Parking passes make their way to Stark

Kyle Nelson

Students struggle to find spots on campus

Parking is now a lot easier at Kent State University Stark Campus as the administration put its permit program into effect at the start of the semester.

The parking pass program was discussed last fall, with the results coming to fruition this spring. The passes were mailed to all of the students to help the administration differentiate Stark State students, a technical college that neighbors KSU Stark, from its own.

Facility Manager Brent Wood heads up the enforcement of the program and has seen positive results thus far.

“We issued nearly 4,500 parking permits using a hang tag system,” Wood said. “It’s a way to identify students that go to KSU Stark. We had a lot of cars in our lots that weren’t ours.”

While not as strict as the parking system on Kent’s main campus, the parking passes found at Kent State Stark are still a requirement the administration is trying to enforce.

“Our enforcement has always been to use a fluorescent sticker that tells the students they’re in violation,” Wood said. “These stickers are very hard to get off. We don’t do anything as advanced as on Kent’s campus with having a parking services division. We try to keep it simple.”

Some days, however, it’s more of a challenge to find spots. Interim Dean Dr. Ruth Capasso is finding ways to accommodate students while still keeping within the parameters of the program.

“We need to work on balancing and refining the schedules,” Capasso said. “You can only move people so much. I think we’re fine for spring semester, but we need to start looking for next fall. We have some plans to make some grass areas into temporary gravel lots, but we pride ourselves on being a green campus.”

The 13 percent increase in enrollment means more students and less parking available for those students already established. Junior marketing major Zach Grnach has felt the effects of the increase notably the lack of available parking.

“I think everyone got education for Christmas,” Grnach said. “I used to be able to find a prime parking spot, but now it’s jam packed. There are a substantial amount of cars in the lot compared to last year.”

Mary Southards, assistant dean of enrollment management, said she is sympathetic to the student’s plight but keeps it in perspective.

“The parking here is primo compared to everywhere else you can go,” she said. “I can walk from one side of the campus to the other in five minutes in high heels. If I can do it, students can too.”

At the moment, the school has no plans to start charging for parking passes.

“We might institute a replacement fee of some sort,” Wood said. “For now we haven’t done it. The parking program started so we could maximize the amount of spaces for our staff and students.”

To address any complaints that might arise, the administration has set up a Web site where students can e-mail any questions they might have. The Web site is avaliablehere.

“It’s going really well so far,” Wood said. “There hasn’t been anything that’s made me mad yet, which is always a good sign.”

Contact news correspondent Kyle Nelson at [email protected].