Major frustrations of students on campus

UWT students have strong feelings about Court 17 and on-campus parking.

If you have been a UWT student for a while, you have no doubt become accustomed to the frustrations that come with being a student here, from Court 17 raising rent to the lack of parking available to students. I took to campus to ask UWT students about their frustrations and thoughts about issues present on campus. Here is what I have gathered: 

The first, and probably the most frustrating, obstacle that has become a norm for UWT students is the task of finding a parking spot near campus. If you are somewhat lucky, you got a permit before they went out of stock, which is quick due to the limited number of permits available You’re even more lucky if you can actually find a spot in the parking lot you paid a large amount to park in. We also lost parking spaces to the new Milgard building for the business school program, which has only decreased the number of available for students.   

The Milgard building was built on the site of a previously large UWT parking lot, reducing on-campus parking options. | Photo by Lesley McLam

If you don’t have a permit, things become even more difficult when you are trying to get to class. If you do find a spot in one of the lots, you have to pay for it, and that can add up depending on your time on campus. There is also limited pay-by-the-hour parking near campus. As a commuter campus, this would seem like something to be addressed and thought out a bit better. With enrollment numbers down, this might become less of an issue in the future, but with that comes budget cuts.  

There has to be a solution to support those who commute to UWT. Whether that be making current parking more accessible or finding more space for students to park. If students can’t even find pay by the hour parking to go to the classes that they spend thousands of dollars on, how can we be expected to continue coming to campus? According to the UW website, nearly 70% of UWT students commute to and from campus, meaning the majority of students need to have fair access to parking. 

Another frustration for UWT students is Court 17 student housing. One of the more recent frustrations is rent being raised by $200 starting this academic year. As a student who lived in the dorms last year, there were a number of things that would make me frustrated by this change. From my experience, maintenance was extremely slow and, depending on how busy you are, hard to resolve. As someone who has a rather busy schedule, I am rarely home during the day, without someone present while the staff is working on fixing the problem you have to hope that you are home when they come.  

Of course, I don’t think that this is entirely the fault of the maintenance workers, simply the understaffing that has become the norm in a lot of places and everyone has their own schedule, and it can be difficult to find time to be home. Something that might help solve this problem is hiring another maintenance worker to deal with the everyday wear and tear of college apartments.  

There is also no air conditioning in the units, only in the hallways and common room. This makes the units insufferable after April as the days continue to heat up. The windows are no help either as they barely open. With the small issues, this increase in rate can seem a bit absurd. If I were still living at Court 17, I would be wondering where this money was going.  

Finally, every student has to deal with the cost of school.  When I asked a first-year student about things they had been frustrated by when coming to UWT, the main thing that came to mind was financial aid and the resources available. From the office being backed up during operating hours to unclear answers, it can be incredibly overwhelming. Having more available one-on-ones and workshops on campus to help students get the necessary resources to figure out any financial aid question they might have would be a great way to counter this issue.  

UWT is an amazing campus, but that doesn’t mean that it’s without faults. As a commuter campus, and as a space for a large number of students from out of the country and first-generation students, these are some of the many things that UWT should take into consideration when making changes. Each is vital to student life and having access to these resources needs to be easier for incoming students and returning students alike.  

Have any other thoughts about UWT or campus? Send the Ledger a letter to the editor or email at https://thetacomaledger.com/contact-us/.