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University changes parking passes
The Hilltop parking lot has become notoriously overcrowded and many students are being forced to use overflow spaces on the York Hill campus or Westwoods parking lots.
Parking and Transportation Coordinator Shanon Grasso is preparing to launch an update to the parking pass system that she believes will alleviate the issue.
Grasso decided to announce a change in the parking pass system for sophomores. The passes will have new code numbers and will also be a different color.
“Each student who’s picking up one of those passes has to come to my office, give me their blue pass, show me their registration, sign that they understand the rules and then I will give them their [new] pass,” Grasso said. “Then anyone who is left on campus with a blue pass obviously doesn’t belong here, and they will be turned away.”
In the beginning of the year when parking passes were distributed, due to a glitch in the system, many students got their parking pass sent to their home address and then again to their Quinnipiac mailbox. This resulted in many duplicate passes among the sophomore class.
Grasso believes that many of these passes were given to students who did not register their vehicle or to freshmen who are not allowed to have cars on campus.
With 1,495 registered vehicles with passes in the sophomore class, and only 600 spaces in the Hilltop parking lot, this left an overwhelming amount of overflow, which is why parking has become such predicament.
Students can also now pay ticket fees online, instead of going to Grasso’s office or to the Bursar, which will hopefully be more accessible for the student body.
These changes leave Grasso and the school administration hopeful that parking will become less of a stressor for students and believes this new system is much more fair than that of previous years.
“I’d like people to follow the rules, and if you’re not going to use your car, do your friends and peers a favor and park it up at the garage, leave the spaces open for those coming and going, because someday that might be you,” Grasso said.
Grasso is also hopeful for advances in parking on main campus in the future, especially after having meetings with Student Government President Joey Mullaney, Chief of Public Safety Edgar Rodriguez and Provost Mark Thompson regarding the possibility of building a parking garage on the Hilltop lot.
“Those decisions happen at a level much higher than mine… but they are talking about it,” Grasso said. “[Parking garages] are expensive. Last I saw, it was $250,000 per space and they don’t last forever. They fall apart ,after 10 or 20 years, you have to re-do them.”
Sophomore health science major Jennie Rothschild parks on Hilltop, and has been cautious to leave campus at all because of the difficulty finding parking when she returns.
“I think that this [new system] should have been done immediately. I think once the glitch happened, they should have immediately decided to change the color of the permit and re-issue, but this time the correct way,” Rothschild said. “It is completely unfair for freshmen or anyone else to park in Hilltop Lot.”
When asked if she would use the shuttle system instead, Rothschild was adamantly against it.
“I always use my car. It’s just much more convenient and I hate relying on the shuttles,” Rothschild said. “They have really disappointed me in the past and that’s another area that Quinnipiac needs to improve on.”
Sophomore occupational therapy major Caila Frassetto is hopeful that the new system will make parking much more available to sophomores on Hilltop.
“I think the new green passes will be great. Especially if actually implemented well and enforced properly. There are definitely more cars parking than there should be,” Frassetto said.
Due to the struggle of finding parking spots in the Hilltop Lot, Frassetto has refused to leave campus after certain times on specific days, believing there will be no spots left when she returns.
“Other than opening a new lot, which isn’t plausible due to many different issues, I can’t think of many solutions to this [parking] issue,” Frassetto said. “The class sizes are just very large, so naturally, there will be a lot of people bringing cars.”
Grasso said this issue has been on going and there are always things that can be done better.
“Parking is one of those things… we are always talking about it,” Grasso said. “It’s dynamic and it has to be. The unfortunate part is that whatever we do to one group of people affects everything else. It’s like a giant puzzle, so we really have to think of the biggest picture and then work inward.”