Parking on campus is a challenge

Caitlyn Lear, Staff writer

Every student knows the feeling of trying to find that last open parking spot in the morning before classes,  weaving through every aisle until the treasured spot is found.

Then you check the clock and realized you have less than thirty seconds to get to class.

As an on-campus student, parking was not a huge problem for me but for commuters, finding a spot can be a struggle.

The university attracts a lot of local students who decide to commute to save a few extra bucks.

Then every morning, after avoiding the students walking to classes, they have to fight one another for the sparse spots available to them to park.  To add to the struggle, any lot that commuters have access to are shared lots.

Residents have seven lots available to them, and visitors and faculty each have two lots just for them, yet commuters have no lots specifically designated for them.

So where commuters can park, the spots are normally overrun by faculty, residents, visitors or those who park without a pass.

If you have a class any later than 8 a.m., then the struggle is even more real.

You might manage to catch someone leaving for the day, but chances are, you might be circling the parking lot, or parking across campus just to get a spot.

If you forget to bring something along with you to campus, say a laptop charger, it is an internal struggle between a dying computer or losing the sacred spot secured earlier that morning.

Finding a spot is not the only issue with the parking.   During the winter, some parking lots can become dangerous.  I lived in Duval as a sophomore and had to park on the top of the parking garage.

I understand that the maintenance team works very hard to keep the snow clear for students walking around campus, but sometimes the parking lots seem to be forgotten.

There were days that I had to shovel my way out of the entire parking garage just to get to work.

Even when it was plowed, they ended up taking up half the parking spots with the snow or plowing me in.

It seems that pushing the snow onto the grass, where it would not be in the way, would not be the most difficult of tasks. Yet it always ends up in the corner of a lot somewhere, taking up a dozen or so spaces.

Since the garage is raised and has no solid ground below it, the ground ices over very quickly and makes it very slippery.

There were multiple times last year that the top of the garage and the stairs leading to it were not properly salted.  I fell on at least half a dozen occasions, and watched many people come crashing down as their feet flew out from underneath them.

There is the option to park underneath the parking garage, yet it comes at a cost of $200 per year, and spots are limited.  On top of that, snow ends up covering some of the spots underneath in the winter because of winds and plowing.

So, in reality, it does not make the spots any more ideal or safe than the ones above.

Needless to say, the parking situation on campus could use some updating.  Especially with the large freshman class that will soon be able to have cars on campus, parking lots will become even more crowded.