Summary of Regulations
The Board of Trustees under authority granted to the Board by North Carolina General Statute 116-44.4 establishes the Parking and Traffic Regulations of Western Carolina University. This statutory authority makes the regulations legally binding on all members of the university community and visitors to our campus.
This abbreviated version of the Regulations provides a quick reference to some of the most important regulations, so that you may be better prepared to comply voluntarily. It is not intended to replace the official regulations. Copies of the Parking and Traffic Regulations along with color-coded maps of campus parking areas are available at the Traffic Office at the Outreach Annex.
The Regulations are also available on the left in the Navigation Bar. There you will find all the general regulatory information, registration information for students, faculty, staff, and visitors, enforcement, penalties, fines, and appeals. You will also find a listing of designated parking areas along with a color-coded map showing assigned lots and a chart showing the number of parking spaces available in each lot.
The Regulations have been designed to serve the best interest of the total university community in a fair and equitable manner. They may not always allow for individual convenience.
When a person parks illegally, that person infringes on the rights and privilege of others who are entitled to vehicular and pedestrian access to the campus. Voluntary compliance with the regulations will resolve most of the traffic problems that occur on campus.
Parking and operating a vehicle on campus is a privilege extended by the University subject to ordinances adopted by the Board of Trustees. This privilege may be revoked if a person seriously or habitually violates the regulations.
A parking permit is required to secure parking privileges. The permit does not guarantee a parking space in a specific space or area. Rather, it authorizes the permit holder to seek a parking space in an area designated by the Regulations.
But, Western Carolina University is able to provide ample parking on campus for all registered vehicles, although spaces will not always be available at desired locations.
When a student, faculty member, staff member, or visitor receives three or more citations in a semester, the parking privileges of the permit holder or registered owner is revoked according to the Habitual Offender Policy. Vehicles parked on campus by the permit holder or registered owner during the suspension period will be wheel-locked or towed.
Parking privileges may also be revoked for receiving more than one citation for parking in a disability space and for any fraudulent registration activity.
Vehicles may also be towed for individual violations where a roadway or sidewalk is blocked, when disability access is blocked, for parking in a reserved or disability space, for failing to clear a designated lot on game day, and for other violations and situations where towing is judged necessary to preserve order.
Most of the time, towed vehicles are impounded on campus. If the Parking Services Office staff determines that the owner or operator of a towed vehicle is a current student, the Parking Services Office pays the tow driver and places the charge on the student's account. If the owner or registered owner is not a student, the vehicle is impounded until the permit holder or the registered owner of the vehicle reimburses the Parking Service Office for the tow charges.
Appeals of wheel-lock and towing fees may be made to the Parking and Traffic Subcommittee through the Parking Services Office. If an appellate of towing fees is dissatisfied with the decision of the Parking and Traffic Subcommittee, they may appeal to the District Court [NCGS §116-44.4(i) (2)(c)].
Wheel-lock fees may not be appealed beyond the Parking and Traffic Subcommittee.
The Parking Services Office is not responsible for damages that occur due to towing. Individuals who believe that their cars have been damaged by towing should contact the tow service involved. Each tow service that contracts to tow on campus must be covered with liability insurance for such damages.
All vehicle registrations must be made online at the Vehicle Registration Web site . Permits will only be mailed in accordance with instructions issued by the Parking Services Office during the preceding Spring semester. Please monitor the Vehicle Registration Web site for information regarding mailings or dates, time, and location for permit pickup.
Every vehicle that is parked on campus must display a parking permit issued by the Parking Services Office.
Student parking permit registration for the next academic year usually begins towards the end of the Spring semester. Staff and faculty may register and obtain parking permits anytime. Staff and faculty parking permits are non-expiring. Current student parking permits expire at the end of the summer semester.
Parking permits may be purchased at any time during the year at the Parking Services Office during normal business hours.
- Full Year $96.00
- Spring Term $48.00
- Summer Term $24.00
- 6-Week Term $12.00
- Motorcycle Parking $32.00
Faculty, Staff, and Contractual Employees
- Annual Fee $96.00
- Retirees receive their permanent parking permit for free.
- Reserved Space $175.00 (Annual Fee)
- Motorcycle Parking $32.00
(These prices are effective July 2013)
Students: Students who register a vehicle will have the parking permit fee added to their student account where it is added to other tuition and fees. This makes it possible for loans, scholarships, and some other types of financial aid to cover the cost of vehicle registration.
Faculty, staff, and contractual employees: Full-time faculty and staff pay for the parking permit through payroll deduction. Full-time faculty and staff may only purchase parking permits through payroll deduction. As long as the full-time faculty or staff employee maintains the payroll deduction, his or her permit is valid and non-expiring. No annual renewal is required. Upon termination of employment, an employee must surrender his or her permit in order to terminate the payroll deduction. Part-time employees and some contractual employees may purchase their parking permits on a pro-rata basis by debit or credit card at the Parking Services Office.
All students, staff, and faculty may register more than one vehicle to a parking permit; however, only one vehicle is allowed on campus at any time displaying the parking permit. For commuters, faculty, and staff members who will have more than one car on campus at a time, a second parking permit for the additional vehicle must be purchased.
For anyone who wishes to register more than one vehicle but intends to have only one of the registered vehicles on campus at any given time, the parking permit may be moved from one vehicle to another.
Temporary decals may be purchased for $5.00 per week Temporary decals may be used when a temporary vehicle is brought to campus or when a motorist cannot pay the full-price for a decal at the time of registration. Temporary decals must be purchased if a vehicle is to be on campus more than three days.
Visitors are encouraged to obtain a visitor parking permit when on campus. Visitors may park in student or faculty/staff spaces (white or yellow space) that are not designated as a special use space, reserved space, disability space, loading zone, etc. Normally, a visitor who receives a parking citation for no registration may have that citation waived by filling out the back of the citation and bringing by or mailing it to the Traffic Office (instructions are on the back of the citation). However, visitors are expected to abide by the parking rules and regulations and are accountable for paying the fines and/or appealing all other violations.
University employees who are inviting groups of more than five people to campus should notify the Parking Enforcement Office (227-3904) and discuss parking arrangements before invitations are issued.
Parking rules and regulations require all faculty and staff to register their vehicles. Any student who chooses not to register their vehicle and finds that they must park on campus on a weekday before 5:00 pm. to use the library, visit the Bookstore, or take care of other business must have the vehicle registered. Unregistered vehicles operated by faculty, staff, students, or contractual employees will be cited for non-registration.
This exception does not apply to parking at the residence halls. All vehicles at the residence halls must be registered at all times. Resident students who anticipate visiting parents or other non-university affiliated visitors should obtain a visitor's pass for their vehicle.
When unregistered vehicles receive citations, the owners of the vehicle are identified through computerized links with motor vehicle offices in all 50 states. If the owner is identified as a student, staff member, faculty member, contractual employee, or a member of such person’s family, the fines are applied to that individual’s account.
If a student, faculty, staff, or contractual employee member trades his or her registered for vehicle for another vehicle, he or she must provide the Parking Services Office staff with the information on the vehicles so that the registration records may be updated.
Report all lost or stolen permits to the University Police Department. Lost or stolen permits must be replaced at full price. University Police will investigate all thefts, prosecute offenders where possible, and assist the victim in recovering the cost of the stolen permit from the thief. Individuals who recover parking permits that may be lost or stolen must submit them to the Parking Services Office. Anyone found displaying a lost or stolen permit is subject to having their vehicle wheel-locked or towed and/or criminal charges.
Generally, yellow stripes denote spaces for faculty and staff members; white striped spaces are for students. White striped spaces near the residence halls are for resident students. Freshmen must park in the freshman/overflow lots. Be sure to observe parking control signs designating other restrictions in these categories. All faculty/staff areas are designated as wheel-lock/tow zones during business hours including Fall and Spring breaks. Students are not allowed to park in these areas except between 5:00 pm and 7:00 am during the week, on weekends, or official University holidays.
In addition to designated commuter parking area, commuters may also park in the freshman lots.
A resident student for parking purposes is an upperclassman that lives in the residence halls. For parking purposes has completed 30 or more earned hours.
Upperclassman resident students may park in the white-lined spaces at the residence halls at any time. They may not park in the academic area between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm. Resident students are encouraged to walk to class, or ride the Cat-Tran.
Upperclassman resident students may park in faculty/staff spaces or commuter spaces in the academic areas from 5:00 pm to 7:00 am during the week, on weekends, and on official University holidays.
Resident students may also park in overflow spaces in the freshman lots.
For parking purposes you must have 30 earned hours to be considered upper class.
Freshmen must park in the freshmen/overflow lots most of the time. Residence hall freshmen are allowed to park at the residence halls from 5:00 pm on Fridays until 8:00 pm on Sundays.
Freshman may not drive to class or to other areas of campus to conduct business.
Graduate students, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants are considered students for the purpose of vehicle registration. They are not eligible for faculty/staff parking permits because there are not enough faculty/staff spaces to accommodate even those graduate students who have teaching responsibilities or assistantships. They must register their vehicles as commuting or resident students.
WESTERN STUDENTS WITH CLASSES AT UNC-ASHEVILLE and WESTERN FACULTY AND STAFF WHO WORK AT UNC-ASHEVILLE
Students who have all of their classes at UNC-Asheville must purchase a UNCA decal. Western Carolina University honors UNCA decals in the proper zones at WCU. For instance, a graduate student at UNCA with a student decal must park in a student space when on campus at Western Carolina.
Faculty and staff whose primary duty station is on the UNCA campus must purchase a UNCA decal. The UNCA decal is honored in faculty/staff spaces on the Western campus.
Faculty/staff decals are issued to employees of the University who are not graduate assistants or teaching assistants. An employee is a person who is paid by the University or a private contractor such as Aramark, is listed as an employee in Human Resources or in Academic Affairs, and is not at the University primarily for their own educational advancement.
Generally, employees park in yellow-lined spaces and may not park in white spaces. There are some local exceptions to this rule at the residence halls for housekeepers (who may park in white spaces at the residence halls where they work), in the Baptist Church Lot, and in the Old Warehouse Lot between the Bookstore and the Print Shop, and in the Outreach Center.
Faculty/staff may also park in any of the overflow spaces at the stadium, the Ramsey Center, the baseball field lots, and the Walker A lot.
Cullowhee United Methodist Church (Lot# 65) is Faculty/Staff parking. Lot closed from 5:00 PM till 7:00 am Monday thru Friday and on weekends for church events.
*Faculty and staff, whose primary duty station is on the campus of UNC-Asheville, see the section above.
Questions about employee status should be directed to the Traffic Office.
Faculty and staff members who retire in good standing with the University are eligible for free parking privileges. The registration process is the same as that listed above under Registering Your Vehicle.
Vehicles displaying retired permits may park in any white or yellow space which is not designated as a reserved, handicapped, loading zone, or other type of special use space.
Retired permits need not be replaced on a yearly basis; they are permanent decals. But if a vehicle is traded or sold, the pieces of the old decal (old window stickers) should be turned in to the Traffic Office to secure a replacement decal. Retired permits that are faded may be replaced at no charge.
Retired permits may not be used by students or other family members who are employees of the University.
When a change in a driver’s official status occurs (a resident student officially moves off campus, a commuter student officially moves onto campus, a student becomes a faculty or staff member), a replacement decal with the correct classification will be issued at no additional cost.
See Visitor’s Permits above.
Three offices on campus are authorized to issue temporary parking permits for conferences and individuals visiting campus: The Office of Continuing Education and Summer School; The Admissions Office; and the Madison Conference Center. Admissions and Madison passes are free. The price of conference parking permits varies with the length of the conference.
The use of state-owned vehicles which display permanent "state-owned" license plates is regulated by University Policy #30 and administered by Facilities Management. http://www.wcu.edu/25280.asp. Call Facilities Management at 7224 if you have questions.
Anyone who operates a state-owned vehicle must possess a valid driver’s license and must have a copy of that license on file with Facilities Management.
Generally, state-owned vehicles may park in either white or yellow parking spaces and may use service-vehicle spaces. Whenever possible, state-owned vehicles should be parked legally within a space although some exceptions exist for service and emergency response vehicles.
In order to park legally in a disability space on campus, a vehicle must display an official disability placard approved by the state or a disability license plate. Neither the Traffic Office or Health Services issue disability parking permits. Information on the acquisition of disability placards may be obtained by calling the NC License Bureau at 828-586-3886 located at 238 East Main Street in Sylva. Temporary disability permits are also available through that office for person with temporary disabilities that require disability parking.
The number of designated disability spaces on campus meets standards set by the State of N. C. and federal regulations. But, persons displaying disability placards may also park in any white or yellow space except for special use spaces (i.e.: reserved, loading zones, short term, service vehicle, etc.).
Vehicles displaying disability placards must be in a designated parking space.
Notify the Traffic Office immediately if your vehicle is disabled by calling 227-7301. They may also be able to help you get your vehicle to a legal parking space so that you do not receive citations. Officers will also confirm that the vehicle is disabled and may authorize 24 hours to have the car repaired or moved.
Traffic and Parking Regulations are enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The regulations allow for some special parking considerations at nights and on weekends.
According to the Traffic Regulations, any contested citation must be appealed within seven days of issuance.
The SGA Traffic Court reviews student appeals. Justices for the Traffic Court are appointed by the SGA President. SGA offices are located in Room 216 of the University Center (227-7206).
The Traffic and Security Committee hears appeals on faculty staff citations. The Traffic & Security Committee is comprised of representatives from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Staff Forum, Facilities Management and one student appointees from the SGA President, and is a standing sub-committee of the University Advisory Council.
You are not required to be present at either of these hearings, The Traffic & Security Committee does not hold court. You may request to be present at the SGA hearings if you wish.
Decisions from both committees are final.
Until an appeal is heard, the citation that is appealed continues to be valid and is counted in the total number of citations when considering whether a vehicle should be on the tow list.
The SGA or the Traffic and Security Committee will notify the appellant in writing when a decision is made on an appeal.
Please remember that the WCU Parking and Traffic Regulations specifically state that lack of available parking is not a valid excuse for illegal parking.
While the proper route for appeal of a citation is listed above, there are some instances where a citation may be waived by Parking Services Office staff. Citations may be waived ONLY under the following conditions:
- Officer error
- In some cases where more than one citation is issued within a 24-hour period;
- Citations issued to visitors for no registration.
Each situation will be considered on its merits. If you believe that a citation you have received fits into one of these categories, bring the citation by the Parking Services Office and speak with a staff member.
The University Shuttle is sponsored by the University Police. It runs from the outlying lots to several campus locations every fifteen minutes.
University Police recommends you register your bicycle at http://www.wcu.edu/31014.asp