OPINION: Transportation Services needs to prioritize students

Football fans, hourly parking interfere with students’ ability to attend classes



Students should not have to fight for a place to park in lots that they pay over $500 for each year.

ANNABELLE PEPIN, Evergreen columnist

When a part of the Green 3 parking lot on Columbia Street shifted from an annual payment to $2 an hour according to the Daily Evergreen, student concerns arose. 

Chris Boyan, director of Transportation Services, said that the change arose from a higher demand for hourly parking, according to the previous article. However, to students who already paid for annual passes to the new hourly lots, the change came as a slap in the face.

“It is incredibly frustrating to pay over $500 for a parking lot that I can only park in sometimes,” Kayla Melcher, junior elementary education major, said. “If the lot gets shut down, there will be so many students unable to get to class. There needs to be an alternative place to park.”

Although there has been a higher demand for pay-to-park lots, it is unfair to the students who depend on the Green 3 lots to get to class and who now have to compete with an influx of hourly parkers. The organization of the parking system compromises their success in the classroom. 

Students should not have to worry about getting to class; they should only have to focus on the content of the classes themselves. 

Chelsea Lonborg, sophomore hospitality business management major, said that almost all of Green 3 parking also gets switched to general parking for home football games, which is frustrating in itself, considering these students are paying for a parking lot they cannot even use for a large portion of weekends every fall semester. 

The argument is that Cougar football fans from out of town do not have enough places to park; additionally, some lots, such as the Green 5 lot beside Beasley Coliseum, are converted into RV parking. These leave students that depend on those parking lots in a tricky situation.

Junior psychology major Jolie Bailey said that she received multiple parking tickets because she was unable to move her car at 7 a.m. before one of the CFS games, even though she had an annual parking pass for the lot. 

“It’s very inconvenient, and legal daytime parking is already hard enough to find, especially with the amount of people who have to move out of the Green 3 parking,” Bailey said. 

Although Transportation added additional hourly parking near Ferdinands and the residence halls according to Boyan, it still leaves many students without places to park for their purpose of being on the WSU Pullman campus: going to classes. 

“How is it fair to take away spots from people who paid for a year-long pass? If too many people pay for parking and there are no more spots for people who paid for a pass, we should at least be offered a refund,” Lonborg said. 

Hopefully, they will designate specific parking lots for pay-to-park so students who pay over $500 for yearly parking passes can have priority to make it to their mandatory classes. 

If a school prioritizes football fans over their students’ ability to attend class, it can barely call itself a school at all – it is just a football team with classes on the side.