Part-time students question parking permit system

By: Cassidy Colarik — Staff Writer

Graduate student Matthew Deutsch, who lives across town, is registered for a night course that meets twice a week at UD. Due to the cost of parking permits for night students, however, he has had to park off-campus, which he said in an email, “adds wasted time and a security risk to [his] UD experience.”

University of Dayton Parking Services offers a $160 permit to nighttime commuter students, which allows them access to all single letter lots starting at 4:00 p.m. each day for the entire year.

“The red flag for me came up when I went on the university’s website and saw that there were only two options for parking permits: an all-the-time permit and a nighttime permit,” Deutsch said in an interview with Flyer News. “When I saw the price of the nighttime permit, I thought, “That is a lot of money to only park every day Tuesday/Thursday for the semester.”

The university’s parking permits are prorated, meaning the prices are determined based on proportional distribution, and the entire cost must be paid up front. Students who are only using the permit for the first semester have the option to turn their permit in at the end of the semester and receive half of the price back.

Deutsch’s class is scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30 p.m.—7:50 p.m. Although a night permit would allow him access to single letter lots Monday through Thursday after 4 p.m., these lots are available without a permit starting at 7:30 p.m. and Friday through Sunday beginning at 4:30 p.m.

After seeing the permit rates, Deutsch voiced his concerns to the university’s parking services.

Christine Schramm, associate vice president for the division of student development and dean of students, commented that the cost of the permit also accounts for other variables.

“Unfortunately, parking services is more complicated that just providing a parking space,” she wrote in an email to Deutsch. “It is important to understand that parking services assures security of all our parking lots across campus, the personnel to manage and secure the lots, the maintenance of the lots from clearing snow and salting, painting the lines and signage, to re-surfing lots and finally securing enough space.”

Deutsch also provided suggestions for ways parking services could change its pricing system for parking permits for part-time students.

Some of these suggestions included offering a semester by semester option for half the price; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Monday, Wednesday, Friday parking permit options for additional savings or putting metered parking spots in key locations.

“This added level of having permits that are only good for certain days and then pricing them to match would really be a sensible step that I would encourage parking services to take,” Deutsch said.

In response to these suggestions, Schramm commented in her email: “It is virtually impossible for parking services to take into account everybody’s class schedule and preference to set rates depending on how many classes a person takes—that could potentially involve over 9,000 people. There is no ‘special category.’ Staff, including myself and all faculty, is subject to the same rate structure.”

Instead of buying a permit, Deutsch made the decision to park off campus. He parks on Irving Avenue and makes a 10-minute walk from his parking spot to Kettering labs twice a week.

Another graduate part-time student, Kevin Lapp, who is taking six credits a week including one nighttime class, shared his thoughts on the parking permit pricing.

“The cost isn’t the end of the world, but when added to paying for tuition-per-credit the total becomes rather large for taking two classes,” Lapp said.

While Deutsch feels that his parking permit situation for the semester cannot be resolved, he expressed that the pricing of parking permits could be solved for future part-time students if parking services offered a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday permit or a Monday, Wednesday, Friday permit.

“They already have different classes of permit: They have a permit that’s only good at night, so they must have some way of enforcing one permit versus the other,” Deutsch said. “If they can do that with one variation, why not have several?”