Seawolves scuttle: Getting around campus

Getting from class to class on time is something everyone, freshmen and seniors alike, struggle with. Experienced students and staff have found solutions to this recurring roadblock.

Falon Harkins is the UAA Parking Services associate director. Harkins has observed and assisted many student navigation problems during his time working with UAA Parking Services.

“Some people search for parking for over 15 minutes,” Harkins said. “It would be quicker to just park on the east side of campus and walk.”

Students can request a walking escort by calling (907) 786-1103 if they feel unsafe traveling to their car alone. 

The Student Union is a connecting hub that many students walk through between classes. Photo by Robert Gant.

Walking across campus during the winter can be a hazard, especially during the snow season. The sky bridges on campus connect buildings without requiring walking outside in slippery or low visibility weather. Harkins suggests using the skybridge for these situations.

The university encourages students to use the sky bridges in inclement weather. Photo by Robert Gant.

“The new engineering parking garage always has [places to park],” Harkins said. “It connects right to the skybridge.”

On-campus parking expenses are lowest when purchasing the early bird special, available now through Aug. 12. Without a parking pass, parking is substantially more costly. 

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Noah Willard, a junior mathematics and statistics and languages major, finds frustration within the UAA parking system.

“For most of the main buildings, the lots are always full,” Willard said. “Unless I show up early, I usually have to park at a different lot and then walk to the right building.”

To avoid this problem, there are other options to navigating campus that don’t involve parking at all.

The university has bike racks outside of most major buildings on campus. Biking is a safe alternative to driving or walking if one is cautious of the risks. It is important to wear high visibility clothing when biking during inclement weather or if it is dark outside. Wearing a bicycle helmet and using reflective tape saves lives. Willard advocates biking as an environmentally friendly solution to campus locomotion.

Some students choose to bike around campus when the weather allows it. Photo by Robert Gant.

“I bike to reduce my carbon footprint, burn calories and explore,” Willard said. “I bike around University Lake Trail. There is great scenery and lots of trees.”

Busing is another alternative to driving. The campus links to the municipal busing system. For more information on using the bus, see TNL’s People Mover 101 article or visit peoplemover.org.

The Seawolf Shuttle has many stops around campus. Photo by Robert Gant.

UAA also has its own campus-wide shuttle system, the Seawolf Shuttle. The Seawolf Shuttle is prepaid by student fees as long as students have their Wolfcard with them.

“I live on campus, so it’s much easier to use the shuttle because it’ll take you straight to class without worrying about parking,” exploratory junior Rhiannon Horton said.

Whatever transportation option students choose, UAA Parking Services is willing to help. Call them at (907) 786-1119 or find their official page on the UAA website for any questions or concerns.  

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