By April Wilson, Senior Staff Writer
On Tuesday, Jan 10, only two days into the spring semester, all students holding access to campus parking garages were unable to gain admittance to park their cars. The incident lasted until after 4 p.m. Wednesday. Anyone who had purchased access had to go to Parking Services and have their MavCard copied to restore its function.
The incident upset many, due to inconvenience and confusion. The traffic Tuesday morning to enter the East Structure behind the Arts and Sciences building extended out onto Dodge Street to the north and into Elmwood Park to the south. There were security guards allowing students into the garage and informing of them of the situation sporadically throughout the day Tuesday and Wednesday.
Many students reported otherwise. “Wednesday afternoon cars were stopped far back and turning around was very awkward,” said a student who didn’t want to be identified.
The line at Parking Services was a 15-minute wait mid-morning Tuesday while employees made copies of the front and back of every MavCard. Student employees said that there had been a system outage that caused the problem and it would be fixed by Wednesday evening. However, the anonymous student said it was well after 4 p.m. Wednesday before the garage was operational again.
There were additional student complaints about the manner in which Parking Services handled the issue. No emails or notifications went out via university email or UNO Parking’s main page or their Facebook page. However, many students took to Facebook to comment on the situation.
One post read “apparently they deactivated our Mav cards for the East parking garage. According to the woman at UNO Parking Services they did not send us an announcement telling students about this, but rather ‘they’re telling us now” as we call in to ask why we can’t park. Good communication UNO. Just superb.’
“They (Parking Services employees) were rude, snotty and generally unhelpful. They should have better and at least notified us. Many people were late to class because of this,” said the anonymous source.
Students pay $150 annually for permits to park on campus while faculty and staff pay $204 annually. Access to the East Garage behind ASH is an additional $100 annually for students and $90 for faculty and staff.
“Having to pay $100 and not being able to use the garage is extremely frustrating,” said the student.
Parking Services was unable to be reached for comment prior to publication.