Something every Texas State student quickly figures out is that parking on campus is an absolute nightmare. Even if commuters buy the overpriced “Green Permit“—also known as the residential permit—from the lottery, they will still be rushing up and down the long concrete corridors of the parking garage, desperately looking for an open space.
With a population of over 38,000 students that is growing every year, it is obvious to say that Texas State is in need of a solution to this madness.
That solution: ban all freshmen from parking on campus. Freshmen should not take offense to this. The university community will still welcome them with open arms and appreciate them being here in every other capacity with this one exception.
But to allow all freshmen to park on campus is a massive burden and one with little payoff. Since incoming freshmen are required to live on campus, they have no need to park there. Freshmen can wake up in their dorms and can casually stroll into their classes, with no automobile required. When they do this, their stationary vehicles are still taking spots away from an upperclassman who has to commute to campus every day, relying solely on the hope that there be an open spot awaiting them.
A freshman parking ban may seem radical, but it is not even an original idea. This policy has actually been implemented in a number of universities across the nation. For example, both the University of Albany in New York and Pennsylvania State University have bans on all freshmen parking on campus. Therefore, it is not irrational to believe that Texas State can adopt a similar policy.
For disgruntled freshmen who need to drive back home or to work, there is a solution to this problem as well. The university can and should limit freshmen to only purchase the ironically named “gold permit“.
The gold permit allows access to the massive parking lot off-campus, right next to Bobcat Village. This long stretch of asphalt should be more than enough to accommodate the freshmen class. If they need to get to their vehicles for the occasional joy ride or to go back home for the holidays, they can hop on the next Texas State shuttle and get there in no time.
Considering that the freshmen class tends to be one of the largest groups in the student body, this practical solution could open up a lot of much needed space for your fellow bobcats. No longer will Texas States parking garages be treated like storage units for freshmen. Garages instead will be used for what they were designed for: a stream of traffic coming in the morning and a stream of traffic leaving for home at night.
Furthermore, this solution provides the opportunity for freshmen to get to really know San Marcos by walking around and exploring the square or traveling to Sewell Park. Students will be gaining appreciation for their new home and fighting back against that accursed freshmen fifteen at the same time.
In a perfect world, Texas State would invest our tuition into more parking garages, end the practice of overselling on-campus parking permits and abolish parking services and their tickets altogether. But as students and faculty know all too well, this world is far from perfect. So for now the university should look into alternative solutions, such as banning freshmen from parking on campus—at least until Texas State can accommodate enough on campus parking for most its students.
– Otto Bieker is a political science sophomore