Parking scenario affects students

Sonoma State University was founded in 1961 with a student body of 274.  Since then, Sonoma State has grown to a student population of 9,120; where as approximately 3,100 of them are residential students, primarily freshmen and sophomores.

This semester, Sonoma State has the highest enrollment rate in its history, which in turn affects parking on campus.

“Parking is super variable, especially since I come [to campus] for noon class. It’s ridiculous,” said graduate student Mark Castro. “I used to be able to park in either the housing lot to the west of the library or in parking lot G. Now I park in one of the far lots.  It’s just not worth it to drive around.“

Sophomore Michelle Nozzari believes parking on campus is a challenge. She compared parking on campus to playing Russian roulette and Tetris.

“Sometimes all the parking lots are full so you have to park at the Green Music Center and hike all the way to class,” said Nozzari. “For me it’s scary to walk far to get to my car after my night class, especially because the sexual assault that occurred a few weeks ago, happened right by my class.”

Junior Julia Freeman made her class schedule around the parking issue.

“So far parking has been pretty easy, but I scheduled my classes so I could find parking easily, even if that meant taking early classes and getting [up] really early,” said Freeman. 

President Ruben Armiñana told the STAR there is plenty of parking on campus. He said the Green Music Center always has parking and that the distance between that parking lot and the center of campus is about the same distance as the Ives Hall parking lot to the center of campus.

“In many cases it is not the lack of parking, it is the lack of more convenient parking,” said Armiñana during a discussion with the STAR.

Chief of Police Nate Johnson and Parking Services could not be reached for comment. The parking regulation states what each parking pass means. General parking permits are valid in lots E, F, J, G, H, L, M, N and O lots only.  General permits are also valid in the Housing lots between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Housing permits are strictly enforced after 5 p.m.  Housing permits are valid in all general lots and in all lots surrounding the residence halls. Reserved parking permits are valid in any general parking lot or in lots A, D and on Juniper Lane.  Reserved permits are only valid in housing lots between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

All parking information is located on the Sonoma State Parking Services web page.  

When one receives a parking citation, the following three rules need to be taken into consideration. Failure to pay a citation within 21 days leads to an increase in the fine by $20, if payment is not received after that, the vehicle registration is held by the DMV and failure to appeal within 21 days waives one’s right to future appeal.

Parking fines start at $18 and reach $408. Parking in a handicap spot will cost the driver $288. Fines need to be paid within the first 21 days or an increase of $20 is added on to the original fine.

For further questions or comments feel free to contact Parking Services at (707) 664-4444 or by email at parking@sonoma.edu.