With only 18,000 student parking spots and more than 36,000 parking decals, parking is a struggle for students and faculty alike.
According to the UCF Parking Services website, employees qualify for a B or C permit based on their position or pay grade designations. Professors qualify for B permits, while other personal services employees, such as tutors, qualify for C permits.
The cost for a one-semester C permit ranges from $96.90 to $101.21, for a decal or hangtag respectively. The multiple semester price for a C permit decal is $192.41 and the multiple semester C permit hangtag is $202.41. B permit decal prices are $162.19 for a single semester and $323.34 for multiple semesters. Hangtags for B permits are $169.76 for one semester and $339.51 for multiple semesters.
The price for a student permit, also known as a D permit, for one semester is $45.01 for a decal and $50.35 for a hangtag. For a multi-semester permit, students pay $95.88 for a decal and $100.68 for a hangtag. This means that employees are required to pay over twice the amount commuting students must pay.
UCF spokeswoman Courtney Gilmartin said faculty pays a higher price for parking because their spaces are closer to the inner core of campus. However, some faculty members say that more convenient parking is not worth a higher price.
“It’s fair to pay for parking, but it shouldn’t be so high of a price for a decal to come to work when you’re not guaranteed a space every day,” said Joseph Magloire, a math tutor for undergrads.
Yuanli Bai, an assistant engineering professor, has adjusted part of his workday in order to make sure he does not have to struggle to find a parking spot.
“Because I come closer to 9 a.m. it is easier to find parking, but when I go out for lunch and come back it’s hard to find parking,” Bai said. “Which is why I don’t go out for lunch anymore.”
Although Bai has had to change his lunch plans to keep his good parking spot, he said the price for parking permits makes sense.
“The price we pay for parking is normal. You can think about it as about $1 per day, which is reasonable,” Bai said.
Jessica Sapp, an internship director for Health Services Administration and an instructor at UCF, was surprised when she found out she had to pay for parking. She said this is her first time working full time in academia.
Sapp said that she was able to deal with the unexpected expense of parking by opting to pay through the payroll reduction plan, which allows faculty to spread payments over six or 10 reductions.
“I chose to pay through payment reduction because it was a lump sum that I wasn’t expecting, plus it was more convenient than having to deal with extra paperwork,” Sapp said.
Some students said they were surprised faculty had to pay to park on campus. Christine Sack, a sophomore digital media major, said that she didn’t know that teachers had to pay for parking, but believed that having specific lots designated for faculty and staff justifies B and C permits being more than student permits. Chinelo Germain, a junior biomedical sciences major, believes faculty permit price is completely unfair.
“Faculty works here, and the price for parking shouldn’t be that jacked high because they are benefiting the university and students,” Germain said. “If anything, the price should be the same as students — if not even less.”
Nicole Dudendoefer is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.