Sonoma State’s parking policy gets revamped

President Judy K. Sakaki has approved several changes to Sonoma State University’s parking policy in response to popular complaints among students.

On Thursday, the university sent an email update to all students and staff which outlined the details of the policy changes. However, the revision officially went into effect on March 1.

The revision changed the university’s parking policy in several different ways. Those with general or housing parking permits are now allowed to park in reserved parking lots between the hours of 5 p.m. and 6 a.m..

Those with general parking permits are now allowed to park in housing parking lots between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. 

Concern regarding the availability of parking on campus has been an increasingly hot topic among students.

“When I first started at Sonoma State parking wasn’t an issue,” said senior environmental studies and planning major Tomas Zavala. “But, now more than ever there’s so many people trying to get on campus. I think it has to do with the amount of students that the school is admitting.”

According to Cody Smith, interim parking manager for Police and Safety Services, the policy changes were based on recommendations that were brought forward by Associated Students. “We are happy to meet the needs of Sonoma State University students, employees and visitors by adapting our policies based on the continuing changes to our campus,” said Smith.

Under the new policy, those with reserved parking permits can now park in housing parking lots 24/7.

Smith said the amendment that allows those with general or housing permits to park in reserved lots after 5 p.m. aims to accommodate students with evening classes. This way they don’t have to walk too far from their car at night.

Olivia Marshall, a third-year mathematics major, is one of the many students who will benefit from this change in policy.

“Most of the time I just have to go to the Green Music Center because there’s always parking there,” said Marshall. “But, I usually have class on the other side of campus. If it’s at night, it sucks to have to walk in the cold and dark. It’s scary.”

Although the opening of the reserved lots in the evening will make it easier for students to get from their car to their later classes, Acting Chief of Police David Dougherty said that Police Services will continue to provide an escort service for anyone who feels uncomfortable travelling alone.

“I think the new policy will definitely make things better,” said Zavala. “Before this, it felt like reserved parking wasn’t even for students, but for people who were coming on campus for events. This seems like a step in the right direction.”

In addition to the previously mentioned changes, the updated parking policy also clarifies rules surrounding the new Plug-In Vehicle charging stations, which can be found in parking lots L and D. 

The policy states that any Plug-In Vehicle is permitted to use the charging stations as long as it has any valid Sonoma State or California State University parking permit, and it is actively charging for the whole time that it is parked there.