Although Brookside residents parking on campus has caused concern about the number of spaces available among students, security reassures them that there is no worry.
Brookside residents were assigned the parking lot across from Hillcrest, leaving all other Stephens lots open for students with parking permits.
“It’s been causing some problems due to the fact that they have taken up one of our parking lots for (Brookside) residents in Hillcrest, as well as the fact that the apartments were being built where one of our biggest parking lots was my freshman year,” Robyn Hash, a senior theatre major, said.
Tony Coleman, the director of campus security, said in an analysis released toward the end of August, that there were over 60 open parking spots in campus lots.
Hash said she believes the residents are taking a lot of the parking on the street, which causes Stephens to buy parking permits, that weren’t necessary in the past.
Kaitlyn Erb, a senior psychology major and Brookside resident, has bought a parking permit through the apartment complex, parking in the lot she was assigned until her car was hit in the lot. Now, when she can, she parks on the street.
Due to Brookside residents increasing the foot-traffic on campus, security has become more of a concern.
Hash said she sees parking as a stressful situation as well as seeing people on campus that she doesn’t know coming in and out of “our safe haven” at all hours of the day.
Coleman said communication has been a key consideration with the increased foot traffic. Security has made it a point to personally issue all the permits to the Brookside residents as they moved into Hillcrest, so they recognize those that have them.
“I feel like I’ve been lucky because it’s kind of scary with the overflow spots if you park there in the dark,” Erb said.
Coleman said there’s always a concern for safety but students at Stephens are fortunate that the farthest spot is only a block and a half away, and they can call Security if a situation arises in which they feel uncomfortable.
Erb said Brookside’s original plan was to build a parking garage, but she hasn’t heard anything about it recently.
“(Once the apartments are built) we will have one of our parking lots back, which will definitely help residential students,” Hash said.
Coleman said, after the Brookside residents move from Hillcrest and back into the apartment building, there will be an additional 80 parking spots for Stephens students.
The issue of parking, however, and complying with rules has been an issue for both Brookside residents and Stephens students in areas where they have been warned not to park.
“We will probably start really aggressive enforcements just to get those who chose to make the wrong decisions back on track,” Coleman said.
A pile of nine new boots for cars sit in the security office for students, from Stephens and the apartment complex, who do not comply with the parking rules.
“See those,” Coleman said, “I suspect a majority of those will be on cars everyday.”
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