OPINION: Parking Predicaments


Conner Pribble

Searching for parking on campus is a shared experience between students. Photo courtesy of pexels.com

With almost 16,000 students, UNO is a very diverse campus containing a broad range of beautifully different people, where no two students are alike. But sometimes, it can be difficult to form relationships with other individuals, so here are some suggestions. If there is ever a time where you are having trouble relating to someone, in person or on Zoom, bring up parking at UNO. Since most classes are currently hybridized in some way, there is a slight chance that you will receive less engagement while online, but perhaps this will become your opportunity to educate the novice or lament with your seasoned peers. Whichever mode of transportation you choose, it will likely draw in crowds at any given time. After your levelheaded conferences and creation of a new student assembly, you will be left with too many friends to handle as your discussions spark new passions in other scholars who are now just dying to improve the UNO parking predicament.

This “predicament” could be argued as a part of UNO’s initiation. If you haven’t grinded your teeth down to a nub, pulled out copious amounts of hair, or cursed the gods above out of frustration from being unable to find a single open parking spot, then you may be unable to consider yourself a Maverick. Every year thousands of students strategize the most effective route to get to class on time, some plan an early arrival time, others purchase a parking pass, while a few of us just roll the dice. Whichever one you are, too many of our classmates fall short and are left stranded, with nowhere to go.

This subject is in fact such a hot topic on campus, that at one point during my collegiate career, a previous classmate of mine developed a whole presentation on the idea. They proposed that it would be cheaper to risk an invalid parking permit fee less than five times (coming in at $120 for four violations), than purchase the recently reduced price of a $230 full year parking pass for students. Keep in mind that at the fifth violation you are dubbed as a “Nuisance Parker” and become subject to more fines and so by no means do I recommend this approach, but it is a curious idea for the daredevil inside.

Other members of the UNO family have developed their own means of the parking plight. In this instance, a student took action and created a petition on Change.org calling for a change in management. But more information on that can be found here, on The Gateway’s webpage.

If parking on campus is financially not an option and you prefer to keep your record clean, there are other ways in which you can arrive to class on time. My personal favorite is to park at faraway locations not on campus. Not only was this method cost effective, but it was also a good form of aerobic activity and improved my cardiovascular system significantly. During the time in which I had in person classes; I would regularly rest my car at Memorial Park. But, after a few too many rain showers, I realized that was an unnecessarily long stretch to walk, and so now I stick with parking in Warren Buffet’s driveway.

If this alternative doesn’t strike your fancy, or you live on campus and don’t feel like driving to class, there is always the option of using the UNO bus shuttles. The buses have various pick up and drop off locations sprinkled around both the Dodge and Scott campuses, circling through every 15-20 minutes. In all honesty this is a solid go-to if you are willing to relinquish your independence and arrive for pick up, on time. For the commuter group, keep in mind that if you are late, you’re essentially back at square one, which will most likely launch you into another heated episode of dishonorable vocabulary directed towards the rest of the gods you missed earlier.

Hopefully, after reading all of this, you learned a thing or two and maybe even discovered something new within yourself. With a topic as fascinating as parking, it’s hard to not walk away without feeling impacted. I know I have. So next time you’re sitting in class or participating in a Zoom break out room, use this information to break the ice, and connect with your fellow Omaha Mavericks. After all, we’re all in the same boat, searching for that one open spot.