Later start time aimed at reducing parking congestion


In an effort to reduce late afternoon congestion and ease parking problems, evening classes at UCCS will start 15 minutes later this fall.

Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak recently implemented a concept developed by the Alternative Class Schedule Task Force to better utilize campus facilities and ease campus parking congestion. Among the ideas studied by the group was to begin evening classes 15 minutes later than the current schedule provides.

“The thought was that an extra few minutes between the end of day classes and the start of the night classes would benefit students,” said David Moon, senior associate vice chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs. Moon and a group of campus associate deans discussed and endorsed the proposal.

Traditionally, 4:20 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. is the busiest time on campus as students enrolled in daytime classes leave, students enrolled in night classes arrive, and many faculty and staff members also depart campus, said Jim Spice, director, Department of Public Safety and task force member.

When combined with non-university rush hour traffic on Austin Bluffs, the resulting congestion left drivers competing for lanes on Austin Bluffs and campus parking spaces. By moving course start times to 4:45 p.m., Spice is hopeful that congestion, and competition, will be reduced.

Providing an improved student experience was the driving force behind recommending the later start time. By shifting times slightly, committee members said they believe students who combine work with school will not only find a parking place but have a chance to grab a snack before class or shorten requests to leave a traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job early.

The fall semester will also bring another change to campus. More Friday courses will be offered, giving students more options, including the potential for a Friday class with enrollment in Weekend University. The move will better use university buildings which often are not at full capacity on Friday and better distribute parking space demand.

Members of the task force included: Spice, Debra Dew, associate professor, Department of English; Tracy Barber, associate director, Office of Admissions and Records; Susan Szpyrka, senior associate vice chancellor, Administration and Finance; Mary Snyder, dean, College of Education; Todd Casey, academic adviser, Student Success Center; Steve Ellis, special projects, Office of the Chancellor; Robyn Marschke, director, Office of Institutional Research; and DeShaun Bennett, administrative assistant, Office of Admissions and Records.

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