CP lots cause tension on north side of campus



CP Parking spaces on the north side of campus have become scarce since the reopening of Lawther Hall.

JOSHUA DAUSENER, Copy Editor | [email protected]

Throughout the summer and during the first weeks of the fall semester, many students have purchased C Preferred (CP) parking passes. The passes are designated for parking lots that are placed more closely to student dormitories than a standard C or R pass, giving a student holding a CP pass the luxury of a short walk to their vehicle.

However, students living on the northern part of campus, including Campbell and Lawther Hall, have found it difficult to take advantage of their premium parking privileges.

“I usually get back to campus, either from my home or from out doing stuff, usually between eight and ten o’clock at night, and every time I get back at that time there has never been a spot open,” said Tanner Schrad, a junior biology major and resident of Lawther Hall.

According to Schrad, despite his CP privileges, he is rarely able to park in the CP parking lot next to Lawther, instead parking in the C lot north of the UNI-Dome.

Sierra Depping, a junior TESOL/Spanish major, has also found difficulty finding a place to park. Depping borrows her boyfriend’s car from the Campbell CP lot to drive to student-teaching sessions at three different schools throughout Cedar Falls but is rarely able to return the car to the same parking lot when she returns to campus.

“I will take his car from the CP parking lot by Campbell, and when I come back in an hour there will be no spots available,” Depping said. “There was one time I drove up and down all of the lanes in the CP lot and all the lanes in the B lot, which you can’t even park in with CP, and there were no spots in either of them.”

According to Schrad and Depping, they would not have purchased CP passes had they known the parking situation would have been as difficult as it has been this fall.

“If I had wanted to walk as far as I’ve had to walk, I’d have gotten a C pass,” Depping said.

According to the Parking Department’s website, for the 2017 academic year an R pass will cost a student $34.40, a C pass $59.40 and a CP pass $79.00.

The situation was exacerbated last week when, in an email, the Parking Department offered additional CP passes to students who had not qualified for a CP permit during the summer and the beginning of the school year.

“It definitely angers me,” Schrad said. “Especially lately, they opened up CP spots to freshman and other people who didn’t get a CP spot previously, for the year. Not only are they offering more CP spots that they don’t have for this area, now younger kids can get that… it really doesn’t do me any good.”

Rumors have swirled around campus that the Parking Division has sold more R, C and CP passes than there are spaces available.

According to David Velasco, Parking Manager at the UNI Department of Public Safety, these rumors are not true. In an e-mail, Mr. Velasco stated that the Parking Department does not sell more R, C, and CP passes than there are spaces available.

When asked about the Campbell CP lot in particular, Mr. Velasco said that the lack of space was due to CP pass holders concentrating in Campbell lot.

“Purchasing a CP permit allows a resident to park in any CP lot,” Velasco said. “The permit is not specific to a particular lot. Naturally, if a student lives in Campbell, he/she wants to park in the Campbell CP lot. However, there is adequate CP parking in the area of Campbell, Dancer and Bender, but it may not be exactly where a student wishes to park. As a side note, the Campus Street CP area is usually underutilized and has available parking.”

Remedies to UNI’s parking woes that were tossed around in discussions with students included new parking ramps, redesignating the letter assignments of lots to accommodate more CP parking near their respective dorms and allowing CP pass holders to downgrade to a C pass in exchange for a refund of the additional charge.

“Personally, I believe that, behind the health center, and over by the old white schoolhouse, there’s a parking lot back there, and I think you could turn some of that into CP, or turn the B lot next to Campbell CP lot into CP,” Schrad said. “I think that would be very nice.”

Velasco said that the Parking Division is always working to accommodate a changing campus and student population.

“We are always evaluating the evolving needs of the campus population, including lot designations,” Velasco said.