Parking at Nicholls State University is, yet again, the biggest campus-wide issue amongst commuting students.
With Nicholls being such a small campus as it is, there is not much room for commuters to park. Consequently, due to the National Guard being stationed, there is even less space to park.
Students have taken to social media to vent about their parking issues, with many students using the “Nicholls Textbook sell and buy through facebook!!” group. Even though this group’s original intent was for students to buy and sell course materials, many students use it for discussing campus issues.
Holli Gervais, junior Nursing major from Thibodaux, felt that the parking before Hurricane Ida was completely fine. However, she elaborated that due to the National Guard taking up such a great amount of valuable parking space, it adds to the parking challenges. Gervais feels that by moving the National Guard to the visitors’ side of the stadium, many of these challenges would be averted.
“There’s no reason people should have to wake up multiple hours earlier than their class starts just to get to class on time,” Gervais said.
Many commuters live about an hour away from campus, and having to wake up hours earlier is challenging for many.
Caroline Parfait, sophomore Elementary Education major from Houma, reported that she now has to leave over 2 hours earlier than usual just to find a parking spot.
Madison Lebourgeois, senior Criminal Justice major, now has to get to campus over an hour and a half earlier from her hometown in Gonzales for parking.
Luckily, many professors have been understanding of the parking issues.
Ali Poimboeuf, junior Pre-Dental Hygiene major from Thibodaux, said that one of her professors is letting the students Zoom until all parking lots are available.
Lebourgeois’s professors have similar mindsets, so she is also now able to Zoom.
“I don’t wish to commute 1 hour just to struggle for parking and be late to class,” Lebourgeois said.
Chief Alexander Barnes, the director of University Police, stated that the National Guard is now mostly off of campus. There are now only 20 tents remaining on campus, and those should be removed within the next week.
When asked about parking tickets, Barnes cleared up that parking tickets are in fact not being issued at this moment.
“We have actually been showing leniency out of respect for the hardships our students have been going through right now,” Barnes said. “The tickets we have written were for ridiculous violations.”
As of Oct. 7, University Police have only issued three parking tickets. The violations included someone parking on the sidewalk near the tennis courts on the curb, someone parking on the grass by Rienzi Circle, and an unhandicapped person parking in a handicapped area.