UNA restaurant employees battle for parking spots

Not only do students have to fight the parking war, on-campus food service employees do as well.

“I’ve been late to work before because I couldn’t find a parking spot,” said Sodexo employee Marisa Holland.

She said she has to get to campus an hour before her shift in order to find parking.

Interim Police Chief Mark Parker said faculty and staff, including food service employees, are allowed to park in green lines on campus.

“They prefer us to park in the green lines, but there are never any of those,” Holland said.

Junior Meridith Ginn said employees have the right to park in faculty spaces.

“I feel like having to get here early to find parking is just part of the job,” Ginn said. “At the same time, I think they should have designated parking. They are employees just like the professors.”

Einstein Bros. Bagels employee Patoka Barnett has a handicap-parking permit, but sometimes she is not able to find open handicap spaces on campus.

“I wish that parking at UNA was easier and closer to where I need to be on campus,” Barnett said.

Sophomore Adam Benefield said UNA employees should have the right to park in green lines, but not to designated food service employee spaces.

“They shouldn’t have special privileges,” he said. “There isn’t room on campus for special spaces for them.”

Junior Jessie Wampler said finding parking is part of working at UNA.

Wampler and sophomore Brandon Creasy both said food service employees should be allowed to park in faculty spaces.

Due to the location of UNA, there is very limited space to expand campus.

“You can buy two houses in Florence and still not have even a full acre,” Parker said. “Available space around the university is very limited.”

Despite the lack of parking on campus, there are other close off-campus locations to park.

“I always find a spot at Kilby School,” senior Will Corey said. “Ninety-five percent of the time I am able to find a spot over there.”

Junior Allison Lawrence said she never got an on-campus parking tag because she never had all of the appropriate documents together.

“I’m an entertainment industry major, so parking on Pine Street is more convenient for my classes anyway,” she said.

Parker said parking will improve as construction winds down on campus.