DU parking woes place personnel, students at odds

NEW ORLEANS (February 14, 2020) – If only drivers with registered cars parked on Dillard’s campus, more than one-fourth of the parking spaces would be empty and available for visitors, yet parking accommodations are a common conversation among university students, faculty and staff alike – but with differing perspectives.

Dillard has a total of 525 parking spots available on campus, according to a manual and exhaustive count conducted by a student reporter this semester. And according to Interim Police Chief Jose Campuzano, as of Nov. 20, 2019, 269 students and 115 faculty members had purchased parking decals.

So on a campus with 525 slots available, only 384 people have purchased parking decals. That translates to 73.1 percent of the spaces available, meaning there are 141 parking spaces, or 26.9 percent, more parking spaces than decals purchased.

Such would not appear to be the case, when on a nearly daily basis, parking spots are difficult if not impossible to find. Cars often can be found parked in the opposite direction of traffic on the side street facing Warrington; parked on both sides of the street (a safety hazard) on the side street facing Warrington); and parked illegally and on the grass in parking lots.

Faculty and staff complain about finding no spaces in designated lots while the majority of spaces are taken up by cars with no decals. And students complain that too many spaces, especially around Gentilly Gardens, are reserved for faculty and staff.

Fewer than one in four of the 1,180 students enrolled for the spring semester have purchased decals (22.8 percent). How many students park on campus without decals could not be ascertained.

Of the 525 spaces, 35 spaces are reserved as handicapped spaces (7 percent), and another 126 are designated for faculty and staff (24 percent).

Some students, such as Daylon Daye and Eric McGlothen, believe parking problems on campus could be resolved with more construction.

Daylon Daye, a junior computer science major from St. Martinville said students are not purchasing parking passes because parking is not worth the amount of money is asked to pay. He also said, “Me buying this parking pass doesn’t guarantee me a spot.”

Eric McGlothen, a junior public health major from Atlanta who lives in Gentilly Gardens, said more parking spots should developed in the Gardens. He pointed out that 46 of the 88 parking spots in the Gardens are reserved for faculty during the daytime.

“I know the campus is small, but we need more options,” McGlothen said.

Dr. Eva Baham, assistant professor of history, voiced the sentiments of some faculty when she said the issue is vehicles without decals are merely ticketed instead of being towed.

Campuzano emphasized that DUPD only enforces university parking policies and has no control over whether more parking spaces are added. But he did say the university is considering creating a parking committee to study ways to address these concerns.