Abuse at parking garage causes complaints

Amanda Guillen, Reporter

Individuals using the visitors’ areas of campus garages as free parking are causing upset for staff and students.
Faculty, students, staff and visitors are all allowed to park in a specific section of the Sun Bowl garage, which is located next to the bookstore. After 5:30 p.m. every day, anyone can park in any parking garage or lots across campus. Those who parked at the visitors’ lot in the garage who stay until 5:30 p.m. are able to leave without paying a fee.
This poses an issue for students, faculty and staff who do pay for parking, especially the ones that pay the $300-$400 cost for the garage parking decal.
Senior political science major Gabriela Bustillos paid for the decal to park in the garage and said that students who park there without it are breaking rules and are not considerate.
“I think this is ridiculous, I paid $300,” she said. “I feel that they should have more surveillance in order to prevent people from parking in the garage for free.”
Sophomore microbiology major Jay Yañez parks in the remote lots and said this behavior is unfair to students who pay for any parking decal.
“Something should be done about this,” Yañez said. “It is unfair because I get here early to find parking and sometimes I don’t even find parking and for them to just park in the garage and leave without paying–it is unfair.”
Political science professor Richard Gutierrez said that this was an issue brought to his attention by his students who park at the garage.
“This rewards the persons who break the rules and punishes the ones who pay for permits and follow the rules,” Gutierrez said.
Paul Stresow, director of Parking and Transportation, said that he is aware of this problem.
“We don’t get too many complaints,” Stresow said. “There isn’t (parking) staff that is at the university for 24 hours, so there is always going to be a moment when someone is going to leave without paying.
Stresow said students who are caught violating the rules have to deal with consequences, including a citation or a fee of $10.
“We do have cameras monitor this, so we do have someone who looks at the cameras and we look back at people who go through the gate and leave without paying,” Stresow said.
On average, visitor parking at the garage generates roughly $1,000 per week in sales. According to Stresow, there has not been a decrease in revenue.
S. David Ramirez contributed to this story.
Amanda Guillen may be reached at [email protected]