The Daily Gamecock

Students shut out of parking at Coliseum

Business construction, circus cited as causes of overcrowding


For business students, construction on the Darla Moore School of Business promises shiny new facilities, but for students who attend classes in the Carolina Coliseum, the new construction contributes to an old problem: campus parking.  

Andre Perez, a fourth-year information science student, lives 40 minutes away from the university and said finding a parking space in a student lot near the Coliseum requires getting to campus “extremely early.”

“My class doesn’t start until 9:30 a.m.,” Perez said. “I’ve gotten there at 7:30 a.m. and it’s almost packed.”

Deja Hunt, a fourth-year broadcast journalism student, also gets to campus early. She said full parking lots have caused her to be late to class, so she leaves excessive amounts of time to find a spot.

"When I know I have to park at the Coliseum I leave at least 45 minutes ahead of time because I know it’s going to take me usually 20 to 25 minutes to find a parking spot,” Hunt said.

Hunt’s student parking permit for the spring semester cost her $55. However, when she can’t find a parking space at a lot near the Coliseum she has to pay an additional three dollars per day to park in Horizon Garage.  

Perez said the reason he has a student parking permit in the first place because parking in a garage is too expensive. The closest garages to the Coliseum are the Horizon Garage and Discovery Garage. A spot in either garage costs students $320 per semester. The only garage more expensive than Horizon and Discovery is the Bull Street Garage, which costs students $340 per semester.  

Perez added that students who can’t find parking near the Coliseum often park at the Barnwell Street parking lot, over a mile away on the northern perimeters of USC’s campus. For fourth-year sport and entertainment management student Bryce Garvey, the struggle for a space turns into a struggle to get to class on time. On Tuesdays and Thursdays Garvey changes classes immediately from the current business building to the Coliseum. Because he parks at a meter, he can’t leave his car parked near the Close/Hipp building and walk to the Coliseum.

Garvey only has 15 minutes between his two classes to get from the meter spot to a student parking lot spot near the Coliseum. If he can’t find a space then, Garvey said he looks for a meter in front of the Coliseum but there usually aren’t any, and of the four classes he’s had so far this semester he’s missed two. Garvey said the first few rows in the student parking lot behind the Coliseum appear to be reserved for those helping with the construction of the business building, while circus parking took up half of the back lot up until Monday. Hunt, who also attributed parking issues to the circus, added that the two rows were reserved for someone other than students, and that they are hardly ever full.

“I feel there are always spots vacant in the areas they have roped off,” Hunt said.

Several attempts made by The Daily Gamecock to contact Parking Services officials were unsuccessful.