Auburn Parking Services has rolled out changes for the upcoming year, including how students register for parking to a new penalty for parking in a restricted area.
In years past students have entered a lottery to determine their campus parking, whether they were residents or commuters. This year, however, parking services has adopted a more “first-come, first-serve” system, said Don Andrae, director of transportation services.
“In the past with the random drawing we would have a lot of students register, not get their choice and then automatically be assigned C-Zone or RO,” Andrae said. “They really didn’t want that; what they wanted was preferred parking. The rules say you can’t refund it, so they were stuck with C-Zone. This way, with a first-come, first-serve, you know what you’re getting.”
Registration for on-campus students is already open. Registration for preferred parking will be held on Aug. 15-16 with graduate students going first, then seniors, then juniors and lastly sophomores.
The same allocation percentage will be used with 30 percent going to graduates, 30 percent to seniors, 30 percent to juniors and 10 percent to sophomores.
Freshmen, however, will not be able to register for preferred parking this year.
“The only thing we used to do in the random drawing is that we gave preference to those students who had stayed on campus longer than others, but considering how the residence halls are set up, most are freshman in one place, so it doesn’t really matter,” Andrae said.
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Parking services will no longer send mass emails out to every Auburn student, but will instead be posting information such as lot closings and registration changes to social media.
“The reasoning behind this when you send out 30,000 emails you get back at least 10,000 of people telling us what they think of us,” Andrae said. “Now, if you want information just like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram and you’ll be able to communicate with us that way.”
With the completion of the South College Parking Deck plus additions to existing lot, more A-Zone and B-Zone spots were added for faculty and staff. There were also additions to student lots, including 300 new spaces in RO, 600 new spaces in the Hayfield and 100 new spaces at the art museum on South College Street.
“The commuter students should be pretty happy," Andrae said. Granted, there won’t be close parking spaces, but there’s 1,000 more spaces."
In regards to penalties for parking in areas a student isn’t registered for, there are two new changes that students may see. One is that the towing fee will be raised from $100 to $150. The second is that in addition to wheel-locks, a new contraption, called a barnacle, will now be in rotation. It will be attached to the windshield and can only be removed by calling an on-call number that gives you a code to unlock it.
For the near future, parking services is planning on holding contests for students to enter and win prizes. Kelsey Prather, a marketing and communications specialist for Auburn University, said that there’s a contest coming up where a student could win a guaranteed spot in their preferred lot.
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