedicated to students only?

The two things wrong with student parking are the cost of parking permits and minimal amount of available spaces.

Students pay $135+ a semester for parking permits and on average $4,000+ a semester in tuition. With more parking lots allotted to faculty and staff, and shared garages between the three, there’s no guarantee every student will get a parking spot on campus.

This issue has caused some students financial hardship, added stress and physical strains.

Last week, student Essence Blankinship shared she carries a taser to her evening classes because she can’t afford a parking pass, and parks off campus.

Parking permits should be affordable enough so students won’t put their lives in danger just to attend class.

An interview with UMKC Director of Media Relations John Martellaro, said police patrol campus and immediate adjacent areas 24/7. However, the statistics he gave contradicted that statement.

“In 2017, there were 17 non-injury accidents and eight car break-ins.” said Martellaro.

If the cameras on campus are being monitored and campus police are always patrolling certain areas, then these crimes should have been slim to none –especially for students parking in adjacent areas off campus.

This interview also revealed something I didn’t know about in my three years of being a student here., the campus police have a student escort program, available upon request.

Why is such an important program like this one, not publicized more? A mass email announcement should be sent to students so they can know direct safety is available to them.

No student should feel unsafe on campus. No student should be stressed about finances because of the expensive price of parking permits.

It’s time for equality in student parking: More parking spots to us and affordable parking permits.

It’s time for UMKC to recognize this change as an opportunity to create a brighter future for each and for all.

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