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The Prospector

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The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

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The outrageous prices UTEP staff must pay for parking

Parking+lot+3+located+on+University+Avenue+across+from+Student+Union+West.%0APhoto+by+Jack+Enrique+McCrimmon-Rubio%0A
Parking lot 3 located on University Avenue across from Student Union West. Photo by Jack Enrique McCrimmon-Rubio

Parking permits for Staff and Faculty are far too expensive. Across all available permits for staff, excluding handicap permits, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has a price that stands 75 percent  over that of the University of North Texas (UNT) and  8 percent over  UT- Austin.

Despite UTEP offering fewer accommodations such as fewer garages and stricter travel options around campus,  UNT, UTA, and Rice all have more options for permits as well as cheaper prices than UTEP’s lowest permit price. 

As students get involved more on campus with internships and other curriculums, having a suitable and affordable way to get to campus should be prioritized. Going from student to student-employee at UTEP, it was jarring for me to find out that my full-time coworkers who have poured endless amounts of time and effort to benefit our university pay so much to park. 

Schools such as UT-Austin and UNT have lower prices across the majority of their parking permits. UNT even offers a parking lot that is free for both staff and students and are offered a free ride to campus as well. UNT also runs their shuttles around campus until 2 a.m. With the amount of money that UTEP brings in, how can we not have something similar? 

UT Austin has cheaper permits for specific parking spots unlike UTEP, which has a more expensive option that blankets over multiple parking spots. UTEP’s most expensive staff parking permit is $930, with their cheapest being $300. UNT’s most expensive permit is $700, with their cheapest being $250 for parking that is reserved for staff only. UNT also allows permits specifically for Spring and Fall semesters only, summers, or the full year.  

The most expensive permit price UT-Austin is $643 and covers four separate parking lots, and garages. Even Rice University offers a cheaper variety for parking including a $96 permit for motorcycles. I bring this up due to their steep price of $984 each for three different parking lots at Rice University. 

Despite having a higher peak permit price than UTEP, they still offer cheaper varieties for basic parking at $199 at the minimum. UTEP’s cheapest option for staff is $300 and only covers parking lots that are a great distance away from the main campus and require you to travel there by shuttle.  

It is also not uncommon for parking capacities to completely fill, even denying parking for those who purchased a permit. This is most common in the beginning of the semester as new students arrive. Not only was this an issue this year but also in 2019 when a study by Okan Gurbuz and Kelvin Cheu, and a report Pauline Astrid Spencer at The Prospector was done. 

The fact that this is still an issue today reveals little to no urgency on the matter by UTEP. The Refund Proration page also displays the rates from 2021-2022, rather than 2022-2023.  

In today’s economy, where inflation continues to rise while the majority of student positions at UTEP only pay minimum wage, how do you expect them to thrive off what UTEP offers? This is stacked on top of the cap of 19 hours per week for part time workers. This can deter future miners from attending UTEP in favor of a more affordable option.  

I believe UTEP’s parking fees and designations can be altered to entice more people to want to pay for parking. Speaking as a student-employee who does not pay for parking, I wonder who else is employed at UTEP that does not park in any lots as well? UTEP’s parking and transport situation can vastly improve for how much they charge for it. 

Jack E. McCrimmon-Rubio is a guest contributor and may be reached at [email protected] 

 

 

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The outrageous prices UTEP staff must pay for parking