Church says UNA students violate parking policies on lot

Cars fill the College View Church of Christ parking lot daily. The church allows students to park in the lot between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The UNA Police Department has heard many complaints from College View Church of Christ about students not following their parking policies.

Officials said students park on the lot during restricted times.

“They do this as a courtesy for us,” said Chief of Police Kevin Gillilan. “They’re a church, not a parking lot. If push came to shove, I’m sure they’d retract to do the best for the church.”

Some parking violations on the lot included parking during restricted times, parking in areas designated for church staff and delivery drivers, and parking cars in the lot overnight and during weekends.

“At the beginning of the year, the main issue was students parking in spaces marked for church staff,” he said. “They were ignoring those marked spaces. The students have been good to adjust and are now parking in the allowed areas.”

The church’s minister, Kenney Moorer, said the church wants to keep the spaces around and behind the building free for church staff members and delivery drop-offs.

“I know the church has always been agreeable to helping,” he said. “We understand parking is at a premium and we want to help. Our lots are free most of the time and we want to be a good neighbor to the university.”

The church sits on Pine Street next to the baseball and practice fields across the street from Mattielou Hall. The church’s lot provides 50 to 60 parking spaces for commuter student use.

The church’s proximity to the university is ideal for commuter students, Gillilan said.

Moorer said students are welcome to park in the church’s upper lot except during service times and overnight.

“During the day when we’re not meeting, we’re glad for them to park on our lot,” Moorer said. “We want the students to feel free to do that.”

The police department sends emails with parking updates to all students and faculty. The police sent at least seven emails this semester containing correct parking information related to parking at College View Church of Christ.

The only corrective action the police department currently has is writing parking citations and placing boots on cars parked in the lot after hours, Gillilan said.

“But, (placing a boot on the car) means the car is still on the church property,” he said. “It doesn’t fix the problem.”

He said the church asked the police department to help students better understand the church’s parking policies.

Moorer said the church has no desire to tow any vehicles off the church premises. Educating students about the parking issue is the correct action.

Freshman Dre Jones said he knows people who have parked in the lot, but he has never parked there before.

“I’ve rode with some band members who parked there for practice, but we only parked there during the daytime,” he said.