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Life > Experiences

Student’s View on the USFSP Parking Garage 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USFSP chapter.

I spy something with my little eye…  

A trembling building,   

Elevators that sometimes work,  

Broken signs,  

A big red flier that screams “WANT A PARKING VIOLATION? Guess not. THEN PARK WITHIN LINES.”   

Oh, that is our USFSP parking garage! Nevertheless, the USFSP parking garage has its benefits for its students. It is not all that bad.   

The USFSP parking garage is a 7-story building that accommodates guest visitors, students, and faculty members. The parking garage is within walking distance of the classes and the three dorm buildings: Ibis Hall (USC), Pelican Apartments (RHO), and Osprey (RHT). There are not many parking spaces during busy hours, but the parking garage has more spots than the lots. According to the USFSP parking service website, each level is for a specific type of permit. This article will specifically mention stories that happen in levels 2-4: the visitor and commuter level.   

The purpose of this article is to go over some commuter students’ experiences in the parking garage. I interviewed three commuters on their experiences at the garage. Michael is a senior and has used the garage for about 3 years. Alyssa is a Junior and has used the garage for about 2 years. Graham is a sophomore and has used the garage for about 2 years. I specifically chose commuters because they use the garage more frequently than the residents.   

Her Campus (HC): How frequently do you use the garage?   

Alyssa: “I use [it] very frequently. I use it like four times a week. I sometimes leave my car at the garage on the weekend if there [is] a storm.”    

Graham: “Twice a week.” 

Michael: “I use [it] very frequently. I park my car in the garage and walk downtown [instead of] finding parking downtown.”  

HC: If you could describe your experiences at the USFSP parking garage in one word, what would it be and why?   

A: “I would describe my parking experience as tedious. I don’t feel like the parking garage has enough space to support the students.”

G: “A safe place to park because the police keep [it] safe. There are cameras to keep watch.”

M: “It’s a nightmare to get out of sometimes. Especially during the times when students get out of class, and I want to go home but I can’t because there is a long line to get out of the garage. [When] there are large events that happen on campus like the career fair, I find it more difficult to navigate in and out of the garage.”

HC: What is one positive experience you had at the USFSP parking garage so far?   

A: “I like [how] regulated the parking garage is because the police make me feel safe. I also like the view of the garage.”

G: “There is space in the parking garage. I do not have to worry too much about finding a space to park.”

M: “It can be peaceful at night. Sometimes you will get the [occasional] car zooming down from the 7th level, but it is peaceful. Sometimes my friends and I just sit in the car and eat our Chick-fil-A.”  

HC: What is one negative experience you had at the USFSP parking garage so far?   

A: “I really hate how the students don’t really follow the regulations and speed over corners. It also bothers me when students smoke a lot and [the] smell sticks in the elevators.”

G: “I got scratches on my car. I told the police [and] they cannot find who did it.”

M: “I hated the smell in the parking garage. The stairs would smell like somebody vomited [in there. However,] the parking garage does not smell as terrible as [it] used to be.”

HC: What is a shocking event you witnessed at the USFSP parking garage so far?   

A: “[Someone] decided to smear honey mustard [on] the elevator wall, and it stayed there for a month. It grosses me out that people mess up public property.”

G: “I got a citation for [being] a smidge on the parking line. Yet the car that is a few spots away from mine is over the line and has no citation.”

M: “I wouldn’t say it’s the most shocking event I have seen. But it’s still shocking. I cannot believe how many people cannot park! I have seen [a] golf cart not within parking lines. You would think the red flier sign that says ‘park within the lines’ would help, but it does not.”

HC: Is there any other experience you had at the USFSP parking garage you want to share?   

A: “My biggest issue with the parking garage [is] the fourth-floor elevator doesn’t work. I can’t use the buttons to call for the elevator and the fourth floor tends to be where most [commuters park].”

G: “There needs to be a better system for visitors. [When] visitors come to the parking garage, [they are sometimes] confused about how to pay [for the daily permit].”

M: “I saw two firefighters trying to help like 6 students out of the parking garage elevator. I do not think that is entirely surprising because there are always elevator problems on campus. [Another thing that is] also not surprising is car accidents. I have not seen any major ones but not every student is amazing at driving. It is Florida after all.”   

After interviewing these three students, there are similar issues. According to them, the garage is not entirely the perfect place to park your car, but it is not entirely the worst place to park your car. The campus is currently working on improvements to the parking garage.   

The USFSP campus does a great job informing students about new improvements to the USFSP parking garage. They use emails to spread information on new improvement projects and construction occurring. Recently, USFSP Announcements emailed students about a new garage safety project, informing resident students should not park on the 7th level for their and contractors’. The details of the project are unknown. However, the campus does advise students well on where and where not to park when construction or safety improvements occur. If the improvement projects enhance the parking garage’s structure, we can expect a better parking garage in the future.   

Mikaela Badilla is a sophomore at USFSP studying Business Analytics. She is from St. Pete, FL. She is interested in event planning.