The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The parking crisis on campus is affecting students’ mental health and grades

Maya Barber

Parking at N.C. A&T has consistently been a significant concern for students and faculty, as it has caused chaos, wasted gas and endless time spent searching for a free spot. 

According to A&T’s website, there are 13,883 students for the 2023-24 school year, which equates to about 400 more than last year. This number excludes transfer students coming in during the spring semester.

With the amount increasing every year, it has been causing students to be late for class, and for some, it has been affecting their overall attendance grades. 

“I feel that they should take away the penalties…as far as parking so it can make it fair for everyone,” senior kinesiology student, Michael Bivens said. “You should not get marked tardy or points off of your grade based upon the lack of parking we have on our campus.”

Grades dropping because of low attendance scores isn’t specific to just kinesiology students, it’s a problem for other majors, too.

“My grade has dropped because I could not find parking, and now I’m stressed because of it,” senior industrial systems engineering student Dalaysia Hammond said. “And it is affecting my mental health.”

There are two main types of parking passes students and faculty may purchase. The surface parking lot, which is $242, allows parking anywhere on campus other than reserved spots, and the parking deck. The second pass is the parking deck, which costs $242 where you can park at the three-story structure by the clock tower. 

According to parking services, there are approximately 500 spots in the parking deck. Typically, Mondays and Wednesdays are the most impacted days for parking. 

Kim Jackson, interim director of parking of transportation services, provided some advice for some of the surrounding students who live in off-campus housing.

“I know it’s not what people want to hear, but for students who live in Sebastian Village, if they could try not to drive to campus during the academic day and take the bus, it would be better for everyone,” Jackson said. “[It would] cut down on some of the demand.”

The parking epidemic has applied significant stress to students. Some students have to arrive 30 minutes to an hour early to make it to their classes on time. 

A&T student DJ Brown expressed his frustration. He explained that you have to get here before 8 a.m. to find a parking spot.

“I have to park down the block, and yesterday I was 15 minutes late to class trying to find a parking spot,” Brown said. “Usually, I park in the stadium, but it was packed. The parking sucks, and I think they should make another parking garage.” 

Kinesiology student Shonto Williams said parking not only affects his attendance but also his scholarship money. 

“I have been late to at least five classes due to parking,” Williams shared.“My attendance has been affected by two classes and it affects my financial aid as well.”

Although some students are having trouble with class attendance due to parking, some professors are finding creative ways to support their students. Professor Aretha Perry said she believes another double-decker parking lot could be put up by the stadium.

“I do not penalize anyone,” Perry said. “I instruct people to take notes, so that way you can get your notes from someone else that was there.”

The lack of parking leaves some students concerned about whether the university really cares for students’ well-being.

“They don’t really care, they are just trying to run up the bag with the parking passes,” Brown said.“But [there are] no parking spots.”

Another concern some students have is the number of freshmen who have cars on campus. The Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement claimed they received over 100 requests for parking and only approved about 68 students. 

According to the OLCE, first-year students seeking parking permits must have an unofficial transcript, a check stub within the past 30 days, a current letter of employment on an official letterhead and the job must be in Greensboro.

For more information, A&T has a seven-year strategic plan called the Preeminence 2030: North Carolina A&T Blueprint, which addresses parking and other issues affecting the school.


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