Context for the beginning of the interview, I asked Catching Valentinis-Dee how he was feeling about the rally today (March 3rd, 2023, at 2:30 p.m.).
This morning I had a conversation with Catching Valentinis-Dee, the former TXST student body president and founder of PARKTXST. PARKTXST is a TXST parking reform organization with a TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. Catching dives into the history of PARKTXST, details the organization’s 3 step plan, and shares his excitement for the PARKTXST rally this afternoon at 2:30 p.m., at the UAC Arch. PARKTXST has received press coverage from local news organizations and the University Star. As of today [03/08/2023], there are 4500 signed petitions waiting in Catching’s apartment, ready for this afternoon. With today’s rally, Catching aims to demonstrate to President Damphousse and the TXST Administration, that this is an issue that they cannot ignore. The petition demands a decrease in Parking ticket fees from 40 to 20 dollars, a small change that Valentinis-Dee hopes will get the ball rolling to make bigger changes, such as a parking counter (a solution that Catching explains in depth at timestamp 7:45) that will show the percentage of available parking by lot. This would offer a “medium-term solution” to the University at an affordable cost today versus building more garages tomorrow.
In addition to today’s rally, Catching shared his thoughts on Damphousse abandoning The University Master Plan[timestamp 10:00], University and City San Marcos Urban Planning [timestamp 16:30], and his experiences working with TXST Administration as the Student Body President [timestamp 21:54].
After the interview, I reached out to University officials to get a statement regarding plans to address parking now and in the future, the PARKTXST rally at the UAC , and the University’s 2017-2027 Master Plan. Here is what they had to say.
“While many of the more popular lots on central campus designated for faculty and staff, residence hall students or commuting students do fill during the day, there is parking availability in every zone. The most recent facility addition was the Lindsay St. parking lot, which was completed in 2020 and has daily availability for residential students, faculty and staff with the appropriate permit. Perimeter parking for students often has more than 1,200 available spaces throughout several lots on a daily basis.
While all of these lots are within walking distance of the San Marcos Campus, the Bobcat Shuttle provides service from perimeter lots to several hubs on central campus. The various routes that serve perimeter parking run with an approximate frequency of 10 minutes, and trips to campus take anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes. Parking Services actively monitors and manages parking availability and will continue to adapt to the changing campus needs as Texas State University grows.
Parking Services is a self-supported Auxiliary Service; it must generate its own revenue to support expenses. No student tuition, fees, or tax dollars are put towards the operation of Parking Services. There are three main sources of revenue for the parking system: permit fees, permit violation fees and pay-to-park fees. Revenues earned pay all the expenses of the parking operations, including operations, salaries, debt service payments for parking structures, maintenance of existing parking lots and garages, grounds and custodial maintenance, utilities and the construction of new parking lots and garages. A reserve is also maintained for unforeseen parking emergencies and to assist with initial payments for new construction.”
No direct comment was given in regards to the master plan.
Written by: jneeley