Concordia University Wisconsin students are dealing with a parking epidemic that has been around for almost a decade. With many students comes many cars – and the issue of where to park. After speaking with several students, Concordia appears to be experiencing a parking shortage with no current solution in sight.
Current CUW students feel strongly about this situation and want a resolution. Senior Matthew Young detailed his email exchanges between campus administrators and campus safety that seem to have left him with more questions than answers.
“I think the best way to put it without being overdramatic is: hopeless. I’ve sent a few emails to administrators. Rather than just complaining I gave [campus safety] some helpful options,” Young said. “Basically [they] came back and said they sold more parking passes. This year around they didn’t limit it, anybody with 90 credits could get one. Essentially they sold more passes than they have spots to park in. Which I think isn’t a very ethical or a good idea to charge someone $200 on top of tuition so they can have a parking pass that is not very useful.”
Campus Safety Director Michael Stolte provided statistics on the sale of parking passes. In the academic year of 2021-2022 there were a total of 185 surface level stickers sold with an additional 12 sold in the spring semester. That is compared to this year where a total of 213 surface level stickers have been sold just so far in the fall of 2022.
But this issue does not just stop with surface level patrons. We spoke to commuters and students with structure parking as well and there seems to be a general consensus. Ruanda Diaz, a junior with a commuter pass, reflected on her parking experience: “There [are] definitely not enough spots. Sometimes I have to drive from one parking lot to another one and I might not find anything. It takes me a long time and I’m trying to park where my class is… but everyday you never know what’s going to happen. You never know if you’re going to find one or not.”
Abigail Guziewicz, a junior with structure parking, weighed in on the tense topic.
“It’s not bad but it can be inconvenient because I feel like we do not have enough spots for the amount of students that park here,” Guziewicz said. “With me leaving and coming back everyday after working off campus, I would prefer to have a spot for surface lot but I don’t have enough credits. I wish we could pay extra to reserve a spot in the structure. So first come first serve and you pay more but you would get your own spot.” Many students have come up with their own solutions to the parking problem but are unsure of what to do next. When asked if there is imminent resolution to this issue, Stolte shared that there are no current plans to increase parking but there are some ideas in the works. These ideas include potentially implementing a question on the housing application about parking or creating a waitlist for certain passes.
With the semester now in full swing, parking tensions appear to be at an all-time high. Although solutions have been presented, there is no immediate answer to the parking crisis. Students can continue to voice their concerns through contacting Campus Safety, the Student Government Association, or Residence Life.
—Emma Druckmiller is a writer for The Beacon, the official student newspaper of Concordia University Wisconsin. She is currently a Junior at CUW. She loves sharing stories and getting people’s voices heard.
This article was originally published on October 18th, 2022.