More parking issues this year

Well, it’s fall again, so naturally it’s time for the parking issue to rear its ugly head. Every year students find new ways to complain about the same problem of less parking spaces than they’d like, but this year they’ve been given more ammo to intensify their cries.

Construction on campus has been ongoing since the beginning of the year. Much of the headache that students have been complaining about happens in Ellis lot, where the new dorms are being built. One of the rows of parking has been taken over for physical plant space, and there is no longer a way to circle around the ends of the rows. It’s entertaining in a sick way to watch a car race down an aisle thinking they see a spot, only to realize they’re mistaken and have to back up down the row.

In reality, not many spots have been taken up by the construction. Even though that’s true, there’s obviously less parking this year; I’ve never had to actually look for a spot in South Lot before now. Maybe it’s just that more people have brought cars to campus this semester.

No matter what the cause for the tightened parking scenario, no one’s particularly happy about it. The thing is, the college handbook specifically states that not every student is guaranteed a spot, so do we really have any reason to complain?

One possible solution is sure to fire up the younger demographic, but almost all upperclassmen are in support of it. Freshmen should be allowed a car on campus, but South Lot should be designated for freshmen specifically. Another possibility is that freshmen aren’t allowed a car on campus unless they have an off-campus job, which makes the first suggestion seem more appealing to those without off-campus jobs.

An interesting possibility would be to treat the parking situation almost like room selection, with priority numbers based on credit hours and GPA and lots going like dorms. While this would be the fairest of all possibilities, the House lots would need to be expanded, which makes this tactic more trouble to put into place than it’s worth.

Even if we have no right to complain, that won’t stop the student body from getting up in arms about it. Rather than become one of the voices that complains about the problem but offers no solution, try to come up with a reasonable plan that could effectively lessen the problem. I’m sure the three I’ve listed aren’t the only ones, so see if you can come up with one. You never know whether something can work until you suggest it.

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