Editorial: Students should be allowed garage parking during severe weather regardless of permits

Cars move into the West Campus Parking Garage on April 17 to take shelter from potential hail near the Maverick Activities Center. 

Some things are inherently Texan. Sweet tea, Whataburger, cowboy hats — and weather that can change at any moment.

In the last few weeks, Texas has seen several instances of severe weather such as hail, thunderstorms and tornadoes. Severe weather is dangerous for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for students, many of whom have never been in situations like this without their families before now.

While students should make sure they’re safe, those who drive also need to consider their vehicles.

After the National Weather Service issued warnings for hail and severe thunderstorms on May 29, UTA Parking and Transportation Services took to Twitter to share parking options, mentioning that payment or permits were required.

At best, the information presented was useful to permit holders, but in situations like these, it shouldn’t matter whether or not a student has the correct parking permit. At worst, this tweet can be seen as a distasteful promotion of the paid permits.

Cars are expensive and repair bills might put students in an untenable financial situation. The state requires liability insurance, but those policies typically don’t cover storm damages.

If a student is already on campus, the option to protect their vehicle in one of the several parking garages needs to be available. Although there is a finite amount of parking spots in garages on campus, students who can’t drive home should be prioritized.

According to the 2018 National Weather Service Annual Severe Weather Report summary, Texas led the country in large hail reports last year.

Although it’s unclear if parking attendants were monitoring the garages, or if anyone received a parking ticket, a consistent policy is crucial so students know what to do in situations like this.

During these times, students should be allowed to move their vehicles into the parking garages on campus to make sure they are protected.

After we receive notice of a storm approaching, every moment counts. It’s important for students to be allowed to use whatever garage is closest, regardless of which permit they hold, so they have plenty of time to get to safety themselves.


The Shorthorn Editorial Board is made up of Editor-in-Chief Reese Oxner; managing editor Brian Lopez; news editor Amanda Padilla; life and entertainment editor Rocio Hernandez; copy desk chief Sean Cameron Howard; and two staff members. This week, news reporters Chris Amaya and Julio Vega sat in as voting members.

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