New Transportation Services area opens on campus

Transportation Services Director Hollon McCullar assists Hannah McKinney at the transportation services desk in the Guillot University Center. Students will have to pick up their parking decals in the GUC this fall.

Editor-in-Chief Jasmine Fleming

When students head to collect their new parking decals this fall, they will need to bypass the UNA Police Department and visit the Guillot University Center instead.

Transportation Services will now be on the first floor of the GUC at the desk next to the elevators and Einstein’s Brothers Bagels, and the office is open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Transportation Services will cover vehicle registration, permits, parking enforcement and eventually bus routing, said Chief of University Police Kevin Gillilan.

Students and employees will need to stop by the new location before Sept. 2 to receive a new parking decal, regardless of the expiration date, Gillilan said in an email. They can register their vehicle beforehand at una.edu/transportation, the new Transportation Services site.

One of the biggest reasons for the relocation was a security concern, Gillilan said.

“(We had) folks that came in that had inquiries about police cases, open cases that they have,” he said. “And (we had) people come in about parking issues. We wanted to separate those things for a myriad of reasons, one being that we want to protect confidentiality.”

Another goal for the relocation is to have a more convenient space, said Hollon McCullar, Coordinator of Transportation Services.

“We have a centralized area that’s convenient for all students, commuters and residents, and faculty to be able to find us and come take care of their parking needs and questions,” McCullar said. “It’s been really easy to find and an easy location for everybody. I think this will work out great for the students.”

Senior Casey Wright said she is excited about the move because it will be simpler for everyone who needs to interact with Transportation Services.

“Some people don’t even know where Keller Hall and the Police Department are,” she said.

When she first needed to go to the UNA Police Department, Wright said she struggled to find it and had to ask people for help.

Gillilan said he also hopes the move will help clarify misconceptions with the role of UNA police.

“One issue that we were battling against too is folks with parking issues had the perception that the UNA Police Department was writing all these parking tickets,” he said. “In actuality, they’re not. The folks that do the parking enforcement are not police officers. They’re civilian employees.”

UNA PD focuses on taking police reports, investigating accidents and criminal incidents, patrol, safeguarding and emergency planning, he said.

“If UNA PD tickets, it’s most likely for speeding, running a red light or something else covered by state law,” Gillilan said.

The move could also help with any negative feelings about approaching the police department office, he said.

“A lot of folks don’t feel comfortable coming to the police department, either because they don’t want anybody to think they’ve gotten in trouble for something,” he said. “So, we’re hoping that that will provide them a convenient, more positive avenue to get their parking issues addressed.”

With the new location, Transportation Services staff hopes to address many of the concerns people on campus currently have, especially with parking, McCullar said.

“I just want to ask everyone to be patient with our parking issues,” she said. “Parking is an issue that the university faces, and hopefully we will be able to expand parking in the near future. We always want people to reach out to us if they have concerns about where to park.”