Campus Safety shares parking permit numbers

Thatcher South Parking Lot sign on Cafeteria Drive. Monday, October 25, 2021. (Photo by: Megan Yoshioka)
Thatcher South Parking Lot sign on Cafeteria Drive. Monday, October 25, 2021. (Photo by: Megan Yoshioka)

There are 2,630 total available parking spaces on Southern Adventist University’s campus. As of October 13, there were 2,283 parking permits issued for this semester, according to Kevin Penrod, director of Campus Safety. 

According to the Campus Safety website, there are five types of permits: faculty/staff, undergraduate student, graduate student, guests/visitors and volunteer. Student permits are further classified depending on where students live. This primarily consists of Thatcher Hall residents, Talge Hall residents, Southern Village, upper/lower stateside residents and commuter students, according to the website.

Based on the total number of issued parking permits as of October 13, 35.3% are faculty/staff, 55.3% are undergraduate student, 3.2% are graduate student, 4.6% are guest/visitors and the remaining 1.6% are volunteer/other, according to Penrod.

The parking lots are designated for different permits through color-coded signs. 

Some students on campus have expressed frustration with how these parking spaces are distributed.

“With an increase in freshmen this year, I feel it would be helpful for more parking spaces to be distributed to the students,” said junior nursing major Kari Remmers. “For instance, the new parking spaces behind the Bietz Center could be opened up to students rather than strictly for faculty.”

According to Tom Verrill, Financial Administration senior vice president, parking lots are designated with the following general expectations.

  Guests, faculty and commuters are higher priority since they drive to the university, Verrill said. Furthermore, guest parking spaces must be in an easily accessible location for someone who is unfamiliar with the university parking. Dorm students are encouraged to walk to their various classes.

According to Verrill, there is a Parking Advisory Committee that decides how many parking spaces should be distributed for which permits. The Parking Advisory Committee is composed of seven members, one being Verrill. The committee has faculty from Landscape Services, Campus Safety, Financial Administration, resident housing and First Year Experience. 

The committee meets on a need basis, according to Verrill.

“If we determine [that] there is a parking issue, then we would pull the group together, and we would discuss how best to address it,” he said. 

When asked what students should do if they feel parking is an issue, Verrill gave the following advice.

“… I would recommend that if there is a significant problem, it doesn’t mean we can meet everybody’s needs,” Verrill said. “But if students are having a problem [with parking] that we’re unaware of, they could probably have some communication with their SA senator. And, if they wanted to formalize a request, they would go through that process. …Our parking advisory would look and consider that request.”

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