Dr. Boren talks parking at Hunewell Dorm

By Katy McQuillan— 

Staff Writer 

Vice President of Student Affairs Laura Boren says the university is tearing down apartment complexes for parking and bringing new mid-sized shuttles to campus in the spring. 

“Long-term solutions with parking: we are slowly expanding our parking lots we have,” she said in a meeting with students at the Hunewell Residential Hall lobby at the beginning of November.  

Boren’s visit was open to all students, but about a dozen were present. Students asked Boren about parking.  

Boren mentioned that incoming student enrollment is down four hundred from last year. The small number of underclassmen that were in attendance said they enjoyed Tarleton and most had decided on majors ranging from social work to mechanical engineering.  

Since the visit was a Question and Answer session, Boren encouraged students to ask whatever was on their minds. One student asked about long-term solutions for parking. 

“Are they going to start taking away driving privileges for freshmen?” one student asked. “Any idea on that?” the student continued. 

Boren began by verbally laying out the plans administration has for future parking lot arrangements. 

Boren said the university will eventually tear down the Lone Star apartments near Bosque Parking and expand parking there. 

“We’ll start with a gravel road by next fall,” she continued. “That will most likely be a residential lot. One of the things we monitor is how many people live in each resident hall. We know the percentage of people who bring cars, we know the number of spots we have for residential and the number of spots we have for commuter,” Boren said. 

Boren also discussed how the administration follows the number of students on campus throughout each day. 

“We are trying to monitor that to make sure we have enough residential parking and then (we monitor) the flow of class schedules. We have it down to a science of how we look at your class schedule, how many students are on campus at each peak time, the flow of traffic in and out. And so, it is a work in progress,” she continued. 

The parking problem changes each year. Boren says Tarleton is hoping for the incoming freshman class next year to be at 2,300, a four-hundred student increase from this fall.  

“So, then we have got to figure out how do we address the parking needs and spaces. We have done some purchasing of homes over by the tennis court area and you will see growth of parking in there,” Boren said. 

“Here is what is crazy: We added a new lot by the baseball field and Pecan Grove, a whole brand-new parking lot that is not touched. I know distance is an issue, too. One of the things we will be getting in at the end of this month are bigger shuttles that are longer golf carts, but not as big as the Tarleton shuttle that goes around,” Boren said. 

“That will be focused on bringing people in from those remote lots into campus to try to help with some of the parking. It is probably every single day, at some point, I have a conversation about what our next steps are and where we are at with parking expansion. This is not an excuse, it is just a fact, no matter what university you are at, there is a perceived parking issue,” explained Boren. 

Boren also said some students are taking parking spots that do not belong to them. “Those who live on campus, getting in your car and driving across campus for class — that messes with the commuters and with the spots.” 

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