By Deanna Garcia
Over the last five years, Lehman’s enrollment has increased from 12,398 to the current total of 14,787 students, according to its Department of Institutional Advancement, and yet the college’s parking lot remains the same inadequate size.
Divided into north and south sections, the lot has 866 total spots, including 17 handicap and 14 reserved. Andrea Pinnock, director of Auxiliary Services, reported that 1,708 parking permits were distributed to students this semester. “Both the student and regular faculty/staff parking lots are oversold since there are no assigned spaces and parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis,” Pinnock said. “This methodology has been used for many years and allows the college to offer parking to more students.”
According to Dawn Burgos, director of Campus Activities, there are currently 200 students on the waitlist for the next available parking permit. To obtain a spot for the whole semester, students must have either paid their tuition in full or have a payment plan. Burgos explained that students have to pay the full rate of $75 for daytime parking or $55 for evening parking, which can be done upfront or online.
“The day permit covers a full day every week, while the evening permit only covers 5:15 p.m.,” Burgos added. “We’re trying to accommodate more people by adding a day and evening feature. If people come in late, we’re able to provide more spaces for those students.” She explained that after 5:15 p.m., when most staff and faculty members leave, students are allowed to park in the faculty parking lot.
Some Lehmanites, however, feel that there should be more spots available for everyone.
“There are times, like after 10 o’clock or after certain hours, when it’s harder to find a spot,” said Jen Begeal, new media manager at BronxNet. “Sometimes I just have to wait for somebody to leave.”
Latrica Burton, a junior producer at BronxNet, is relieved to know that there is parking near her job. Before she started parking in the south lot, Burton used to park her car on the street, which was difficult at times. “It used to be tedious to run out during a show to put more money in the meter,” she said. “After I got a ticket, I made it my mission to get a parking pass.”
“It’s such a lifesaver,” said Wayne Townsend, a Lehman senior and journalism major. “There’s always a spot.” He also observed of Campus Activities, “The permit people are the most efficient at Lehman.”
On the other hand, senior Jasmine Ayala feels that there is a lack of information on how to obtain a permit. “This sometimes causes people to go back and forth without clear information of what has to be done.”
Townsend and Ayala both agreed that the parking lot is worth the cost compared to using the meters around campus. “After a while, the meter prices add up,” said Townsend.
Some students, however, prefer to find spots around campus, as opposed to in Lehman’s parking lot. “It’s easier to find spots if you know what days and times you can park in certain areas,” said senior Shanese Mullins, a 28-year-old journalism major. “I don’t think that I should have to pay for parking when I already pay for tuition.”