Students propose overhaul to parking system

Students would submit parking preferences through MyZou under the plan.

The Missouri Students Association and the Residence Halls Association have come to an agreement on a parking plan that could change the way spots are allocated and the way students choose spots, MSA President Eric Woods said in an e-mail.

“Instead of using the Parking and Transportation Services programs that has been used in the past, this new proposal would allow students to choose their spots through MyZou — the thought being that MyZou can automatically determine a student’s seniority and residence status and assign spots accordingly,” Woods said.

Former MSA President Tim Noce said he and former RHA President Rachael Feuerborn ran into some roadblocks with administration regarding a parking proposal in the past, but he is glad the issue has been resurfaced.

“(The parking proposal) passed in MSA and RHA almost unanimously,” Noce said.

Students in the past chose their parking spot by submitting their preferred lot at the beginning of the academic year and then hoping they receive their top choice. Now, students will be assigned a day to register for parking on MyZou, Woods said.

“They will be allowed to choose their preferred lot and view the prices,” Woods said. “In theory, they will then be guaranteed the spot in the lot or garage they have chosen, instead of listing a preference and hoping for the best as it has been in the past. This will be based on a combination of residence status and seniority. The order will be something like Senior Residence Hall, Senior Commuter, Junior Residence Hall...etc.”

Although most parking lots and garages will be open for student choice, the Virginia Avenue Garage is an exception. Due to an existing agreement between Parking and Transportation Services and Residential Life the Virginia Avenue garage will remain reserved for residents not subject to the seniority list, Woods said.

“Before Virginia Avenue was a garage it was Residential Life’s parking lot,” RHA President Lauren Thomas said. “There are a certain number of spaces in there that I would want to keep resident spaces. The parking proposal has parts in it that talk about seniority-based parking and RHA is not willing to compromise the spots of the residents for the seniority based.”

The parking agreement also creates a price difference between the quality or distance of the parking spots relative to campus.

“If the price differentiation goes through then a student, for example, living in Lathrop would rather park at the stadium then right behind their residence hall and pay less because they don’t mind the walk,” Thomas said. “But if a student wants to pay more to park closer to their residence hall they have that option.

The parking proposal is still tentative, Thomas said.

“I’ll be serving on the committee as the undergraduate representative,” Noce said. “We’re looking at a few different things to try and push (the proposal) past administration. We’re still negotiating, Eric is doing a good job and Lauren is working as well.”

Students just want a simpler way to choose parking, Noce said.

“I don’t see (the proposal) hurting residents, I see it helping them,” Thomas said. “The price differentiation and the MyZou system are both positive changes.”

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