The board of trustees met Friday morning to discuss the addition of more than 3,000 parking spaces by the end of the summer and approved an extension and raise to Athletics Director Ray Tanner's contract.
USC plans to add 465 residential spaces in Horizon Garage by Assembly Street and Wheat Street and 700 spaces in Discovery Garage by Park Street and College Street.
"I think we can all agree that parking in the heart of our state's capital is an issue that many of us face," Student Body President Reedy Newton said. "Our students feel that the parking situation on the university specifically is all but great."
Newton said she empathizes with the 70% of USC students — according to her report — who have to drive to class and look for a parking spot.
Newton gave an example where a fourth-year nursing student couldn't find parking after looking for an hour at the Bull Street and Pendleton Street garages, leading to the student missing her class.
"Unfortunately, I hear these comments frequently," Newton said. "I am concerned that these pressures will continue to get worse with 1,808 students coming to Campus Village with an additional 200 or fewer spots on site."
Student Government has been compiling reports about student satisfaction with campus parking. Newton said the 2021 student insight survey found that 73% of respondents indicated that they find parking inaccessible, and in 2022, 78% indicated an interest in using other forms of transportation.
Governor-appointed board of trustees member Richard A. Jones said he even had trouble with parking when he was a student at USC's law school 50 years ago.
"It was impossible to get to class on time, and there are some negative things that happen in law school if you don't, and you get identified to answer a lot of questions," Jones said. "I was just thinking about what really makes you irritated, and that stays with you even for 50 years."
Aside from parking, Tanner's contract was approved for an extension through June 2026. The university raised his compensation by more than $150,000 and will pay Tanner $1.175 million a year.
“I applaud the action taken today by President Amiridis and the Board of Trustees to extend Coach Tanner’s contract," women's basketball head coach Dawn Staley said in a press release. "No one cares more about our university and the success of our student-athletes than Coach Tanner. You can see the real momentum building throughout the athletics department, thanks to his leadership.”
Under Tanner's leadership, Gamecock athletics has won three national championships — one in equestrian and two in women's basketball.
In addition to athletic success, South Carolina student-athletes have earned more SEC Academic Honor Roll honors than any other school since 2015.
With the final motion of the meeting aiming to approve Tanner's extension, this board of trustees meeting will be the last of Newton’s term before Student Body President-elect Emmie Thompson's inauguration on March 22.