Can parking lots keep up with increased enrollment? Administration forms new committees to troubleshoot, assess
A&M-San Antonio’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Spindle said he will lead a parking and transportation committee in response to students concerns about parking availability.
The Student Government Association (SGA) invited Spindle to the organization’s first senate meeting Sept. 7.
“There’s always rough edges around a new university and I’m here to smooth them out,” Spindle said. “We need groups and policies in procedure to make sure everyone gets represented.”
Students came back fall term to find a new parking lot with more than 1,000 spaces. The parking was paid for through a $3.5 million dollar loan, Spindle said. Still, students are asking for more parking closer to the dorm and classrooms.
More than 5,400 students enrolled in Fall Term 2016. Projected student enrollment for Fall Term 2017 amounted to 6,629 students. The majority of these students rely on single-occupied vehicles to get to campus which puts stress on the parking situation.
Spindle said he plans on establishing a communication channel between students and any new committees he leads, including the parking and transportation advisory group. The committee is charged to think about long-term plans, such as designated lots or parking garages.
The following week, University President Matson sent notice on Sept. 18 to the campus community announcing the launch of the “Alternate Transportation and Parking Task Force.”
In the memo, Matson invites faculty and staff representation to “assess and evaluate alternate transportation and parking models for our growing institution.”
Members will provide guidance on parking accommodations, fee and fine structures, shuttle services and transportation issues including lighting and security.
Interested faculty members are invited to contact Jennifer Haft, chief of staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (210) 784-1612.
Members of the university administration say they have been listening to concerns from students and faculty.
According to Spindle, everyone asks, “why did you put parking so far away?”
“It’s all part of the masterplan,” Spindle said. “We’re trying not to put parking where we’re going to tear it up.”
There are currently three parking lots on campus: Lot #1 between the Malda Building and Esperanza Hall dormitory, Lot #2 adjacent to the Central Academic Building and Lot #3 west of Lot #2 on Verano Parkway.
During the Student Government Association meeting, Education major Lesman Hernandez raised the concern of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) parking on campus.
“Sometimes the handicapped parking is full, and even getting to a building is hard,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said he is disabled and suffers from nerve damage in both legs.
Aside from designated parking lots, future plans include bringing more bus lines to A&M-San Antonio. There is currently only one bus line (520 Zarzamora) traveling to and from campus.
- For additional construction updates, visit tamusa.edu/construction
- For more information on the “Alternate Transportation and Parking Task Force,” contact chief of staff, Jennifer Haft at email@example.com or (210) 784-1612.
- Student Government Association will hold its next meeting at 9 a.m. on Sept. 21 in modular classroom 108.
- SGA members will host a forum for National Disability Awareness Month with guest speaker, Mariah Kilbourne from 2-3:30 p.m. on Oct. 19, Vista Room (small side).
- There are vacant positions in the association and students interested in joining or running for a position in Student Government Association may fill out an application provided through the organization’s JagSync page.
Editor’s Note: The story was updated on Oct. 12 at 1:10 p.m. The location for the Disabilities Awareness event with Mariah Kilbourne will take place in the Vista Room.