Freshmen: Park at your own risk

For a school that seems very concerned with maintaining a safe campus, Mercyhurst University has created a dangerous situation for freshman drivers. Due to the lack of parking space, freshmen are not allowed to have their vehicles on campus. There are exceptions for freshmen who must have a car because of work or other off-campus commitments.

Yet even with special permission, freshmen are still not allowed to park on campus, forcing them to use the empty parking lot across from the Arby’s down the road from the college. As a Mercyhurst freshman who has experienced the parking situation firsthand, it is troubling to see that the university is not doing a better job to keep students safe. The parking lot is a long and inconvenient walk for the freshmen, and most importantly, is located at a dangerously busy intersection.

To get to the parking lot, students must cross two wide and chaotic intersections. During the day, the walk down to the lot is distressing due to the crazed drivers who barely stop to let students cross and equally terrifying when walking back alone at night, something that is unavoidable for those who have jobs and work well into the evening hours.

Many of these freshmen drivers are upset with the supposed solution Mercyhurst has come up with for them, and are pleading for a change. Freshman Marissa McKnight brought her car to campus in December after she accepted an off-campus job. When asked her opinion about the current parking situation, she responded by saying “I wish it was a lot closer. It’s scary because I work at night twice a week, and I don’t feel safe walking back alone in the dark.”

McKnight says she always calls Mercyhurst Police and Safety for a ride back to campus when she works at night because she also doesn’t feel comfortable walking across the busy intersections.When asked what it was like having to walk to and from her car in the frigid winter months, she said “It was awful, especially on those days when it was below freezing outside. It’s only a 10 minute walk, but it’s a dangerous one when it becomes that cold.”

Other freshman drivers have voiced complaints about the parking lot, and we only hope that the school will take our concerns into consideration and find an alternative solution for those who must have their cars on campus.