U parking ranked as highest concern for students

LITTLE FALLS — After several years of University parking shortages, nearly half of students polled in a recent survey rank parking as the most pressing nonacademic issue. Only about 30 percent of students nationally rank parking as high.
To outline students’ priorities, University President Mark Yudof presented the survey of undergraduates at research universities at the regents’ retreat in Little Falls, Minn. The State University of New York-Stony Brook commissioned the survey.
The report, based on interviews with 57 randomly chosen University undergraduates, found students here differed from the national group in several ways other than parking.
Class availability and tuition costs were less of a concern than for students at other universities.
Twenty-six percent of students at the University ranked getting into desired classes as the most pressing academic issue compared with 15 percent nationally.
Tuition ranked on top for only 15 percent compared with 25 percent nationally.
“We get a different kind of student,” Yudof said. For instance, students here tend to be more financially independent, receive less financial aid and work more than students at other schools.
University students are also much less likely to live at the University, belong to a fraternity or sorority or participate in organized sports.
Students rated their overall University experience similarly to students from other schools.
At the University and nationally, 88 percent of students ranked their undergraduate experience as good or excellent, while 12 percent said it was fair or poor.
An independent polling organization interviewed more than 400 students nationally in February 1999.
— Kristin Gustafson