Limited parking spots in UNT commuter parking lots leave many Graduate students in Graduate Assistantship positions pleading for access to full-time professional staff parking lots on campus.
With the spring semester in full effect, GA’s from various departments on campus are recognizing the difficulty of parking at the university while working in professional roles in their pursuit of graduate degrees.
“Although there is nothing wrong with undergraduate students, I am forced to park with them even though I am considered to be professional staff at the university,” West hall Housing Graduate Assistant Gabrian King said.
In situations where King needs to meet with upper-level fulltime staff within the housing department, he is extremely limited in parking options at residence halls without having access to the “D” parking spots reserved for faculty and staff.
“I would suggest that UNT parking should assign graduate assistants “D” parking permits that are already accessible to their coworkers and supervisors,” King said.
“I’m here ALL the time; I live where I work. So we need more parking freedom.”
Outside of the housing department, other Graduate Assistants agree that their experience as a Graduate Assistant is affected by the minimal parking spots available to them on a daily basis.
“Graduate Assistants have the option to park in General parking or Premium parking among undergraduate students,” Orientation and Transition Program Graduate Assistant Quyen Tu said.
“Between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. you can not find a parking spot at all. I have to schedule my work hours around my class schedule and parking availability.”
According to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, “An assistantship is offered by a department to provide financial support to a student who is pursuing graduate studies and who agrees to enter into an employment relationship with the university.”
However, the Toulouse Graduate School Teaching Fellows who hold the same level of authority as Graduate Assistants do have the opportunity to purchase parking permits that are reserved solely for them through UNT parking.
“There are days when even I struggle to find a parking space,” Coordinator for Mentoring and Class Identity Programs, Aundrea Caraway said.
“I would be interested to see what giving graduate students “D” parking would look like in terms of parking, and if our fulltime staff would still have parking available to them.”
Graduate Assistant for Men’s Programs at West Hall
Tu Quyen Bui
Story by: Andrea Masamba
Professor Mark Donald