Parking on campus has been an adventure for many since construction for the football stadium got underway. It has also gotten parking fees and citations on the minds of students.
Despite frustrations some students are having with parking, the fees (included with tuition) and citations bring ETSU significant revenue.
According to David Collins, vice president for finance and administration, the 2015-2016 fiscal year has provided the university with nearly $1.37 million through student parking decals, $128,944 for faculty/staff parking and $311,350 in parking citations.
According to a powerpoint presentation prepared for the Oct. 2 2015 state of the university address, the total ETSU revenue budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year was $195,181,400.
The dollar figure in citations tells how much the university is making off careless drivers. In the academic year, 17,606 citations were issued, with 8,452 coming in the spring semester.
Of the nearly $2 million accrued through parking, all of the funds are used to support parking expenses, such as employee salaries, maintenance of lots and debt service payments on the parking garage, Collins said.
When tuition saw a slight 2.7 percent increase — leading to a $10 rise in parking fees, for instance — the money did not go toward the ensuing stadium; all of the money circulates through parking services.
Despite this transparency, it has not made parking any less of a headache for some students as they wait until next fall for the stadium to be completed.
“I don’t mind paying the fees with tuition but, as a person that parks in the parking garage, the stadium construction has made parking on campus a nightmare,” said Gabe Cameron, a second-year graduate student. “I’m almost to the point that I’d rather walk from my house to class to avoid it.”
Cameron said he lives closer to downtown than he does to campus.
“My house is at least a 20-minute walk, probably more,” he said.
For Cameron, though, he plans to weigh his options and choose the lesser of two evils.