After petitioning for more accessible parking, Esperanza Hall residents will have 40 more parking spaces in Lot 1 starting Dec. 5.
“We are reconfiguring Lot 1 to allow for double the amount of spaces for Esperanza Hall,” said Trevor Liddle, executive director of operations. “The President’s Cabinet has already signed off on this, and the great thing is that we’re able to offer this change to the students.”
Originally there were 36 parking spaces in Lot 1 and 55 city lane spaces designated for residents only. The updated parking will have 76 designated resident spaces in Lot 1. Arranged in an “L” shape in front of Esperanza Hall, 21 of the spaces are along the north wing of the building and the other 19 are along the west wing.
“The spaces we selected are right up against the building, so it’ll be parking space, sidewalk, grass, building,” said Liddle. “And then that center portion that’s assigned to residents today will remain intact.”
Parking and Transportation Manager Christian Harmon confirmed in an email Nov. 25 that resident students will have access to the additional Lot 1 parking beginning Dec. 5.
La-Tieka Sims, president of the Student Government Association, advocated for more parking for residents. She attended Resident Hall Association meetings and communicated with Harmon. Sims said she considers the Lot 1 parking updates as a positive outcome.
“It makes me feel pretty good,” Sims said. “Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the number of residents who have registered vehicles is significantly more than what’s available, but I always try to look at the fact that things like this take time, things like this take money and to get such an immediate outcome with a decent number of spots; I’m happy with the progress that’s being made.”
Sims said this is just the beginning of more expansion for the university, eventually providing better resources for resident students.
“In the future, as the university continues to grow, as buildings continue to be built and more parking is created, then it’s expected that proper accommodations will be made for residents on campus,” Sims said.
Valeria Gallardo, student senator for Esperanza Hall, views the extra parking as a win for the students involved.
“I’m so proud of it because, you know, we were all a part of this too,” said Gallardo.
According to an article by the Mesquite on Oct. 2, 182 of the 391 Esperanza Hall residents have registered cars on campus. Including city lane parking and the addition of 40 new resident parking spaces in Lot 1 still leaves 51 residents without immediate parking.
Political science freshman Ashley Miller, who spearheaded a petition for better parking options for resident students on campus earlier this semester, was unaware of the updated parking plan.
“I thought I would be kept in contact with,” said Miller, who submitted the petition with over 300 signatures on Sept. 19.
Miller said she views the updated parking as the first step toward ensuring resident students have sufficient parking options.
“I feel like it’s a good starting point, but it’s not what I was expecting the outcome to be,” said Miller. “I was wanting the whole parking lot to be more accessible to residents.”