Campus parking frustrates students

Matt Silva

Oshkosh Student Association presented a survey to students to discuss communication between Parking Services and the student body. OSA Senate held a meeting Tuesday where resolutions to the problems between students and Parking Services were tabled. According to the Senate meeting minutes, the issues students had with Parking Services included having problems acquiring necessary information they want regarding parking rules and regulation, lack of explanation of the rules and the students say they never received brochures, pamphlets or other outlets to explain the rules. “These difficulties appear to stem from poor customer service, outdated information, lack of communication and a hesitancy to accommodate student circumstances,” the meeting minutes stated. OSA Senator Katheryn Bermann said there is no reason for Parking Services not to use their resolution. “To be honest I’m rather uncertain why that happened, as I had collected data via a survey regarding students’ opinions about Parking Services prior to drafting the resolution,” Bermann said. “Which means I probably won’t have any additional involvement with it.” According to the OSA survey, the most common complaints from students are about tickets and parking spaces. “I have purchased a pass, but I can only find parking on the street which is free,” an anonymous student said in the survey. “I feel that I have been scammed because I have searched for over an hour to find [a spot] but couldn’t so I missed my class and missed out on valuable information.” “Parking on campus is way too expensive for how bad the lots are,” another anonymous student said in the survey. Out of the 145 students interviewed for the survey by OSA, 140 have a vehicle on campus. From all of those students, 56 of them do not fully understand the difference between the parking permits, 73 don’t know when the lots close and 60 have received citations. Parking and Transportation Services Director Benjamin Richardson said the data presented by OSA was not accurate and did not elaborate on why he thinks that. “The survey contains corrupted data and missing records,” Richardson said. “The responses, in general, are not reliable and even if they were, we actually rated better than average in customer service according to the results.” Richardson said he doesn’t think students have a negative perception of parking on campus. “We get more positive feedback than we do negative feedback on our services,” Richardson said. Richardson said there are approximately 3,400 parking spots on campus. Parking Services oversells the resident permits to make sure the lots are full. For commuters, they do not put a limit on the number of permit sales. According to the survey, even when the rules are clearly communicated to the students, they don’t fully understand them. “The rules were explained, but they are ridiculous and unjustified,” an anonymous student said. “Let people park in the parking lots.” UWO senior Tyler Stricker agrees with the results from the survey. “[Parking on campus] is difficult and confusing.” Stricker said. “I’ve gotten several tickets before and it gets very frustrating.” The resolution presented by OSA asked Parking Services to improve on communication. “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the staff at Parking and Transportation Services takecare to ensure that they are providing friendly and accurate customer service, and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Parking and Transportation Services begin to take an active role in communicating with students by providing a means through which students can provide feedback as to their experiences, and being open to suggestions regarding parking rules and regulations,”meeting minutes stated.