University to review on-campus parking
In fall 2013, the Student Union and the Graduate Student Associate sent out a survey to Brandeis’ undergraduate and graduate student bodies regarding the parking situation on campus. A total of 1,512 students responded to the survey, and those responses indicated that around 59 percent of student respondents would like Brandeis’ parking to be seen as a top priority for students and staff at the University.
According to data compiled by Jieming Chu ’14, Nam Nguyen M.A. ’15, Yujue Wang M.A. ’15, Hang Zhou M.A. ’15, Ricky Rosen ’14 and Anthony Nguyen M.A. ’14, the University issues 827 more parking permits than spaces available meaning that of the 3,126 students who desire to park their cars on a campus parking lot, only 2,299 can actually park.
Former Senior Vice President for Administration Mark Collins indicated in an interview with the Justice that there were problems with parking, noting that “[t]here was a finite number of parking spaces on the campus,” according to an article from the Justice published on May 3, 2011. The article continued by saying that the University would eliminate parking privileges for sophomores in 2011.
However, even with half of the undergraduate population unable to obtain parking permits, the survey revealed that 44 percent of responders reported being very unsatisfied with parking conditions at Brandeis and, when asked if they thought that there are enough parking spaces on campus, only 10 percent of responders said yes while 73 percent did not think so.
The Student Union has been working on developing a plan to accommodate the demand for parking and to implement it as soon as viable. Student Union Secretary Charlotte Franco ’15 noted in an interview with the Justice that the Student Union would like to build a parking garage, but that would be a more long-term goal. “There were a lot of brainstorming and thinking about solutions,” Franco said, but that there is nothing definite as of now.
Parking garages are becoming increasingly common on college and university campuses. According to data collected by the Student Union, when compared to other universities or colleges similarly ranked in the University Athletic Association, including Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University and New York University, Brandeis stands out as the only university lacking a parking garage.
The comparison also revealed that Brandeis also is the only university that institutes free parking for faculty and staff. Furthermore, the Brandeis annual parking fees were found to be significantly cheaper when compared to other similar universities.
Franco did say that there were plans to create a “parking liaison” or a person from the Student Union who would be part of the University’s parking committee. This individual would be an integral part of Brandeis’ parking discussion, she said. She could not give any dates for when this would be initiated.
A previous version of this article included Joseph Bonnano among the students who compiled the parking data. Bonnano was, in fact, not involved in the project, and has thus been removed from this article.