As the fall semester starts up, students begin the annual struggle to find parking spaces on campus.
Delaney McKeown, junior psychology major from Weatherford, said it takes her 10-15 minutes to find a parking space, and another 10 minutes to walk to class because she has to park so far away.
“It’s almost impossible to be on time to class,” McKeown said. “There’s not enough parking at enough destinations on campus where there are classes.”
McKeown is not the only one who has noticed a lack of parking. Many off campus students have been complaining about the amount of time it takes for them to find a place to park and then walk to class.
Although students are noticing the problem now, Lt. Randy Motz of ACUPD said students having trouble finding parking is nothing new, nor exclusive to ACU. Motz said all universities have trouble with providing enough parking spaces for their students.
“Just about any university in the state of Texas, or in the country, will have parking issues,” Motz said. “If they don’t have parking issues, it means the university is failing.”
Motz said the full parking lots are actually a good sign, showing ACU is a successful university, equating full parking lots to high enrollment. Although the construction around campus does contribute to the lack of parking, Motz said the renovations to facilities are also a good sign for the university.
“We’ve turned a corner, and we are not Abilene Christian College anymore,” said Motz. “We’ve become a nationally known university. That comes with success, and success often means it’s difficult to find parking spaces.”
Motz recommends students arrive to campus early before their classes begin to ensure they find a place to park and allow themselves enough time to walk to class in case the spaces available are far from their building.
For some students, however, far away parking extends past inconvenience and brings up safety issues, as lack of resident hall parking may mean walking far distances late at night.
Motz said ACUPD is working with University Church of Christ to install better lighting in the parking lot for students living in Bullock Hall to make the lot safer. Additionally, if students find themselves in a situation that feels unsafe, ACUPD is available to escort students safely to their cars or to their dorms.
ACUPD can be reached at (325)-674-2911.