The first semester of college is often overwhelming and confusing for many first-year students. You are already worrying about picking your classes, figuring out which campus you’ll be on and finding the classrooms. The difficulty of finding a parking spot that is close to your campus and classes only adds to the anxiety.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) offers many different parking passes and permits for various locations on both campuses. One would think that purchasing these passes would guarantee a parking spot, however, this cannot always be expected.
“Some days it can be extremely difficult to find a parking spot close to my classes and on the right campus, but when you do find that front row parking it’s like winning the lottery,” said first-year student Sam Richter.
It would appear that UNO over-sells parking passes because everyone is not on campus at the same time, but it is often still difficult to find a parking spot when you arrive due to an influx of student activity. In many cases, people come outside of class time to use campus facilities – be it working out at the H&K center, using the library or grabbing a quick bite to eat at the Milo Bail Student Center.
To avoid the UNO parking system becoming a total nightmare, the best advice I can give to an incoming student would be to first plan on arriving early to locate a parking stall close to your classes. Second, become aware of the UNO shuttle bus time schedule and pick-up and drop-off locations. The shuttle buses allow students to park on either campus, transporting students back and forth from locations approximately every 15 minutes. The shuttles are a free service available to everyone through the university. Finally, my advice is to use caution while scavenging for a last-minute parking spot in order to avoid accidents and personal injuries.
For students desiring to purchase a UNO parking permit there are eight different available options ranging from $132 to $285 annually. Of those permits, you can get day or night passes, specific garage passes or even a surface pass. The money collected from the parking permits, any fines from violating the parking policies and the pay-to-park areas is reported to go to the maintenance of the parking lots, the cost of snow removal, parking patrols and operating of the Parking Service Offices, according to UNO’s online website under Parking FAQs.
At this point, if you believe that the money you pay for your permits is too much for the parking privileges and services that are provided from these fees, you should note that the parking costs and fees from UNO’s peer universities. The University of Denver, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Wichita State University on average are considerably more expensive than your university, according to UNO’s website.
There are also several other ways students can get to campus. Options include: carpooling with friends or classmates – there is a carpool permit available to purchase, as well; taking Omaha Metro public buses, free when using your MavCard; utilizing bike paths and trails; riding electric scooters; or being dropped off on campus by family.
The first semester of college will seem less daunting as you begin to master the many aspects of parking on campus.