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MTSU offers extended hours, drive-thrus to tick pa...

MTSU offers extended hours, drive-thrus to tick parking permits off students’ fall to-do lists

Carol Cuff of MTSU Housing and Residential Life checks in with colleagues by radio in this August 2020 file photo while housing director Michelle Safewright, left, and secretary April Branson talk with a student picking up a parking permit for the new academic year in a special drive-through checkpoint. Students are moving into MTSU dorms for the 2021-22 academic year through Aug. 21 by individual appointment again to help maintain health safety conditions. The university's Parking and Transportation Services is joining the move-in checkpoint line — and repeating its drive-through permit pickup for all students Aug. 23-25 — to make the process more efficient. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation Services is helping students cut stress and check a critical item off their fall 2022 back-to-school lists by offering them more opportunities to get their campus parking permits until classes begin Monday, Aug. 22.

Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 9, the office, located at 215 City View Drive between East Main Street and Alumni Drive, will be open 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays through Friday, Aug. 19, to help both commuter and resident students avoid the usual start-of-classes wait lines.

MTSU Parking and Transportation Services logo

Students living on campus can choose to get their parking permits during this fall’s move-in days Aug. 17-21, an event that includes all the housing check-in points in a single location: the Champion Way Parking Garage.

Both commuter and resident students can get permits Aug. 22-24 via drive-thru at the parking office on City View Drive. The drive-thru will operate 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Aug. 22; 7:30 a.m.-noon Tuesday, Aug. 23; and 7:30-10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24.

The office’s inside operating hours also will be extended to 6 p.m. Aug. 22 to Thursday, Aug. 25, to help students, faculty and staff who need more help registering their vehicles.

“We find that our students aren’t all here Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 to 4, so extending (the hours) in the evening and days of the week, I think, helps us hit all our student body population,” said Tracy Read, director of the Office of Parking and Transportation Services.

Carol Cuff of MTSU Housing and Residential Life checks in with colleagues by radio in this August 2020 file photo while housing director Michelle Safewright, left, and secretary April Branson talk with a student picking up a parking permit for the new academic year in a special drive-through checkpoint. Students are moving into MTSU dorms for the 2021-22 academic year through Aug. 21 by individual appointment again to help maintain health safety conditions. The university's Parking and Transportation Services is joining the move-in checkpoint line — and repeating its drive-through permit pickup for all students Aug. 23-25 — to make the process more efficient. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)
Carol Cuff of MTSU Housing and Residential Life checks in with colleagues by radio in this August 2020 file photo while housing director Michelle Safewright, left, and secretary April Branson talk with a student picking up a parking permit for the new academic year at a special drive-thru checkpoint. Students will be returning soon to MTSU for the 2022-23 academic year, and Parking and Transportation Services personnel will distribute their new parking permits via special extended hours and at a drive-thru operation. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

Parking and Transportation Services first offered drive-thru permit pickup in August 2020 to keep motorists and employees apart and safer during the pandemic. The practice continued after the department moved into its City View Drive building in January 2021.

“I complained about … all the negative things that came out of the pandemic, but for our work purposes, I believe it did help us find a better way to distribute (parking) permits,” Read said, “especially since we moved, and this new building can’t hold as many human beings as our old building could. We were saying, ‘Uh, what will we do when we get there?’ but the pandemic answered that question for us.”

Counting cars on campus

As the university has returned to in-person classes and events while still expanding its online and distance-learning courses, the number of commuter-student permits has continued to decline slightly each year.

Permits for students living on campus dipped proportionately when rooms changed to single-occupancy status in 2020 and 2021, but the return to regular housing operations means those permit totals “have maintained and are about back where they were pre-pandemic,” Read said.

MTSU issued 8,827 student parking permits for academic year 2021-22, not including the permits that renew each semester. Faculty and staff permits added another 3,447 to the total number of vehicles registered to park on campus last year, giving Parking and Transportation staffers at least 12,274 placards to process for campus drivers.

MTSU’s fall 2021 enrollment was 20,857 full- and part-time students, and the university had 2,193 full-time employees, according to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research.

Michelle Safewright of MTSU’s Parking and Transportation Services gives a big thumbs-up to a student picking up a parking permit for the new academic year as colleague April Branson, left, looks on with a smile in a special drive-thru checkpoint in this August 2020 file photo. Students will be returning to MTSU for fall 2022 classes on Monday, Aug. 22, and Parking and Transportation Services personnel will distribute their new parking permits via special extended hours and at a drive-thru operation. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

Students will again need their university ID and “M number,” or MTSU ID number, and proof of paid tuition, as well as the license plate number of the vehicle they’ll be driving on campus, to get their new permits.

PDFs with details and maps of the move-in day and drive-thru plans are available at the “Fall 2022 Student Permit Information” link at https://mtsu.edu/parking.

Parking is included in the Student Program Services Fee each student pays according to their enrolled course hours each semester. That total also includes technology access, postal service, health services and facilities fees.

Students, faculty and staff with state-issued placards or plates for handicapped-accessible parking must visit the Parking and Transportation Services office for a fall 2022 MTSU parking permit.

For more information about parking at MTSU, visit https://mtsu.edu/parking or email parking@mtsu.edu

MTSU begins its 2022-23 academic year on Aug. 22 with the fall 2022 semester. For information about MTSU anytime, visit https://mtsu.edu.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)


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