South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Excess Parking Passes Sold, University Offers Solution

Ean Wetzel

SDSU Parking Services is looking for 150 students to switch to different permits after the office sold too many for a popular lot on campus. 

Students living on campus received an email from Parking Services last Thursday asking if they want to save $111. The office is looking for 150 volunteers to park in a lot further away so they have enough spaces for those who bought permits to the southeast resident lots. 

“We ended up selling 158 excess permits,” said Derek Peterson, assistant vice president of Business Services. 

It was a “perfect storm” of events that caused the oversale, Peterson said. When Parking Services set up permit purchasing for the 2023-2024 school year, the option to buy an economy resident parking pass was not made available. Typically, 150 to 200 students choose this option because it is significantly cheaper than the southeast resident permit. 

Also, for the 2023 spring semester, Parking Services increased the capacity of the southeast permit by about 100 to account for the students who do not return at the start of a new semester. But when they opened permit buying for this fall, they did not reduce the number back to original capacity. 

The southeast resident lot holds 2,700 cars, which accounts for 85% of the resident capacity on campus, Peterson said. Parking services sold 2,858 permits, so some students who paid the additional $111 to park closer to the residence halls could not find space. Parking services is hoping that 150 students downgrade their permits to save $111 and empty enough spaces for all permit holders. 

An email was sent out directing students who could not find a parking spot to search in the south end of the commuter lot, or in the economy resident lot, located on the opposite end of campus. Some students say that’s unfair before a refund was offered because they paid $161 to park in the southeast lots versus $50 for the economy resident lot. 

University officials suggest residents without a parking pass buy one for the economy lot instead of parking on the street. 

“SDSU is providing enough spaces for all of the vehicles, but not everyone can park right next to their residence,” Peterson said. 

Meanwhile, students took to social media to voice their grievances: “Do they really think we would give up our parking permits in the big lot,” one student commented on social media. Others joined in, saying there is no way they want to park in the economy lot. 

Kyle Hamilton, a sophomore agricultural science major, was late in buying his pass. On the first day of classes, he went online to purchase a pass and was shocked to discover that his only option was the economy lot.

“Buying that permit wouldn’t make any sense for where I’m located on campus, which is Pierson,” he said. Instead, Hamilton now chooses to park four to five blocks off campus, because he thinks it is more convenient than parking in the resident economy lot. He said he is frustrated and is calling for SDSU to do something about the parking situation. 

Sophomore animal science major Alivia Danner said she is also unhappy with the parking situation.

“We have paid for our passes to park closer to the building, and it is unfair to ask us to park so far away,” she said.

Peterson said Parking Services will re-evaluate parking capacity in October and he is optimistic they will find a solution. 

“We can accommodate almost everybody to where they want to be if they just work with us for the next two or three weeks,” he said.  

Home football game parking was also a top concern for students. They are aware part of the southeast resident lot is used for fan parking. Peterson confirmed that for Thursday’s game against Western Oregon, on-campus residents with permits for the southeast lot will not have to move their cars. For future home games on Saturdays, such as the game against Montana State on Sept. 9, permit holders will have the freedom to park in any lot on campus in order to free up the north end of the big southeast residence parking lot. 

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