Can Confirm: Parking not Available


By: Mason Seabolt

Student parking at the University of North Georgia’s Dahlonega campus has been a topic of contempt for many students, even before the construction of the new building. With the establishment of the new Mike Cottrell College of Business building, students lost several available parking spaces for their nearby classes and are becoming growingly frustrated with the lack of parking.  

Chase Smith, a senior political science major, gives his opinion on the parking situation, “It sucks. When construction began for the new business school, it kind of hurt commuter parking as we lost a sizeable lot.” 

Photo by Mason Seabolt

Back in the fall of 2020, UNG’s website reported that enrollment at the Dahlonega campus had reached 7,322. It can be assumed that this number has increased steadily since with the decreases in available online classes and the threat of COVID-19.

According to April Robinson, a transportation supervisor for Parking Services, there are a total of 5,434 parking spaces on the Dahlonega campus with 3,620 of those available to students, both residents and commuters. This shows there are less than half the amount of available parking spots than there are students.  

When Sarah Scroggs, a senior biology major, heard about the large discrepancy in students and spaces, she wasn’t surprised. “That is an astonishing fact, but at the same time, it tracks with my experiences so I’m not all that surprised.” 

Smith also commented on the disparity of students and parking spots, “That’s definitely a shock to see how disproportionate the number of spots to students is. I think students feel it especially the first few weeks of classes and finals when the lots are packed, and finals are stressing everyone and throw having to find a spot on top of that is an unfortunate situation. But to see a 2:1 ratio of students to spots makes you wonder how they are comfortable with the numbers.” 

Photo by Mason Seabolt

To offset the effects of the new building on parking, UNG started offering shuttle services from the recreation fields. However, with the overall ineffectiveness of the service due to only having two shuttles, they stopped shuttling from the recreation fields in the fall of 2021.  

Another way that UNG has tried to combat the parking issues is by providing a parking map on the UNG Mobile app that updates with the status of each lot. Again though, this has shown to be unsuccessful, as they don’t update the lot statuses as often as claimed. The app states that it will update every 15 to 30 minutes from 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. on normal class days, though some days it doesn’t update for hours at a time.

With UNG’s campus being landlocked in the middle of downtown Dahlonega, there are not many places to expand for more parking. Students agree that the only way to resolve this is by adding more parking decks.

Sophie Bennett, a senior biology major, supports the construction of more parking decks, “I believe UNG needs at least one to two more parking decks or spaces strictly for commuters and residents. It is very difficult finding close parking to buildings without having to go to other decks. I believe more parking decks would allow students to remain closer to their classes as well as [having] less driving and walking and wasting time.”