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New policy will bar freshmen from having cars on campus

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New policy will bar freshmen from having cars on campus

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by Aretha Matsushima, Staff Writer

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A new university policy starting next fall will ban freshman residents from bringing cars to campus unless approval is granted through a waiver.

The policy was implemented due to a number of factors including overcrowded parking lots and an influx of students living on campus, Director of Parking and Transportation Services Deborah Richeson said.

The Sophomore Success Program, which requires non-local sophomores to live on campus, was something Richeson said will undoubtedly increase the demand for campus parking spots.

“We are going to have live-on sophomore requirements so we knew that was going to bring more cars on campus as well,” Richeson said.

In addition, Richeson said with incoming freshmen living in Chapultepec and the new Uaxaca residence hall opening next fall, Parking 12 would become an even more highly occupied parking structure as it is already heavily used by commuters. This issue has been exacerbated as Uaxaca had been built atop the former Parking 9 lot.

“We all knew that was going to have a negative impact, considering how we’re already impacted in P12 and commuters want to have the opportunity to park in those spaces as well,” Richeson said.

P12 was originally built for Viejas Arena, Richeson said, and it would be more difficult to utilize the lot for events with the number of freshman residents who would end up parking there.

“It makes it more difficult for when we have Viejas events because we would need to kick them out and we wouldn’t want to do that for safety reasons,” Richeson said.

Some of that information does, however, contradict an interview Richeson gave a Daily Aztec reporter in spring 2017 when the plans for what would ultimately become Uaxaca residence hall were still being discussed. At the time, Richeson said the addition of the new dorms wouldn’t have much of an impact on campus parking.

“I can tell you that it is freshmen that will be coming into the new dorms if they’re built and it will be people that are living on campus, and the amount of sales of permits that we do for people living on campus is actually very low,” she said, “and so the fact of the matter is that we don’t feel that that group is going to impact the parking on the west side as much as it might seem, because of the fact that they buy such a low number of parking permits, which tells me that they’re using other modes of transportation.”

She went on to say in the 2017 interview that the university was never short on parking on a daily basis — students could simply park on the east side of campus.

“I mean, we do that right now when we close down structures for events,” Richeson said at the time. “We have parking available every day in (Parking) 3 and (Parking) 4.”

There will be some exceptions to the new rule. Incoming freshmen with documented hardships are able to apply for a waiver that must be approved beforehand, according to the SDSU Parking and Transportation webpage. The specific criteria and waiver to apply for freshmen parking can be found on the webpage.

“We understand that there (are) going to be situations where somebody might need to have a car for a medical need, extenuating family circumstances, academic need, if they already have a job or (for) military purposes,” Richeson said.

When it comes to alternatives to having a car, geography freshman Noah Peterson said there are more than enough options to get students where they need to be.

“We don’t have the best metropolitan transit system, but we have one that works,” Peterson said. “We also have Uber and Lyft, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world if freshmen were unable to have parking spaces next year.”

But, international business freshman David Liao said having a car as a freshman allowed him to feel safer when going places at night, something public transit lacks.

“To me, public transportation is not safe and having my own car allows me to have the freedom to go places without risks,” Liao said.

Management junior Korrin Davis said she is also in opposition to the new policy. She said it’s unfair that freshmen will not be accommodated with parking spaces, especially those who rely on their cars.

“It’s really inconvenient for incoming freshman and unfair that previous freshmen were allowed to have parking spaces,” Davis said.

Editor in Chief Will Fritz contributed reporting to this story.

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6 Comments

6 Responses to “New policy will bar freshmen from having cars on campus”

  1. Jacob on April 10th, 2019 4:39 pm

    This is absolutely absurd. As someone who didn’t have a car on campus while living in the dorms, it was a terrible experience. I had to plan things around the proximity of an event to a trolley station and if I could be able to either get a ride from someone trustworthy or if I would have to ride the trolley to Santee, walk from the station home, and then drive to the event, events that would only take me perhaps 20 minutes to drive to from campus now taking over an hour. In addition, the suggestion that “We also have Uber and Lyft, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world” ignores the prices of such services. We also have pay by phone, but we allow people to pay for a parking pass for the entire semester for good reason.

  2. YOHN a MAYALL on April 11th, 2019 4:21 pm

    If i was a freshman i would consider this policy and decide what school to attend.

  3. Rob on April 14th, 2019 2:28 pm

    I find this new policy extremely upsetting given that this was not disclosed at our campus tour or at Explore 2019 just last month. I specifically asked SDSU multiple times about the school’s car policy, and everyone told said that incoming Freshman CAN bring their cars.
    As an incoming, out of state freshman, how am I going to learn the surrounding of San Diego without my car? Through Uber?? So now I have to pay surge charge fees every time I want to go somewhere? In order to classify for a possible exception, I need to already have a job and work 20hrs/week.
    I will now have to sell my car because I can’t leave it at my parent’s house (located across the country) for a year!
    Frustrated Incoming Freshman!

  4. Mark Nelson on April 16th, 2019 6:36 pm

    Oh my, this means that SDSU falsified their EIR, because, they showed NO PARKING IMPACTS as a result of the Sophomore Success Program that required more dorms to be built. So – that CANNOT be the cause. The analysis was legally certified by CSU.

    In fact, SDSU showed NO IMPACTS when they were MEGA-DORM’ing and seeking to stuff 1600 more students in the environmentally sensitive Aztec Canyon besides the 800 next to Chappy. Falsifying an EIR and then certifying is probably a crime in California that a CEQA judge could cite. I’m going to check and see which SDSU officer’s signature is on the certification. SDSU is getting geared up for another EIR at Qualcomm, and if they can’t be trusted, we need an expert referee from a CEQA judge sooner than later to take control.

  5. Mark Nelson on April 16th, 2019 6:48 pm

    Perhaps some reporter from the Daily Aztec can push on this a little harder.

    Here’s what SDSU certified in it’s Environmental Impact Report – THERE ARE NO IMPACTS ON PARKING – there will be fewer cars and there’s already excess on-campus parking at SDSU. I wonder what other “fake facts” they used in their EIR, and what they’ll do to San Diego with the Qualcomm project?

    Conclusion
    Based on the shift of students presently residing off-campus to on-campus as a result of the
    proposed Project, in combination with the excess parking supply on campus, the proposed Project
    would not result in a significant impact related to parking.

    CERTIFIED EIR
    https://bfa.sdsu.edu/campus/facilities/planning/docs/nsrhfeirsec414transpcircpark.pdf

    September 2017 New Student Housing EIR
    San Diego State University pg. 4.14-41

  6. Mark on April 17th, 2019 8:56 am

    This policy does NOT apply to freshmen who live off campus. The author of this article does a poor job of emphasizing this fact, with just one mention of “freshman residents” in passing.

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