The times, they are a-changin’ at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
The dorms at Esperanza Hall grow closer and closer to completion with each passing day.
Big maroon wayfinding pillars are now found all across campus; from the parking lot to the insides of the buildings. Though that still hasn’t saved some from a wee-bit of confusion.
The biggest change though?
A decrease in the availability of choice parking.
Last fall, there were over 2000 Texas A&M-San Antonio students who took classes at the Brooks City-Base Campus, which closed at the end of the semester.
Of these students, more than 80 percent of them were not enrolled in any classes held on the main campus.
In other words, more than 1700 students did not have to step foot on campus last semester; and a good deal of those students did not have to find a place to park their car.
$60 dollar parking permits were available to students at the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year that covered parking from the fall semester until the end of summer session.
For those who didn’t purchase a permit last semester, one can be purchased now for forty dollars that will be good until Aug. 31.
But the problem isn’t that students aren’t buying enough permits, it’s that the parking lot has reached capacity as various times early in the semester.
While I was interviewing students, I was given a litany of reasons for not wanting to purchase a permit were given.
One student cited his lack of auto insurance as the primary reason for choosing to take advantage of the free parking.
For other students, well…
A $100 fee is included in Fall ‘16 and Spring ‘17 tuition for Recreational Services, a fee often contested by students who complain they quote-don’t even use the friggin’ gym.
So would it be viable for the campus to automatically include the parking permit fee in tuition costs?
And is it something students even want?
While lumping in the parking permit fee seems to make sense, there’s an obvious reason why it hasn’t been done yet.
There simply aren’t enough parking spaces to accommodate all the students on campus.
Last month at a state legislature senate finance committee meeting, President Cynthia Matson laid out the current targets for the Fall ‘17 class.
1416 transfer students.
Or roughly rounded, an estimated 2000 additional students on campus next semester.
Looks like a lot more students will be getting a little extra exercise in the coming months.