No parking anywhere

Emily Little/HERALD

Editorial Staff

The issue: Parking at WKU is an expensive nightmare.

Our stance: The university shouldn’t be making money off a service that it can’t provide.


WKU made many changes to parking this year. Housing passes are divided into a class system. Commuter parking is limited, and the passes sold out the second day of fall classes. Most importantly, WKU is down another 250 parking spaces, bringing the total number of lost spots for the past two years to 500. 

Commuters are greeted with a traffic jam each and every morning as they arrive on the Hill. By the time the average commuting student makes it to class, they’ll have passed endless rows of cars and countless confusing parking zones. 

For a university struggling with retention, it really feels like WKU doesn’t want commuting students to ever make it to class in the first place.

The changes have affected more than just commuters. Half the lots that previously serviced anyone with a housing pass are now only for the upper echelon of on-campus students – those with premium housing permits. These passes give access to additional parking spots closer to dorms. 

These spots used to cost the same $90 non-premium students are paying. Now that they’ve been classified as premium, their price has doubled to $180. There’s nothing different about these spots except the price increase. Of course, the university is limited in the number of passes it can sell this year.

The issue wouldn’t be as bad if the university was offering solutions besides  parking lots farther away, connected to campus by transit services. WKU’s transportation page urges commuting students to arrive early to campus. No number of emails requesting that students park at South Campus will solve the problem.

Class has only been in session for a little over a week. Hiccups would admittedly be expected, but the current state of affairs is a catastrophe. 

Thankfully, our parking passes are still cheaper than most schools. At the University of Kentucky, for instance, residential and commuter passes both cost $264. It can be a comforting thought during the daily drive around campus.

People are parking in the grass adjacent to distant parking lots. Housing students are divided and commuting students are an afterthought. Promises made that parking wouldn’t be a problem are not being kept. 

If you purchased a commuter pass, you essentially bought a lottery ticket that you get to play every day of class. If you win, you get a parking spot and the envy of your frustrated classmates. If you lose, you’re late to class. Luckily WKU is offering consolation prizes to students who fail to find a proper parking spot – parking tickets, yet another source of transportation income for WKU.

You may be reading this while waiting for class to start. Your professor is off in the parking structure, cursing at a white Volkswagon masquerading as an available parking spot behind a SUV. You may have experienced a similar situation hours earlier when you arrived to ensure that you could find a spot for your 10:20 a.m. class. 

Hopefully, there will be more parking next year. For now, students will continue to struggle to make it to class and WKU will continue to struggle its way into students’ wallets.