First-Week Parking Woes on Campus

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SPRINGFIELD– The MSU campus is flooded with those trying to get to class on time for syllabus week.

Parking has been a hot topic for students over the years at the growing university. 

Lately, it has definitely been on people’s minds with the university currently under investigation by the Attorney General’s office for an alleged “parking ticket quota”. 

The school declined an interview on the topic of parking but is fully cooperating with that investigation. 

OzarksFirst took a look at some of the numbers and heard from those jockeying for position on the first week of class. 

As a Junior at MSU, Michael Lassman lives off-campus and makes a commute to school every day. In his first two years, he learned an important lesson. 

“It’s just the same problem every year. That first week of school, everyone is here, everyone is actually excited to go to class for the first couple of days, so that means everyone goes, and there is not enough parking,” says Lassman. 

A parking permit for the full 2019-2020 school year will run students $121. 

“If you are trying to get a really good spot, you’ll have to pay for it. If you end up parking in a spot that you didn’t pay for, you’ll most likely get a ticket. It’s not good to take a chance on parking at Missouri State,” says Lassman.

Some evidence to support that claim is in the number of parking tickets the University has issued over the past few years. According to data provided to OzarksFirst by the university the past five school years (since 2014-2015) have seen 96,170 parking violations written. Those violations accumulated a whopping $3,185,059 in fines assessed. 

Here is a breakdown by year: 

    2014-2015: 20,650 violations / $700,677 in fines

    2015-2016: 19,221 violations / $625,429 in fines

   2016-2017: 21,183 violations / $674,895 in fines

    2017-2018: 13,973 violations / $488,257 in fines 

    2018-2019: 21,143 violations / $695,801 in fines

Many students try to park in the south lots closer to campus to avoid a lengthy walk to class. The problem with that, is that many people are doing the same thing. The university encourages people to try parking on the north side of campus, including Bear Park North. 

Grad student Robby Smull uses the often-emptier Bear Park North garage to his advantage. 

“I can normally find parking here a little bit quicker because it is a little bit further away from the classroom buildings. I can generally find one. It’s more reliable,” says Smull.

Of course, many of the buildings in the heart of campus are about a mile away from some of those north side lots, but you will have a better chance of finding an open spot. 

For a parking map on Missouri State University’s campus, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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