In the February 8th edition of the Royal Purple, there was an article discussing the parking issues being addressed on campus titled, University must work towards parking reform. This article was formulated around the opinion of a staff member commenting on how difficult it is for them to find parking. If you were you to catch the previous week’s edition, you would find a similar article that shows a picture of a faculty member gathering his belonging for class. Not sure if anyone really caught it, but if you look in the background of the picture, the professor is parked really close to the buildings on campus (White Hall). If you are trying to make a point about struggling to find a parking spot, maybe an accurate picture to display their concern would be more appropriate. And I realize that it’s probably an inconvenience for faculty to have to walk long distances with all their belongings, but most faculty and staff have an office. We as students, who might have 4 classes in a row, have to carry all of that in a backpack for the whole day, along with books and possibly computers. As if struggling to find a parking spot isn’t hard enough, having to then hike across campus with your backpack and belongings for the rest of the day is just as difficult.
Now, do I think that the faculty should have their own parking lot? Yes, if the campus can find room to make one that will allow 845 faculty and staff to park in it. I think that they are just as in need of finding parking as a commuter student. The thing that really gets under my skin is the simple fact that the university parking sold 2,868 parking passes, when only 1,182 are available. Why over sell when you know the spots will not be available? And because of this mistake, the university might be changing their rules so that freshman are unable to bring a car to school? That doesn’t seem fair, even if it were to help with the parking situation. If anyone has ever tried to find a parking spot on campus after 9:30am (depending on where you park) it’s almost impossible. All you see are several cars circling around the parking lots, hoping that in the time it took them to drive around, someone might have left and they can take their spot (know this from personal experience), which usually results in students being late for classes; also a concern among the faculty and staff.
Following that, what’s up with all the “restricted” parking spots that are never filled in the Winther parking lot? Another lot that is usually filled up by 8:30am and everyone is struggling to find a spot to park. This article then goes on to say that the campus might begin to meter the streets, even though they believe that the high volume of parkers on the street is due to the lack of parking available in the lots. And I realize that they need to have the families of Whitewater in mind, but they know this is a University town, parking on the streets is an issue that the campus presented the students with due to the parking problems. If they being to meter the streets, they are going to be pushing commuters even farther away from campus, thus re-causing the issue on parking all over again.
To restate my concern, I do believe that the faculty deserves their own parking lot, if the campus can find a place to put it, and where it will accommodate all those who are in need. I also believe that the campus should also take the students concerns into consideration, and in hopes that they will accommodate for both parties. The campus should really reconsider how many passes they decide to sell each year to insure that those who have made the purchase to get a pass will be guaranteed a spot. The campus created this issue, now it’s time they reconsider and implement a different plan.