The perils of parking on campus

Hannah Brooks, Features Editor

Although the weather has not been very sparing towards us over the past month, life still needs to continue on regardless of the amount of snow on the ground. This especially rings true to Mercyhurst students who have classes to go to, meetings to attend and jobs to work at.But how are we to get around when pathways are left unshoveled and large amounts of snow and slush covering the parking lots?

I will say one thing as a Mercyhurst student that already frustrates me: the money that I pay for a parking pass does not guarantee me a parking spot, it simply allows me to park on campus. In other words, if I don’t find a spot, I have to resort to finding a spot in the street. However, most of the streets do not allow parking, which means that I have two options: I can throw it in park and pay the inevitable parking ticket that I am going to receive, or I can drive for blocks and blocks until I can finally find a spot.This is frustrating enough on its own. Now, throw in the fact that we have accumulated several feet of snow over the past month and the fact that a lot of this snow still covers parking spots.

It was hard enough to find a parking spot as it was, but the snow has made an issue that already existed even worse. As I drove through the Hirt parking lot on Monday afternoon, there multiple cars double-parked and one that was even quadruple-parked. Luckily, the problem has seemed to alleviate a little bit over the past few days. I recall a couple of times, however, where a parking spot would have been available if it were not for a mountain of snow covering it. After finding a spot after searching for several minutes across several lots, the next task is getting to class. Hopefully your search for a parking spot didn’t cause you to be late. Students walk in massive waves across campus to their classes, on uncomfortably narrow pathways carved-out for student use. Though that is enough to cause discomfort, however – some pathways have not even been touched at all. Your options are to either walk through the already established footprints in the snow, or go completely out of your way to ensure that you don’t walk with snow covering your legs.

I would like to reiterate that I appreciate the education that I receive here at Hurst. I know that every great thing has its issues and I can certainly understand that there are many factors causing these issues, such as short-staffing. As a student who has chosen to pay tuition for Mercyhurst, however, I do hold some expectation. I expect to be able to park my car in a clear parking lot and walk to class on paths that are neat and clear, not walk through the footprints of whatever person was kind enough to make the trek. I complain about these things because I would like to see a change, with that change being a campus that is both safe and accessible.