Written by: Patricia Menendez/ Assistant News Director
University veterans will now have their own designated parking spaces at the Modesto Maidique Campus, according to Parking and Transportation.
Starting Monday, March 4, the first designated spot will be in the Veteran and Military Affairs parking lot, according to Lissette Pedraza, the manager of Parking and Transportation.
The initiative is a collaboration between the Student Government Council at MMC, the office of Parking and Transportation and VA.
Active, reserve and National Guard soldiers will also have access to these parking spaces.
“These men and women served us. I feel like it’s time we serve them,” SGC-MMC Secretary of Veteran Affairs Samuel Grossman said to Student Media.
At the moment, there will only be one designated parking spot for veterans at the VA lot on MMC because of budgeting, Grossman said.
The spot will be replacing one of the metered parking spots at the VA lot. The VA will be paying for the veteran parking spaces on campus.
“We are more than happy to look at an expansion, of course, but we would have to sit down with [Grossman] and the VA… to see what they are looking at and what we have available,” Pedraza said.
Grossman said his goal is to have veteran-only parking spaces across campus by this summer.
The parking spaces will have a mark that reads “VETERAN PARKING” in blue or gold along with a sign, according to Pedraza.
There will be no extra step in vehicle registration for veterans to park in these spots. Instead, the VA will update Parking and Transportation on a monthly basis with a list of University enrolled veterans, according to Grossman. However, veterans will still be required to register their vehicles online.
Luis Restrepo, VA program assistant, said that on average about 800 to 1,000 veterans and dependents, or those who are related to veterans, visit MMC every day. He also said there has been a high demand for veteran parking spaces within the VA.
“Veterans aren’t always 100 percent good to go, some of them are a bit broken, handicapped, and handicapped spaces are sometimes limited, so it will help them also have parking spots,” Restrepo said.
Miami-Dade County has already implemented veteran parking in county-owned lots and garages such as A.D. Barnes Park.
Restrepo hopes that with this initiative, the University will become more veteran-friendly.