Story by Grace Potts and videography by Leah Wilkinson
Bellarmine University implemented a new parking policy this basketball season, offering reserved spots near Knights Hall for up to $350. With these spaces being sold, students must move their cars three hours before tip-off.
When communicating parking changes to students, Bellarmine athletics needs to be repetitive and persistent.
Lots formally known as L2a and L2b are being used for the reserved parking spaces. These lots surround Knights Hall and are usually used by commuter students.
Some commuter students still were not aware of new parking regulations Wednesday afternoon, just hours before the lot was supposed to be clear.
Bellarmine’s first home game was Nov. 8 at 5:30 p.m. Students were required to move their cars by 2:30 p.m. The next game was on a Saturday, meaning many students were not parked in the lot. However, on Wednesday the game began at 7 p.m., meaning students had to remove their cars by 4 p.m.
Thus far, there have been two email messages sent to students, info-graphics on the televisions across campus and signs posted in the lots affected by the new reserved parking. This may seem like enough communication, but many students were still unaware of and unsure of the policy.
Freshman Logan Sutherland is a commuter and normally parks in the lot being used for the reserved basketball parking. He said he knew about having to move his car, but he thought it only was on weekends.
“It’s hard for me to find a parking spot in general. I already get here two hours earlier than my classes,” Sutherland said.
On Nov. 4, an email was sent to commuters and explained the new policy. It detailed where students can park and said signs would be posted on game days. The email warned students may be ticketed if they do not move their cars.
Another email, containing most of the same information, was sent by Director of Public Safety Debbie Fox to all students on Nov. 5.
Many students do not check their Bellarmine emails and even if they do, they skim through and read only what they have to. Though missing these emails may be the students’ fault, it’s obvious that it is common for students not to get the message. Sending only two emails was insufficient communication.
Freshman commuter Cayla Roberts was completely unaware that she would have to move her car on game days.
“I’m confused. Why haven’t they told me?” she said.
Another freshman commuter, Makinzee White, usually parks in the lot as well.
“It’s not too inconvenient. I have early classes, so I’m able to park in front of the Surf, but for other people I know it’s pretty inconvenient because they have to park in freshman (parking).”
White said reminder emails would be beneficial, so students don’t have to search the dates for basketball games.
Knights Media Network reached out to Assistant AD for Event Management Chris Cooper for a follow-up comment about plans for future communication to students, and he did not respond.
Director of Public Safety Debbie Fox said the Office of Public Safety had not received any feedback from students since the parking changes.
There are other options for communication beside Bellarmine’s preferred email and signage.
Students use their phones throughout the day and a text alert could remind commuters they need to move their cars.
With the next game still a couple weeks away, Nov. 27, students are likely to forget over the break that they must move their cars. Because of this, an additional reminder needs to be sent to students, especially the ones eligible to park in that lot.
When students return from break, flyers could serve as a reminder of the parking policy. On the first week back, a flyer containing the date and times of games and the times cars have to be moved would ensure that most who park in the lot would be reminded of the change.
The final November games are Nov. 27 at 3 p.m., Nov. 29 at 3 p.m. and Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. — all days the university is on Thanksgiving Break or a weekend. Still, cars without the priority passes must be removed from the lots three hours prior.