BY JEFF STANICH
Parking permits for the majority of Butler University’s students will cost nearly three times as much as last year.
Students have had various reactions to the change, both in favor and against.
Sophomore Serena Caress said the more expensive permit forced her to leave her car at home.
“I tried to convince my parents to let me bring my car,” Caress said, “but I couldn’t because of the $200 price.”
Last year, a freeze was announced that would have kept the price of all permits at $75 for two years.
The decision to go against the freeze was a collaborative effort made by the Butler parking committee and the city of Indianapolis in order to address the parking shortage on campus.
Rich Michal, executive director of facilities, said he saw the price freeze as only a recommendation made by the parking committee. This year, the Board of Trustees and the administration decided an increase was necessary.
“Compared to other universities, we were artificially low for a long time,” Michal said. “But we want to be respectful of students and give them options.”
Another aspect of the parking problem was the limited amount of spaces available for students, faculty and visitors.
Rumors on campus pointed to a parking structure being built on the main campus that would include residential living and retail.
Instead, the administration decided to build a 400-space parking lot west of the Indianapolis Canal near the intramural fields.
Even though the lot cost about a tenth of what the parking structure would have, permit pricing still increased by $125 in most cases.
The lot completion was originally supposed to be in the week of Aug. 19.
Since it is not ready, freshman Haley Jackowiak said her parents have to drive back to campus to bring her car.
“My parents are driving from South Bend with my car this weekend,” Jackowiak said. ”I’m hoping the lot is ready by then.”
With the lot located west of the canal, students who participate in intramural sports are concerned the new lot will intrude on their space.
However, Hunter said that the new lot affects no previously designated fields.
“Students should not worry that their fields will be changed,” Hunter said. “The space the lot is on was green space that cars usually used for parking regardless.”
With all changes happening in a short time, administrators said they aren’t sure if this was the best solution for the campus.
Michal said this next year will be monitored by the parking committee to see if the lot and the increase in price are successful.
“I don’t know if the lot will be as successful as we hope or if the pricing will stay where it is at now,” Michal said. “We will be watching and reevaluating to hopefully solve the parking problem completely in the future.”