Gold Pass shock students

At first, two Tech students thought an Oct. 4 email from university police was a scam.

The email informed them they won a Gold Zone parking pass in exchange for their Red Zone parking pass.

“I couldn’t believe it. It seemed too good to be true. I almost ignored the email. I’m so happy I didn’t,” Malaysia Carrick said.

Carrick, a freshman communication major, said she used to struggle finding a parking space. She settled with parking at a friend’s house on Woodland Avenue and walking 12 minutes to campus everyday, she said.

She is one of 75 students the University Parking Committee randomly selected this semester in the lottery for a Gold Zone parking pass.

“Having a gold parking pass takes a lot of stress off of me,” Josh Bean, a Wildlife and Fisheries Science major, said. “Now, I don’t need to leave way before class just to search for a parking spot.”

Claire Stinson, the vice president for Planning and Finance, said she and her team decided to give students another parking option since construction eliminated 1,100 Red Zone parking spaces this semester.

“When we started changing the parking plan on campus, there were discussions about how we were going to manage this, because it was a big change,” Stinson said

Students can use the gold parking pass for a year. The unclaimed parking passes are placed back into the lottery for other students to potentially be selected, she said.

Stinson said she hopes to continue the lottery every year and increase the number of students who can get a gold pass.

Campus police constantly monitor the Gold Zone parking to determine if it is being used. If it isn’t, campus police will notify the Parking Committee. This committee then decides if it should be changed to Red Zone parking, Stinson said. This process has already been done twice this semester.

 Stinson said she also appreciates feedback from students.

“If they feel like a parking lot is being underutilized or if they have any suggestions feel free to email me, we do look at them and do what we can,” Stinson said.