Underclassmen parking restrictions lifted

Jack Arkus, Contributing Writer

Underclassmen with cars may find it a little easier to get to their classes for the rest of this semester.

The University Police Department has eliminated the “underclass” parking restriction on a trial basis, effective immediately, Eastern Chief of Police Kent Martin announced in an email to the campus Tuesday.

This means that any student may park in any lot designated for student parking.

Martin said when he was appointed as Chief of Police in September 2016, one of his goals was to examine the parking process and the issues that come with it.

“I want to make the whole parking process more convenient for all students,” Martin said. “Underclassmen have to park blocks away from their classes and then walk past empty spots on their way to class, but cannot park there because of the restrictions.”

Martin said he believes this trial run will fill up those empty spots. He said he wants to eliminate the confusion for students of where they can and cannot be in terms of parking. The idea is that underclassmen should not be pushed off to the edge of campus.

Traditionally, underclassmen and upperclassmen have had designated areas to park on campus that differ from one another. Underclassmen were only allowed to park in areas with blue signage in front of them, such as Greek court, University Court, 9th Street Lot, W-Lot and parts of the Stadium Lot. Upperclassmen could park in any areas permitted to underclassmen, as well as areas with green signage in front of them.

Martin said he and university officials want to make sure the new system works effectively before making permanent changes for the 2017-18 academic year.

“We hope to have a final answer by the beginning of summer,” Martin said. “Let’s see if any problems occur and we will go from there. Once decided, we will go forth with any price changes if necessary.”

Jack Arkus can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]